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Bullying Prevention Catherine Bradshaw, Ph.D., M.Ed. & Lindsey O’Brennan, Ph.D. Johns Hopkins Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence Johns Hopkins.

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Presentation on theme: "Bullying Prevention Catherine Bradshaw, Ph.D., M.Ed. & Lindsey O’Brennan, Ph.D. Johns Hopkins Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence Johns Hopkins."— Presentation transcript:

1 Bullying Prevention Catherine Bradshaw, Ph.D., M.Ed. & Lindsey O’Brennan, Ph.D. Johns Hopkins Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence Johns Hopkins Center for Prevention & Early Intervention Preventing Bullying Part 1: Specific Strategies

2 Overview of Presentation  What is bullying and what does it look like in our schools?  How does bullying and problem behavior contribute to the school climate?  Strategies for intervening and preventing bullying  Lessons learned

3 “Bullying is any unwanted aggressive behavior(s) by another youth or group of youths (who are not siblings or current dating partners) that involves an observed or perceived power imbalance and is repeated multiple times or is highly likely to be repeated. Bullying may inflict harm or distress on the targeted youth including physical, psychological, social, or educational harm. ” Federal Definition of Bullying

4 1.Involves an intentional aggressive behavior 2.Typically involves a pattern of behavior repeated over time 3.Imbalance of power or strength Key Components of Bullying Behavior


6 Who Is Involved in Bullying? Roughly 30-40% students are involved in bullying –23% identify as a victim, 8% as a bully, and 9% as a bully/victim (Bradshaw, O’Brennan, & Sawyer, 2008) Gender –Boys are more likely to report bullying others compared to girls (Bradshaw, Sawyer, & O’Brennan, 2009) –Some differences in involvement based on form Race/Ethnicity –African American youth more likely to be classified as a victim or bully/victim (Goldweber et al., 2013)

7 Direct - Hitting, taunting, name calling Indirect - Rumors, exclusion, cyber bullying *Important to teach school staff and parents that bullying is different from rough-and- tumble play and fighting Types of Bullying

8 Cyberbullying Bullying through email, instant messaging, in a chat room, on a Web site, or through digital messages or images sent to a cell phone. Examples: –Harassing text messages or emails –Posting untrue information or embarrassing pictures –Impersonating people by making fake profiles –Flaming – online ‘fighting’ using electronic media and vulgar language –Tricking someone into sharing personal information and sharing it with others –Cyber stalking – repeatedly sending threatening messages

9 It can happen at any time. –Cyberbullying can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and reach a kid even when he or she is alone. It can be done anonymously. –Cyberbullying messages and images can be posted anonymously and distributed quickly to a very wide audience. It can be difficult and sometimes impossible to trace the source. The effects are long lasting. –Deleting inappropriate messages, texts, and pictures is extremely difficult after they have been posted or sent. How is Cyberbullying Different?

10 Effects of Being Bullied 10 Lower self-esteem Depression & anxiety Absenteeism Loss of interest in school Lower grades Illness

11 BulliedNot Bullied Headache16%6% Sleep problems42%23% Abdominal pain17%9% Feeling tense20%9% Anxiety28%10% Feeling unhappy23%5% Depression 49%16% Health Consequences of Bullying 11 (Fekkes et al., 2004)

12 Concerns About Children Who Bully Children who bully are more likely to: –Get into frequent fights –Be injured in a fight –Steal, vandalize property –Drink alcohol, smoke –Drop out of school –Perform poorly academically –Carry a weapon This pattern may continue into young adulthood –Bullies were 4x as likely to have 3 or more legal convictions by age 24

13 Social-Emotional Problems Youth Involved in Bullying Bully/Victims are the most at risk –More likely to endorse retaliatory attitudes –More likely to experience internalizing symptoms (sad, lonely) –Less likely to feel connected and safe in their school Bullies tend to feel popular and justified in their aggressive behavior –Middle and high school bullies were more likely to report having many friends at their school Effects of bullying do not diminish over time –Middle school and high school victims and bully/victims are more likely to report internalizing symptoms and aggressive- impulsive behavior –Older students tended to feel less connected to their school O’Brennan, Bradshaw, & Sawyer (2009)

14 Why address bullying in schools? 14 1.For students and their futures 2.Healthy school climate 3.Larger community 4.For the purposes of risk management for schools 5.It’s a wise investment 6.It’s the law in nearly all states!

15 Preventing Bullying at School 1.Supervise students’ activities 2.Ensure that all staff intervene “on-the-spot” when bullying occurs 3.Hold meetings with students involved in bullying 4.Develop individual intervention plans for involved students

16 On-the-Spot Interventions: The “Teachable Moment” 1.Stop the bullying 2.Support student who has been bullied 3.Name bullying behavior & refer to school rules 4.Engage the bystanders 5.Impose immediate & appropriate consequences 6.Take steps to ensure bullied student will be protected from future bullying

17 Why Adults Don’t Always Intervene: Have difficulty recognizing bullying –87% staff thought they had effective strategies for handling a bullying situation and 97% reported that they would intervene in a situation if they saw bullying –But only 21% of students involved in bullying had reported the event to a school staff member Fail to recognize the importance of intervening Uncertain how best to intervene –Adults often don’t know how best to intervene in bullying, especially with special populations (LGBT, racial/ethnic minority, overweight youth) Lack of time

18 Student vs. Staff Perceptions Students (N=15,185)  Seen adults at school watching bullying and doing nothing – 43%  Believe adults at their school are NOT doing enough to stop or prevent bullying – 58%  Believe that teachers who try to stop bullying only make it worse – 61% Staff (N=1,547)  Said they would intervene if they saw bullying – 97%  Believe have effective strategies for handling bullying – 87%  Believe they made things worse when they intervened – 7% (% “agree” to “strongly agree”) (Bradshaw et al., 2007, SPR)

19 Stereotypes of Youth Who Bully (Source: Sue Swearer)

20 Multi-tiered Bullying Prevention Individual-level Interventions with children who bully Interventions with children who are bullied Discussions with parents of involved students Classroom-level Reinforce school-wide rules against bullying Hold regular classroom meetings with students to increase knowledge & empathy Provide direct instruction for students on how to respond to bullying Promote social-emotional skills Informational materials and meetings with parents Address classroom management concerns Olweus Bullying Prevention Program; PBIS; HRSA

21 Multi-tiered Bullying Prevention (cont) School-level Collect and use data on bullying (e.g., anonymous student survey) Form a coordinating team of staff to discuss and review data related to bullying and school-wide prevention Provide training for team members and all staff on anti- bullying policy, harassment, and how to intervene effectively Develop a coordinated system of supervision Adopt school-wide rules to promote positive behavioral expectations and prevent bullying Develop appropriate consequences for students' behavior Involve parents Olweus Bullying Prevention Program; PBIS; HRSA

22 Recommended Strategies Talk with child –Directly state that bullying is wrong –They or the target do not deserve to be treated this way –Directly state that aggressive retaliation is not right –Listen to child’s concerns –Coach on possible strategies Peer support, avoid situations where bullying might occur, when appropriate tell bully that the bullying should stop (better among younger kids)

23 Recommended Strategies (cont) Foster open communication Encourage parents to reach out to school for supervision and support services (teacher, guidance counselor, administration) - Seek mental health services when needed Develop a process (e.g., behavioral matrix) for monitoring behavior at school and home Reward prosocial, non-aggressive behavior Limit exposure to violent media and content (e.g., domestic violence, abuse)

24 Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS) Application of behavior learning principles Clear behavioral expectations (e.g., ready, responsible, and respectful) Recognition system Procedures for managing disruptions Focus on changing adult behavior Emphasizes staff buy-in Team-based & data-based process Consistency in discipline practices Can be implemented in any school Non-curricular model – flexible to fit school culture & context Coaching to ensure high fidelity implementation (Horner et al., 2009; Horner & Sugai, 2001; Lewis & Sugai, 1999; Sugai & Horner, 2006)

25 Public Health Multi-tiered System of Support Students within Schools Universal Prevention Core Instruction, all students, preventive, proactive Selective or Targeted Intervention Supplemental, some students, reduce risk Indicated or Intensive Intervention Individualized, functional assessment, highly specific for few (IOM, 2009;; Sugai & Horner, 2006; Walker et al., 1996)

26 Stopping Bullying on the Spot Intervene immediately. It is ok to get another adult to help. Separate the kids involved. Make sure everyone is safe. Meet any immediate medical or mental health needs. Stay calm. Reassure the kids involved, including bystanders. Model respectful behavior when you intervene.

27 Avoid These Common Mistakes Don’t ignore it. Don’t think kids can work it out without adult help. Don’t immediately try to sort out the facts. Don’t force other kids to say publicly what they saw. Don’t question the children involved in front of other kids. Don’t talk to the kids involved together, only separately. Don’t make the kids involved apologize or patch up relations on the spot.

28 Get Police or Medical Attention Immediately If A weapon is involved. There are threats of serious physical injury. There are threats of hate-motivated violence, such as racism or homophobia. There is serious bodily harm. There is sexual abuse. Anyone is accused of an illegal act, such as robbery or extortion—using force to get money, property, or services.

29 NOT Recommended Strategies Minimizing problem Telling the target they deserve the abuse because of … Telling student to ignore situation Telling student to hit or bully back Parents of victim contacting perpetrator or his/her parent Corporal or physical punishment Grouping students who bully together Zero tolerance (i.e., automatic suspension) policies Conflict resolution/peer mediation Providing details on bullying-related suicides Simple short-term solutions

30 PBIS in Park Heights

31 Olweus Bullying Prevention Program Comprehensive, school-wide program that aims to reduce and prevent bullying problems among youth children and to improve peer relations at school. Designed for ALL students Preventive AND responsive Focused on changing norms and restructuring the school setting

32 Olweus Program (cont.) School-wide Components Establish Bullying Prevention Coordinating Committee (BPCC) Develop school policy on bullying and introduce school- wide rules and consequences Administer survey to assess “hot spots” for bullying School Classroom Individual Community Parents

33 Classroom Components Weekly Class meetings Communication with adults and peers Identifying feelings Building positive classroom environment Positive peer relationships OBPP is not a classroom management program, but helps teachers learn behavior management skills will help to implement the program.

34 Individual Student Components Teachers and staff should closely supervise students’ activities Ensure that all staff intervene on-the-spot when bullying occurs Hold meetings with students involved in bullying Develop individual intervention plans for involved students

35 Lessons Learned Take the time to build rapport with staff and administration Principal/administrator leadership is key Focus on foundations first (e.g., school climate, administrator support, PBIS) Connect with community agencies and partners Meet schools where they are at, enhance motivation to change –Focus on the positive, highlight things that are working well in the schools –Use this strengths-based approach to identify areas of need/challenges Focus our role as a collaborator, not an instructor or “expert”

36 What is your school doing to prevent bullying and behavior problems across the tiers? Students within Schools Universal Prevention Core Instruction, all students, preventive, proactive Selective or Targeted Intervention Supplemental, some students, reduce risk Indicated or Intensive Intervention Individualized, functional assessment, highly specific for few (IOM, 2009;; Sugai & Horner, 2006; Walker et al., 1996)

37 Suggested Readings  Bullying at school: What we know and what we can do. Olweus, D. (1993). NY: Blackwell.  Olweus Bullying Prevention Program: School-wide Guide. Olweus, Limber et al. (2007). Hazelden.  Bullying prevention: Creating a positive school climate and developing social competence. Orpinas, P. & Horne, A. (2005). American Psychological Association.  Bullying in American schools. Espelage, D. & Swearer, S. (2004). Lawrence Erlbaum.  Bullying in schools: How successful can interventions be? (2004). Smith, P., Pepler, D., & Rigby, K. Cambridge.

38 On-Line Resources  Stop Bullying   National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)  Success in school online resource kit   Collaborative for Academic, Social, & Emotional Learning (CASEL)   National Center on PBIS   Blueprints for violence prevention   Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Admin. (SAMHSA) 

39 Questions, Comments, & Discussion

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