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Bullying and Antisocial Behavior: Analysis of Bullying Research and Recommended Practices Richard P. West Ph.D. Executive Director Center for the School.

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Presentation on theme: "Bullying and Antisocial Behavior: Analysis of Bullying Research and Recommended Practices Richard P. West Ph.D. Executive Director Center for the School."— Presentation transcript:

1 Bullying and Antisocial Behavior: Analysis of Bullying Research and Recommended Practices Richard P. West Ph.D. Executive Director Center for the School of the Future Utah State University

2 What Problems do We Face in Today’s Schools Problem behavior in schools is increasing in frequency and intensity. School-wide discipline systems are unclear and inconsistently implemented. Educators rely on reactive and crisis management interventions to solve chronic behavior problems. Teachers are being asked to do more with less, and to teach when students display severe problem behavior. Students have limited structured opportunities to learn social skills and to receive feedback on their use of these social skills. Alternative placements are becoming more difficult to find. Sugai, 1997

3 THE GOOD OLD DAYS? “The world is too big for us. Too much is going on. Too many crimes, too much violence and excitement. Try as you will, you get behind in the race in spite of yourself. It is an incessant strain to keep pace, and still you lose ground. Science empties its discoveries on you so fast you stagger beneath them in hopeless bewilderment. Everything is high-pressure. Human nature can’t endure much more.” Editorial in the Atlantic Journal, June 16, 1833.

4 “Bullying occurs when a student or group of students targets an individual repeatedly over time, using physical or psychological aggression to dominate the victim” (Hoover & Oliver, 1996; Rigby, 1995; USDOE, 1998) Bullying Bullying can contribute to an environment of fear and intimidation in schools (Arnette & Walsleben, 1998; Ericson, 2001)

5 BULLYING: Key Features Intent to harm Repeated harmful acts Power imbalance between bully and victims

6 What Does it Look Like? Physical aggression (e.g. fighting, etc.) Relational aggression (e.g. social exclusion, injuring the reputation of another person) Verbal harassment or intimidation (e.g. threats, psychological intimidation) Cyber-bullying (e.g. insulting websites, embarrassing photos posted online, text messages)

7 160,000 students miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by a bully (Fried & Fried, 1996) Approximately 20 percent of students report being scared throughout much of the school day (Garrity, et al., 1997) 60% of boys who were bullies in middle school had at least one criminal conviction by the age of 24 (Olweus, 1993) Bullying is the best predictor of adult criminality (Silvernail, Thompson, Yang, & Kopp, 2000) Some Data

8 Who are the Bullies? Poorer academic skills and grades Lacking in empathy Cognitive distortions Belief that aggression solves problems Increased risk for substance abuse & later criminal behavior Increasingly unpopular with peers as they get older Come from coercive/aggressive homes Inconsistent & ineffective discipline Physically larger, especially in early grades

9 Who are the Victims? Physically smaller or weaker Anxious, fearful, insecure, depressed, poor self- esteem School avoidance, including dropping out More likely to bring weapons to school for revenge

10 VIOLENCE “A disturbing element of some high profile school shootings in the United States during the past few years has been that some of these youthful shooters were repeat victims of bullying and peer harassment, were unpopular, and they ultimately went on a shooting spree as a way of exacting revenge”. Merrell, Gueldner, Ross, & Isava (in press) School Psychology Quarterly

11 School Bullying Bullying is one form of violence that seems to have increased in recent years, although it is not clear if the increase reflects more incidents of bullying at school or perhaps greater aware- ness of bullying as a problem. US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey, Indicators of School Crime and Safety, 2003, NCES

12 Rates of Bullying and Other School Discipline Problems Student bullying is one of the most frequently reported discipline problems at school: 26% of elementary schools, 43% of middle schools, and 25% of high schools reported problems with bullying in US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey, Indicators of School Crime and Safety, 2003, NCES

13 Middle Schools Bullying occurs at all ages, “but tends to peak during the middle school years” Hazler, 1996; Rios-Ellis, Bellamy, & Shoji, 2000

14 Bullying: Recent Trends In recent years, fewer than 1 in 10 students reported they had been bullied at school in last 6 months. Although percentages increased from 1999 (5%) to 2001 (8%), no differences were detected between 2001 and 2003 NOTE: In the 1999 survey, “at school” was defined as in the school building, on the school grounds, or on a school bus. In the 2001 and 2003 surveys, “at school” was defined as in the school building, on school property, on a school bus, or going to and from school. See appendix A for more information. SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, School Crime Supplement (SCS) to the National Crime Victimization Survey, 199, 2001, and 2003.

15 Recent Data: Further Analysis White students were more likely than Hispanic students to report being bullied (8% to 6%) Grade level is inversely related to bullying Public school students more likely to be bullied than private NOTE: “At School” was defined as in the school building, on school property, on a school bus, or going to and from school. SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, School Crime Supplement (SCS) to the National Crime Victimization Survey, 2003.

16 Both boys and girls bully; some research indicates that boys bully more often, but this may have to do with how bullying is defined. Boys tend to use more physical aggression while bullying by girls often takes the form of teasing and social exclusion (Hoover & Oliver, 1996) Boys vs. Girls

17 Are Bullying Prevention and Intervention Programs Effective? “Although anti-bullying interventions appear to be useful in increasing awareness, knowledge, and self-perceived competency in dealing with bullying, it should not be expected that these interventions will dramatically impact the incidence of actual bullying and victimization behaviors, or that they will positively impact even a majority of the targeted outcomes. In fact, our evidence indicates that the majority of targeted outcomes in school bullying interverventions may not be significantly impacted, either positively or negatively”. Merrell, Gueldner, Ross, & Isava (in press) School Psychology Quarterly

18 Bullying is a symptom of a much larger problem of antisocial behavior

19 Recurrent violations of socially prescribed patterns of behavior Hostility, aggression, defiance, willingness to violate rules Aversive to others Deviation from accepted rules and expected standards Deviance across a range of settings Antisocial Behavior

20 Involves more boys than girls Identified at 3 or 4 years of age Early antisocial behavior predicts adolescent delinquency Antisocial behavior persisting beyond third grade is chronic problem Antisocial children are at risk for long term problems 70% of youth arrested within 3 yrs. of leaving school Antisocial Behavior Facts and Findings

21 Index crimes include murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson. Utah's total index crime rate in 2004 was 4,322, a 4.1% decrease over the 2003 rate of 4,506. Utah's rate has paralleled the national rate over the past 40 years. In 2001, Utah's rate was marginally higher than the national rate, a gap that is widening through 2003 and Utah's higher than average larceny rate, which accounts for nearly three-quarters of the total index crime rate, drives our total rate higher than the national rate.

22 Common Individual and System Responses to Problem Behavior Clamp down on rule violators Extend continuum of aversive consequences Improve consistency of use of punishment Establish “bottom line” In-school suspension Zero tolerance policies Security guards, student uniforms, metal detectors, surveillance cameras Suspension/Expulsion Exclusionary options (e.g. Alternative programs)

23 According to Research, the LEAST EFFECTIVE responses to problem behavior are: Counseling Psychotherapy Punishment (Gottfredson,1997; Lipsey, 1991; Lipsey & Wilson, 1993; Tolan & Guerra, 1994) Exclusion is the most common response for conduct- disordered, juvenile delinquent, and behaviorally disordered youth (Lane & Murakami, 1987) but it is largely ineffective.

24 Why Then, Do We Educators, Resource Officers, and Counselors Employ These Procedures? When WE experience aversive situations, we select interventions that produce immediate (rather than sustained) relief. We tend to focus on our concerns, not the student’s. –Remove the student. –Remove ourselves. –Modify the physical environment. –Assign responsibility for change to student &/or others.

25 What results from these responses? Punishing problem behaviors without a school-wide system of support is associated with increased… –aggression –vandalism –truancy –tardiness –dropping out (Mayer, 1995; Mayer & Sulzer-Azaroff, 1991) Fosters environments of control Occasions & reinforces antisocial behavior Shifts ownership away from school Weakens child-adult relationship Weakens relationship between academic & social behavior programming

26 Gallup survey on work satisfaction For Employees  I know what is expected of me at work.  I have the materials and equipment I need to do my job right.  In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.  My supervisor or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.  There is someone at work who encourages my development.  The mission/purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important. What if We Reword it for Students I know what is expected of me at school. I have the academic and social skills I need to succeed. At school today, I received recognition or praise for doing good work or behaving appropriately. My teacher or someone at school seems to care about me as a person. There is someone at school who encourages my development. The mission/purpose of the school makes my effort seem important. “ What the Worlds Greatest Managers Do Differently ” -- Buckingham & Coffman 2002, Gallup Interviews with 1 million workers, 80,000 managers, in 400 companies.

27 Social skills training Academic and curricular restructuring Behavioral interventions (Gottfredson, 1997; Lipsey, 1991, 1992; Lipsey & Wilson, 1993; Tolan & Guerra, 1994) According to Research, the MOST EFFECTIVE responses to problem behavior are:

28 80% of Students 15% of Students 5% of Students Schimmer & Sugai, Nov High Risk Moderate Risk Low Risk

29 1-5% 5-10% 80-90% Schimmer & Sugai, Nov School-/Classroom- Wide Systems for All Students, Staff, & Settings Specialized Individualized Systems for Students with High-Risk Behavior Specialized Group Systems for Students with At- Risk Behavior Academic Success/Social Competence

30 Office Referrals As of March 24th 14 per day 11 per day 10 per day

31 Level 1 Violations by Individuals

32 Level 2 Violations by Individuals

33 Total Level 1 Violations by Groups At-Risk students, in this case, are identified as having 5 or more violations 6% 59% 25% 41%

34 Level 1 Violations by At-Risk Groups

35 Violations by Location

36 Categories of Risk and Protective Factors 1.Individual 2.Peer 3.Family 4.Community 5.School

37 Individual Risk Factors Alienation and Rebelliousness Favorable Attitudes Toward the Problem Behavior Early Initiation of the Problem Behavior Certain Physical, Emotional or Personality Traits Lack of Social Competence

38 Individual Protective Factors Sense Of Well-Being/Self Confidence Negative Attitudes Toward Problem Behavior Positive Future Plans Social Competence

39 Peer Risk Factors Friends Who Engage in the Problem Behavior Less Involved in Recreational, Social and Cultural Activities

40 Peer Protective Factors Bonding To Pro-Social Culture Youth Involvement In Alternative Activities

41 Family Risk Factors Family History With Problem Behavior Family Management Problems Family Conflict Favorable Parental Attitudes or Involvement in Problem Behavior Family Members Don't Spend Much Time Together Lack Of Parental Supervision Lack Of Clear Expectations, Limits And Consequences

42 Family Protective Factors Close Family Relationships Consistency Of Parenting Copes With Stress In A Positive Way Education Is Valued, Encouraged, And Parents Are Involved Share Family Responsibilities, Including Chores And Decision Making Family Members Are Nurturing And Support Each Other Clear Expectations, Limits And Consequences

43 Community Risk Factors Alcohol And Other Drugs Readily Available Laws And Ordinances Are Unclear Or Inconsistently Enforced Norms Are Unclear Residents Feel Little Sense Of "Connection" To Community Neighborhood Disorganization High Mobility Extreme Economic Deprivation Lack Of Strong Social Institutions Lack Of Monitoring Youths' Activities Inadequate Media Portrayals

44 Community Protective Factors Community Service Opportunities Available For Youth Laws And Ordinances Are Consistently Enforced Informal Social Control Opportunities Exist For Community Involvement Positive Relationships with Other Adults Encouraged Strong Religious or Social Composition Resources (Housing, Healthcare, Childcare, Jobs, Recreation, Etc.) Are Available Neighbors Share Responsibility for Monitoring Youth

45 School Risk Factors Lack Of Clear Expectations, Both Academic And Behavioral Lack Of Commitment Or Sense Of Belonging At School Academic Failure Parents And Community Members Not Actively Involved

46 School Protective Factors Communicates High Academic And Behavioral Expectations Encourages Goal-Setting, Academic Achievement And Positive Social Development Positive Attitudes Toward School Fosters Active Involvement Of Students, Parents And Community Members

47 Indicators of School Quality

48 Things We Can Change Combine with Things We Can’t Change + Alterable VariablesUnalterable Variables to Produce… … Academic Achievement and … Social Competence

49 Web of Causation for Academic Achievement Instruction Academic Achievement

50 Web of Causation for Social Competence Punishment Social Competence

51 Natural selection of metabolic adaptation to starvation Social pressures Industrial society Hereditary factors Dietary excesses in saturated fat, cholesterol, calories, salt Obesity Personality & emotional stress Cigarette smoking Lack of exercise Coronary artery distribution Diabetes or carbohydrate intolerance Hyperlipidemia Hypertension Increased catecholamines Thrombotic tendency Significant coronary atherosclerosis Myocardial susceptibility Deficiency in collateral circulation Coronary occlusion Myocardial infarction The authors note that “Despite the apparent complexity of this diagram, it is undoubtedly an oversimplification and will certainly be modified by further study.” (p. 5). Web of Causation for Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attacks) Taken from Friedman, G. D. (1994). Primer of Epidemiology (5 th Ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill, p.4.

52 The Indicators of School Quality Parent Support Teacher Excellence Instructional Quality School Leadership Student Commitment School Safety Resource Management

53 Areas of Risk 1.Home Language “Is English the primary language spoken at home?” 2.Neighborhood Stability “Have you moved more than once in the past three years?” 3.Peer Associations “Do you generally approve of your child’s closest friends?” 4.Family Bonding “Do your neighbors generally monitor their children’s activities?” 5.Community Affiliation “Do you regularly attend community, social, or religious meetings?” 6.Academic Status “Do you have a high school diploma/GED?” 7.Economic Status “Do you have Internet access at home?”

54 ISQ and Academic Achievement The variables measured by ISQ account for more than 80% of the variance of academic achievement scores Even when “risk” is removed from the equation, the correlations between ISQ variables and achievement are statistically significant

55 Hierarchy of Risk Economic Status Community Affiliation Family Bonding Neighborhood Stability Academic Status Home Language Peer Associations

56 Relationship between Risk and Academic Achievement (Indicators of School Quality- ISQ)

57 risk protective assets and skills. Recent research has shown that the risk of youth developing patterns of various types of antisocial behavior, including the use of alcohol and other drugs, aggressive and violent behavior, and gang activity, can be lessened by developing certain protective assets and skills. These include social and self-management skills, academic proficiency including reading, and improved relationships with family members and school personnel (Gardner & Resnick, 1996; Hawkins & Catalano, 1992; Schorr, 1988; West, Young, Mitchem & Calderella, 1998).

58 Parent Support 1.Student achievement related to parent support is not limited to the early years, but is significant at all ages and grade levels. 2.Children of involved parents achieve more, regardless of socioeconomic status, ethnic/racial background, or the parents’ education level. 3.Children of involved parents have higher grades, test scores and better attendance, and they are more likely to graduate from high school and have greater enrollments in post-secondary education.

59 Parent Support 4.When it comes to student behavior, children of involved parents exhibit more positive attitudes and behavior. 5.Children of involved parents have fewer instances of alcohol use, violence, and antisocial behavior.

60 Nine Contextual Factors that Contribute to Punitive School Environments and Promote Antisocial Behavior Low student involvement in school activities Unclear rules for student deportment Weak or inconsistent administrative support Student academic failure Student deficiency in social & personal management skills Problems discriminating prosocial & antisocial behavior Consequences delivered inconsistently Inadvertent reinforcement of antisocial behavior Over reliance on punitive methods of control (Mayer, 1995; Similar to home-based contextual factors noted by Loeber, Stouthammer-Loeber & Green, 1987 and Reid & Patterson, 1991)

61 Assessing School Conditions and Actions Inspect evidences –Be specific –Look carefully, review relevant history –Be honest –Compile evidences –Assign rating (can be done in a group) 1.Generally meet the standard (no “contra- evidences” or only 1 or 2 at most) 2.Occasionally meet the standard (several “contra-evidences”) 3.Rarely meet the standard (occasional “evidences”)

62 Checklist of Contextual Factors 1.A well-written set of behavioral standards and expectations exists at this school 2.The set of expectations is short (generally from 5 to 7 items) 3.Students were involved in the development, refinement, and communication of the standards of behavior 4.The behavioral expectations are statements of how to behave well, rather than what not to do 5.Behavioral expectations are posted prominently throughout the school 6.Behavioral expectations are emphasized in each classroom (e.g. explicitly taught, reminded, and encouraged) 7.Students are able to remember and repeat statements of behavioral expectations Clear Communication of Expectations for Performance Adapted from G. Roy Mayer (2001) California State University,Los Angeles

63 Checklist of Contextual Factors 8.Strong administrative support for staff exists (e.g. good teaching is recognized, faculty requests are acted upon promptly) 9.Strong staff support for one another exists (e.g. staff confer with one another regarding instruction and discipline) 10.Staff greet and help students feel welcome in the classroom 11.Staff interact with and show interest in students in various settings 12.Staff have many more positive than negative interactions with students 13.Students generally comply willingly with staff requests and instructions 14.Students tend to “hang around” staff, engaging in conversations, etc. 15.Staff are really well acquainted with each and every student, and are familiar with students’ personal characteristics, attributes, and challenges Relationships and Bonding Adapted from G. Roy Mayer (2001) California State University,Los Angeles

64 Checklist of Contextual Factors 16.The school assumes responsibility for learning of academic skills 17.Curriculum in all areas is organized to emphasize active rather than passive responding, with many tailored opportunities for all students to respond 18.Academic assignments are adjusted to students’ functional levels 19.Sufficient additional academic support is provided to struggling students 20.The school assumes responsibility for learning of social skills 21.Social skills are identified and taught effectively emphasizing fluency and generalized performance in natural settings 22.Failure to meet high expectations of performance is followed by individual intensive teaching rather than punishment 23.Students receive explicit instruction and support in self- management Skill-Building Emphasis: Academic, Social, and Self-Management Skills Adapted from G. Roy Mayer (2001) California State University,Los Angeles

65 Checklist of Contextual Factors 24.Recognition is provided by the administration to students who meet the behavioral expectations 25.Recognition is provided by classroom teachers to students who meet the behavioral expectations 26.All students receive frequent and appropriate recognition for their accomplishments and efforts to meet high standards of good behavior 27.At-Risk students receive more frequent and personalized (tailored) recognition for their efforts to meet high standards and expectations (in both academic and deportment) 28.Evidences exist in this school of efforts to pay more attention to good behavior and success than to problem behavior and mistakes Recognition of Appropriate Behavior Adapted from G. Roy Mayer (2001), California State University,Los Angeles

66 CONTEXTUAL FACTORS “It appears that changing these identified contextual factors not only can help prevent antisocial behavior, but also can help to create an environment more conducive to learning” G. Roy Mayer (2001) California State University,Los Angeles

67 Achieving the Support of Parents Effective & Professional Communication –Communication to families is timely –Communication to families is culturally sensitive –Communication to families is professional

68 Achieving the Support of Parents Professional Atmosphere at School –School staff members project a positive school image –Visitors to the school know where to go and with whom to initiate contact –Parent/Teacher conferences respect the parents –Extracurricular events are well-managed and safe –Transportation activities are well supervised

69 Achieving the Support of Parents Supporting Parents as First Educators in the Home –Parents know what is expected of them as first educators in the home –Parents are provided resources to succeed as educational role models –Parents are rewarded for their support

70 Positive Behavior Support (PBS) Positive behavior support is an approach for teaching children appropriate behavior and providing the supports necessary to sustain that behavior.

71 PBS is Not a specific practice or curriculum…it’s general approach to preventing problem behavior. Not limited to any particular group of students…it’s for all students. Not new…it’s based on long history of behavioral practices and effective instructional design and strategies.

72 Four principles or components of our version of PBS 1.Communicate high academic and behavioral expectations to students 2.Encourage positive relationships with adults 3.Emphasize goal-setting, academic achievement and positive social development with a teaching emphasis (with accompanying low tolerances for mistakes and misbehavior) 4.Reinforce and strengthen appropriate behavior

73 Relationships and Bonding Skill-Building Emphasis Academic Skills Social Skills Self-management Skills Recognition for Appropriate Behavior Clear Communication of Behavioral Expectations Universal Targeted Focus Rules Values Common Language Instructions Individual Negotiations Contracts System-wide Advisement Extra-Curricular Programs Mentoring Relationship-building Expectations Modeling Practice Fluency Evaluation Planned And Opportunistic Teaching Praise Notes/Boards Recognition Programs Good Behavior Game Instructive Praise All Students At Risk

74 Social Skills Teaching Tactics

75 Four-Year Study in Two High-Risk Middle Schools Students made unexpectedly large gains in academic achievement (nearly one-half standard deviation greater than average improvement). Students recorded an average improvement of more than one standard deviation on teacher ratings of social competence. Teachers rated students as having achieved significant reductions in antisocial behavior. Students noted significant improvements in their own behavior. Fights and suspensions were reduced by 69%. Safe school violations were reduced by 77%. Court referrals were reduced by 84%. Gang-related activities were reduced by 81%. (West, Young, Mitchem & Calderella, 1998)

76 The Matching Law “Behavior Occurs When…” Reward for Responding “What We GET” Cost of Responding “What We GIVE” Behavior Occurs and is Sustained When Response Effort and Reward are in Balance or MATCHED No behavior OR Behavior Quickly Extinguishes (Acquisition Problem) Satiation, Rewards lose Value, and Responding is not Durable (Production Problem) HIGH LOW

77 The Horse Whisperer “I’ve heard you help people with horse problems” “Truth is, I help horses with people problems” Tom Booker, The Horse Whisperer 1998

78 HORSE SENSE? Many teachers and administrators believe their schools need help with student behavior problems. Truth is, our students need help with school problems.


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