A parent's impact on bullying

Watch Video: A parent's impact on bullying by Dorothy Espelage, ...
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A parent's impact on bullying

Many parents out there can really have an impact in preventing bullying with their child in their house. So we know that many of the prevention programs at school are not working. But we do know that if parents have consistent conversations with their kids about how they treat others, that their attitudes and behaviors may change within the context of school. Let me give you an example of this: We do know in middle school that 35-50% of bullying is related to what we call bias-based bullying, or involves what we call homophobic teasing. So parents out there can have a conversation with their kids about sexual orientation and sexual identity. When's the last time you talked to your child about same-sex marriages, about how it is that some kids can have two moms and some kids can have two dads? The homophobic language that is so prevalent in our middle schools are not really being addressed by the prevention programs. So parents could play a very pivotal role in explaining the importance of respecting all types of family structure and understanding that love doesn't necessarily become wrapped up in just a mom and a dad, that in fact kids can be raised by different types of moms and dads, and dads and dads.

Watch Video: A parent's impact on bullying by Dorothy Espelage, ...


Expert Bio

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Dorothy Espelage

Professor of Child Development

Dorothy L. Espelage, PhD, is a Professor of Child Development in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  She is a University Scholar and has fellow status in Division 17 (Counseling Psychology) of the American Psychological Association.  She earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Indiana University in 1997. She has conducted research on bullying, homophobic teasing, sexual harassment, and dating violence for the last 18 years. As a result, she presents regularly at regional, national, and international conferences and is author on over 90 professional publications.  She is co-editor of four published books including Bullying in North American Schools: A Social-Ecological Perspective on Prevention and Intervention and International Handbook of Bullying published by Routledge. She is Associate Editor of the Journal of Counseling Psychology. She has presented thousands of workshops and in-service training seminars for teachers, administrators, counselors, and social workers across the U.S.  Her research focuses on translating empirical findings into prevention and intervention programming.  She is currently funded by the CDC for a randomized clinical trial of a bullying prevention program in 36 middle schools. She authored a 2011 White House Brief on bullying among LGBTQ youth and attended the White House Conference in 2011. She is also funded by National Science Foundation to develop better methods to assess bullying among adolescents and CDC and NIJ are funding a longitudinal study of predictors of bullying and dating violence among adolescents. Dr. Espelage has appeared on many television news and talk shows, including The Today Show; CNN; CBS Evening News; The Oprah Winfrey Show, Anderson, Anderson 360 and has been quoted in the national print press, including Time Magazine, USA Today, People, Boston Globe, and the Wall Street Journal. Her dedicated team of undergraduate and graduate students are committed to the dissemination of the research through various mechanisms.

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