Good bullying programs

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Good bullying programs

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When we think about what works in bullying, it’s a complicated discussion, because we know that a number of the programs in the schools are not effective in the United States. However, many areas of research are coming together and so what we think might work is an approach in which schools address behavioral expectations, so they might have a positive behavior support system in place where kids begin to understand what types of behaviors are expected of them. At the same time, in that same school, we have a program where kids are taught life and social skills and they have discussions about empathy, respective taking and how to treat one another. And they learn how to communicate and manage their anger and control their impulses. At the same time, for those kids where that may not be enough for them, we have opportunities for the family to seek help if they need help if that is contributing to the bullying problem. But on top of that we must also recognize that an effective bullying prevention program will also include classroom management skills for the teachers if we expect teachers to have conversations with kids about bullying, they should be able to manage that classroom. But ultimately, it’s going to rest with an administrator or a principal that has a clear expectation that bullying will not be tolerated in the schools. And then, if we add parental involvement to that, that’s going to be the ultimate solution for preventing bullying.

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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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