Understanding And Preventing Bullying Literature Review

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Literature Review: Understanding and Preventing Bullying
Allison Seals & Arlene Josy-Allen
Springfield College SHS Houston
HUSB 305 H1
Professor Drayden
08/01/2014

Literature Review: Understanding and Preventing Bullying
Bullying is a wide-spread problem in our schools and communities that has long-term academic, physical, and emotional consequences for the victim, as well as the bystanders, and bully. To combat this issue many programs were created and implemented in schools throughout America. Their goal was to improve peer relations, and to create a safer, and more positive school environment for students to develop and grow. With the incidences of middle-school bullying showing minimal decline, the effectiveness of these programs are called into question. After identifying bullying prevention as something that could be improved upon, we reviewed a vast array of literature regarding bullying and the current prevention programs used to reduce its occurrence. By delving deeper into an already highly researched field, and approaching the issue with a unique perspective, we hope to find new data that will assist in the fight against bullying, and fill in research gaps. We have also tasked ourselves with discovering what bullying prevention program techniques are most effective, and which are least effective. We hope to find valid research data that will enhance current programs, making them more efficient in the task of decreasing bullying. We did an extensive search on bullying, looking for any literature relevant to our aforementioned research questions. In part, we simply wanted to find credible research that provided further insight into bullying behaviors and the consequences of these actions. Our primary focus when narrowing down the mass amounts of literature, was literature pertaining to the actual programs and interventions being used today in America. One of the best articles we reviewed was “What Works for Bullying Programs: Lessons from Experimental Evaluations of Programs and Interventions,” which was a detailed study that compared and analyzed bullying program evaluations. The research study consisted of synthesizing findings from experimental evaluations of 17 bullying programs for children and/or youth to determine how frequently these programs work to improve the outcomes of physical and verbal bullying, social and relational bullying, bullying victimization, attitudes toward bullying, and being a bystander of bullying. Most of these programs served school-aged children; only two focused on children age five or younger (Lawner & Terzian, 2013). The research brief conducted by Duke University research student Elizabeth Lawner, and research scientist Dr. Mary Terzian was spurred on by the fact that “the proportion of students who report being the victim, bystander, or perpetrator of bullying in schools has been relatively stable in recent years. However, cyberbullying has increased significantly over the same time span, meaning that bullying is extending beyond school grounds.” (Finkelhor, 2008) The researchers performed a systematic review and meta-analysis, addressing the gaps in the existing literature on bullying prevention. “In the present report, we go beyond previous reviews by: doing much more extensive searches for evaluations such as hand-searching all volumes of 35 journals from 1983 up to the end of May 2009; searching for international evaluations in 18 electronic databases and in languages other than English.” (Lawner & Terzian, 2013) Lawner and Terzian’s (2013) review suggests a number of initial findings: Programs that include parents were generally found to be effective. Programs that use a whole-school approach to cultivate a safe and caring school environment (by training all teachers, administrators, and school counselors to model and reinforce positive behavior and anti-bullying messages throughout the school year) were generally...
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