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Bullying

Bullying

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Published by: fkkfox on Aug 10, 2013
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© 2001, 2005 Committee or Children15
 Steps to Respect 
®
Program Guide
Review o Research
Review o Research
Overview
Steps to Respect: A Bullying Prevention Program
is an eective tool that educators can use to decreasebullying at school and help students build more supportive relationships with each other (Frey et al.,2005). The program’s dual ocus on bullying and riendship is based on research showing thatriendship protects children rom the harmul eects o bullying (Hodges, Boivin, Vitaro, andBukowski, 1999). Students learn a variety o relationship skills, including strategies or making andkeeping riends and steps or joining a group activity. The
Steps to Respect 
program also teacheschildren skills or coping with bullying, including recognizing bullying, using assertive behaviors torespond to bullying, and reporting bullying to adults. Because many children become involved asbystanders to bullying (in both helpul and harmul ways), the
Steps to Respect 
program emphasizesthat all members o a school community must take responsibility or decreasing bullying.Student lessons teach empathy or bullied children, positive social norms, and specic sociallyresponsive behaviors or children to use when they witness bullying. In keeping with a ocus onpositive youth development, children have opportunities to practice problem-solving and emotion-management skills. Sta training, which increases adult awareness o and ability to respondeectively to bullying, is a central component o the program. By addressing actors at the individual-child, peer-group, and school levels, the
Steps to Respect 
program provides schoolwide support andstrategies or bullying reduction. This comprehensive prevention strategy has received scienticsupport in previous studies (Olweus, 1991; Smith and Sharp, 1994) and served as the basis or thedevelopment o the
Steps to Respect 
program.Bullying has ar-reaching implications or children’s emotional well-being and general school saety.Worldwide research conducted over the past two decades has added signicantly to our knowledgeabout the harmul consequences o bullying. There is a clear negative impact on the development o both children who are the targets o bullying and those who bully others. At the same time, scienticevidence shows that the
Steps to Respect 
program can have a positive impact on this dicultproblem (Frey et al., 2005; Hirschstein and Frey, 2006). This review provides a summary o researchon bullying, with a particular emphasis on elements that infuenced the conceptualization anddevelopment o the
Steps to Respect 
program.
 
© 2001, 2005 Committee or Children16
Steps to Respect 
®
Program Guide
Review o Research
Understanding Bullying
What Is Bullying?
Dening
bullying 
and distinguishing it rom rough play or disagreements between riends is animportant ocus o the
Steps to Respect 
program. People o all ages experience confict in relationshipswith others; hence, distinguishing bullying rom normal confict is an important skill or children andadults to master. Teachers, in particular, need ecient ways o identiying bullying since they mustrespond quickly to a wide variety o problems among children.Research suggests that adults tend to conuse aggression and play ghting in children. A studylooking at lunchtime supervisors’ ability to distinguish play ghting, or “rough-and-tumble play,”rom true aggression in children ound that they were more likely to err in the direction o labelingaggression as play rather than the other way around (Boulton, 1996). In order to interveneeectively, adults need to be able to discriminate play rom true aggression. The ollowing indicatorsprovide guidance (Boulton, 1991; Boulton, 1996; Pellegrini, 1995; Smith and Boulton, 1990):Positive and neutral acial expressions are more typical o rough-and-tumble play, while negativeacial expressions characterize aggression.Children are ree to choose to participate in rough-and-tumble play, but they are oten orced orchallenged to participate in aggression.• Children tend not to use ull orce in rough-and-tumble play, whereas ull orce is oten seen inaggression.Children are more likely to alternate roles (or example, chased and chaser) in rough-and-tumbleplay, while aggression generally involves unilateral roles.• Children tend to stay together ater a bout o play ghting, but they oten separate ollowingaggression.Normal confict is another important behavior to distinguish rom bullying. Arguments about rules andairness are common childhood conficts that need not escalate into aggressive or abusive behavior.There are several distinguishing eatures o bullying, according to most experts in the eld (Atlasand Pepler, 1998; Craig and Pepler, 1999; Hazler, 1996; Olweus, 1993; Salmivalli, Huttunen, andLagerspetz, 1997):• Bullying involves a power imbalance in which the child doing the bullying has more power due tosuch actors as age, size, support o the peer group, or higher status.• Bullying is carried out with intent to harm the targeted child.Bullying includes physical aggression, verbal insults, spreading malicious rumors or gossip, andthreatening exclusion rom the peer group.• Bullying is usually a repeated activity in which a particular child is singled out more than once andoten in a chronic manner.
 
© 2001, 2005 Committee or Children17
 Steps to Respect 
®
Program Guide
Review o Research
The
Steps to Respect 
program provides children with the ollowing denition o 
bullying:Bullying 
is unair and one-sided. It happens when someone keeps hurting, rightening,threatening, or leaving someone out on purpose.This denition is used throughout the program to help children recognize bullying and distinguish itrom other problems they might have with peers.
What Does Bullying Look Like?
Bullying can be expressed directly or indirectly (Olweus, 1993). It may have sexual content, especiallyin the late-elementary and middle school years. It is common or children to experience more than onetype o bullying, so children need dierent skills to recognize and cope with the dierent orms. The
Steps to Respect 
program teaches children to recognize direct (“ace-to-ace”) and indirect (“behind-the-back”) bullying and provides ways to cope with each type.
Direct Bullying
When children and adults are asked to dene
bullying,
they usually describe direct bullying. Directbullying is characterized by open attacks on the targeted child, including physical and verbal aggression. In cases o direct bullying, both the child being bullied and others in the environment arelikely to know the identity o the person(s) doing the bullying. Direct physical bullying is the easiestorm to recognize because it is the only type o bullying with overtly observable signs o damage(or example, physical injury and torn or dirty clothing). Examples o direct bullying include:• Causing physical harm or threats.Insulting, taunting, or engaging in name-calling.• Telling a child to his or her ace in a mean way that she or he cannot play.
Indirect Bullying
Indirect bullying is more dicult to recognize and respond to because the person being bullied maynot be present when the bullying happens and/or may not know the identity o the child doing thebullying. The primary purpose o indirect bullying is social exclusion or damaging a child’s reputationor status within the peer group. Examples o indirect bullying include:• Spreading malicious rumors or lies about a child.• Writing hurtul grati about a child.• Encouraging others not to play with a particular child.Researchers studying aggressive behavior in children describe these relationship-damaging behaviorsas “relational aggression” (Crick and Grotpeter, 1995). When measures o relational aggression areincluded in studies, girls are ound to engage in higher rates o aggression than is commonly thought(Crick and Grotpeter, 1995). In act, people are oten surprised to learn that observations o children’sbehavior show that girls bully as much as boys do (Atlas and Pepler, 1998).

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