Monday, June 24, 2013

What the CDC Bullying Prevention website has to offer


Written by Zia Bossenmeyer, Vice President of Peaceful Playgrounds


School bullying is a topic that is getting lots of attention. According to the CDC it’s a major health problem. The CDC has designed tools for researchers, prevention specialists, and health educators.  It appears their focus is to assist with measurement tools.   

In the guide you learn about bullying. “Current estimates suggest nearly 30% of American adolescents reported at least moderate bullying experiences as the bully, the victim, or both.”  Daniel Olweus, did a lot of the work in the 1990’s on bullying and his definition is the one adopted by the CDC. “A person is bullied when he or she is exposed repeatedly over time to negative actions by one or more others, excluding cases where two children of similar physical and psychological strength are fighting.”

It is agreed that bullying experiences include not only physical aggression, but verbal aggression, harassment, rumors, or even social rejection and isolation. Research indicates boys are more likely to engage in the physical aggression and girls more likely the verbal harassment. It also shows children who bully others are also likely to exhibit other defiant behaviors. The victims tend to report depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts.  These emotional and behavioral problems extend into adulthood and produce long term negative outcomes.

This document points out that their needs to be better measuring of bullying that occurs related to homophobia. This aspect of bullying has few studies document.  The same is said about online aggression or digital bullying.

The document “Measuring Bullying Victimization, Perpetration, and Bystander Experiences: A Compendium of Assessment Tools.”  identifies different scales of measuring aggression.   It also includes a bullying-behavior scale, a children’s social behavior scale, and a modified aggression scale. There are prewritten survey’s and checklists to assist you as well.   On the CDC website you can download this guide and many other bullying prevention materials.
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