Leveraging School-Based Research to Inform Bullying Prevention and Policy

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Abstract

School-based bullying and other forms of school violence have been the topic of over 40 years of research in the U.S. and internationally. Within the last 2 decades, research has increasingly informed bullying prevention, policy, and legislative efforts. The purpose of this article is to highlight several critical research areas on bullying and other forms of school violence that have shaped prevention efforts and policy over the last 2 decades. As the recipient of the 2016 Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in Public Policy, the discussion here will focus largely on research findings from The Espelage Lab and collaborators, but these studies and findings will be situated in the larger literature. Topics covered include conceptualization of bullying from a social-ecological framework, developmental considerations of bullying and associated forms of aggression, identification of populations at heightened risk for bullying, and efficacy of bullying prevention programs. Recommendations are provided for the next generation of scholars, practitioners, and policymakers focused on bullying prevention.

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