AERA issues report on prevention of bullying in schools and colleges

April 30, 2013

The American Educational Research Association (AERA) today issued a new report titled Prevention of Bullying in Schools, Colleges, and Universities: Research Report and Recommendations. The report results from the work of a blue-ribbon AERA task force mandated to prepare and present practical short-term and long-term recommendations to address bullying of children and youth.

The report's release coincides with the association's 94th Annual Meeting in San Francisco, where more than 15,000 are gathered to discuss research findings.

"Bullying presents one of the greatest health risks to children and young adults in U.S. society. It is malicious in its impact even if often less visible and less readily identifiable than other public health concerns," said AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine.

The epicenter for bullying is schools and colleges, yet may administrators, teachers, and related personnel lack training to address bullying and do not know how to intervene to reduce it.

The peer-reviewed report, presented as a series of 11 briefs, addresses legislative, policy and procedural matters with pragmatic and practical strategies for prevention of bullying.

The briefs, which range in length from four to 10 pages each, include:

  • Looking Beyond the Traditional Definition of Bullying
  • Bullying as a Pervasive Problem
  • Bullying and Among Vulnerable Populations
  • Gender-Related Bullying and Harassment: A Growing Trend
  • Legal Rights Related to Bullying and Discriminatory Harassment
  • Improving School Climate: A Critical Tool in Combating Bullying
  • Students, Teachers, Support Staff, Administrators, and Parents Working Together to Prevent and Reduce Bullying
  • Putting School Safety Education at the Core of Professional Preparation Programs
  • Reinvigorated Data Collection and Analysis: A Charge for National and Federal Stakeholders

The task force was charged with identifying the causes and consequences of bullying in schools, colleges, and universities; highlighting training and technical assistance opportunities to help faculty and staff at all types of educational institutions effectively address bullying; evaluating the effectiveness of current anti-bullying policies and bullying prevention programs; and assessing the connections between bullying research and interventions, and current and pending legislation.

Members of the AERA on the Prevention of in Schools, Colleges, and Universities include: Dorothy Espelage, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (co-chair); Ron Avi Astor, University of Southern California (co-chair); Dewey Cornell, University of Virginia; Jaime Lester, George Mason University; Matthew J. Mayer, Rutgers University; Elizabeth J. Meyer, California Polytechnic State University; V. Paul Poteat, Boston College; and Brendesha Tynes, University of Southern California.

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