Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers push to import top anti-bullying program to US schools

18.08.2011
The program takes a holistic approach to the bullying problem, including a rigorous classroom curriculum, videos, posters, a computer game and role-play exercises that are designed to make schools inhospitable to bullying

An interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Kansas plan to bring a highly successful anti-bullying effort, the KiVa program, to American schools. Starting as early as the 2012-13 school year, a pilot program could kick off in selected classrooms in Lawrence, Kan. If shown to be successful there, soon afterward the model could expand nationally.

KiVa, implemented in Finland in 2007, has impressed researchers with its proven reduction in bullying incidents. According to one recent study, KiVa "halved the risk of bullying others and of being victimized in one school year."

"Any time you see an intervention reported in the literature, if they work, they barely work," said Todd Little, KU professor of psychology and director of the Center for Research Methods and Data Analysis. "This is one of the first interventions we're seeing with effects that are impressive and pervasive. We here at KU are going to be the sole source for testing KiVa in the U.S."

The program takes a holistic approach to the bullying problem, including a rigorous classroom curriculum, videos, posters, a computer game and role-play exercises that are designed to make schools inhospitable to bullying. When bullying episodes do occur within the school, a small team of trained employees addresses the incident individually with the victim and bully or bullies to ensure bullying is ultimately stopped.

"The KiVa program targets the peer environment, trying to create an ecology where bullying is no longer tolerated," said Anne Williford, assistant professor of social welfare at KU. "Instead of targeting only a bully and victim for intervention, it targets the whole class, including kids who are uninvolved in bullying behavior. KiVa fosters skills to help students take actions, either large or small, to shift the peer ecology toward one that does not support bullying."

The researchers said the program works because it recognizes that bullies sometimes may earn higher social status from their behavior.

"People have traditionally framed bullying as social incompetence, thinking that bullies have low self-esteem or impulse problems," said Patricia Hawley, KU associate professor of developmental psychology. "But recent research shows that bullying perpetrators can be socially competent and can win esteem from their peers."

By changing perceptions of peers who are neither bullies nor victims, the program undercuts a social environment that supports bullying.

"It changes the rewards structure," Hawley said. "At the end of the day, the goals of the bully are like yours and mine — they want friendship and status. They have human goals, not pathological ones. With KiVa, bystanders are set up to win by intervening, and their status can go up. As a bystander, I can achieve goals of friendship and status by standing up to a bully."

In Lawrence schools, the KU researchers hope to compare instances of bullying and victimization in both intervention and control groups to establish the strength of the KiVa program in a U.S. setting.

School district officials welcomed the opportunity.

"We're pleased to have the opportunity to collaborate with Dr. Williford and KU's School of Social Welfare on the KiVa anti-bullying project," said Kim Bodensteiner, Lawrence USD 497's chief academic officer. "Given our experiences using other bullying prevention programs, Lawrence Public Schools' teachers and staff can provide valuable feedback to researchers during the development of KiVa program materials. We look forward to the possibility of participating in a future pilot study."

Results from the pilot program are to be measured by KU's Center for Research Methods and Data Analysis.

Brendan Lynch | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ku.edu

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Los Alamos researchers and supercomputers help interpret the latest LIGO findings

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Study shows how water could have flowed on 'cold and icy' ancient Mars

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Navigational view of the brain thanks to powerful X-rays

18.10.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>