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 The competitive edge: Dietary competition played a key role in the evolution of early primates
01.08.2018 | Grand Valley State University

nachricht Diversity and education influence India’s population growth
31.07.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Staying in Shape

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

Diving robots find Antarctic seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide in winter

16.08.2018 | Earth Sciences

Protein droplets keep neurons at the ready and immune system in balance

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>