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What Current Research Is Available Regarding Bullying Prevention?

Below are some of the most current and publicly available research studies on bullying:

Student Reported Overt and Relational Aggression and Victimization in Grades 3–8 [PDF]
This REL Northwest report analyzes survey data collected from a sample of students in grades 3–8. The study was conducted by request of policymakers in Oregon seeking to learn more about aggression, victimization, and approval of aggression among elementary and middle school students. (April 2011)

Cyberbullying Research Center
This center provides a wealth of current information about the nature, extent, causes, and consequences of cyberbullying among adolescents.

What Can Be Done About School Bullying?: Linking Research to Educational Practice [PDF]
This analytic review of the research from Educational Researcher finds that bullying prevention programs yield mixed results, stating, “although school-based and schoolwide bullying prevention efforts can be effective, success in one school or context is no guarantee of success in another.” The authors recommend that educators investigate whether an intervention is based in research with documented outcome data before selecting a program.

What Characteristics of Bullying, Bullying Victims, and Schools are Associated with Increased Reporting of Bullying to School Officials? [PDF]
This REL Northeast and Islands report suggests that many bullying incidents are not reported to school officials, which hampers educators’ ability to define the scope or frequency of bullying behavior. More than 64 percent of respondents to a survey said that they experienced bullying but did not report it. The study tested 51 characteristics of bullying and found that 11 characteristics are related to increased reporting. For example, bullying is more likely to be reported when it involves injury, physical threats, destruction of property, or greater frequency.

School-Based Programs to Reduce Bullying and Victimization
This systematic research review from the Campbell Corporation concludes that school-based anti-bullying programs overall are often effective. The researchers note, “Parent training/meetings and disciplinary methods were highlighted as the most successful program elements, with the total number of elements and the duration and intensity of the program for teachers and children also having significant impact.” They go on to say that programs such as peer mediation and peer mentoring may actually be associated with an increase in victimization. The report acknowledges that such programs work better with older children and in Norway specifically.

These resources are just a sampling of available research on this topic. For additional information or to ask your own question, submit your request to Ask A REL.

The Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Reference Desk is a service provided by a collaborative of the REL program, funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES). This response was prepared under a contract with IES, Contract ED-06-CO-0016, by REL Northwest administered by Education Northwest. The content of the response does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of IES or the U.S. Department of Education nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government or REL Northwest.

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