Please click here to listen to the WFIT Minute: Track #79 – Anti-Bullying Program
Based on research by Dr. Dorothy L. Espelage et al, 2013. Psychology Science Minute written by Kyle Piecora, M.S..
What can be done to reduce school violence and stop bullying?
Dr. Dorothy Espelage and psychologists from Illinois, Arizona, and Washington evaluated the impact of the Second Step: Student Success Through Prevention Middle School Program, designed to reduce peer aggression and victimization, homophobic name calling, and sexual violencesuch as unwanted sexual touching or talk.
They randomly assigned 36 different middle schools, over 3,600 students, to either the program or a control condition. All 6th graders completed self-report instruments measuring bullying, name calling, and sexual touch both before and after the 1-year program that taught problem solving skills, empathy, and emotion management. The program students were 42% less likely than students in control schools to report physical aggression but not significantly different in verbal and relational bullying, or sexual talk. Further research is needed on effective ways of reducing these.
Since the program demonstrates it does reduce physical aggression in adolescents, it gives hope that schools taking time to provide students with this tested effective program using rich multimedia demonstration, practice and feedback in skill training can also achieve reduced physical violence. Parents and teachers speak up and encourage schools to use proven effective training to reduce peer conflict and violence!
Espelage, D. L., Low, S., Polanin, J. R., & Brown, E. C. (2013). The impact of a middle school program to reduce aggression, victimization, and sexual violence. Journal of Adolescent Health, xxx, p. 1-7.
For many more ideas on prevention, what to do about bullying, and stopping bullying, see the government website:
October, 2013 is Bullying Prevention Month