182633 Understanding and preventing school bullying in depth: Research for Clarian Health of Indiana

Monday, October 27, 2008

Emily K. Lynch , Department of Public Health, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN
Jennifer Alyea , Department of Public Health, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN
Ramzi Nimry , Department of Public Health, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN
Joan Henkle, DNS, RN , School of Medicine Department of Public Health, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN
Stephanie Berry , Health Promotions and Community Relations, Clarian Health, Indianapolis, IN
Sarah Ketterer, MPH CHES , Health Promotions and Community Relations, Clarian Health, Indianapolis, IN
In response to Clarian Health of Indiana's need for knowledge on school bullying and prevention, research was conducted to 1.) define bullying, types of bullying, and spectrum of involvement 2.) recognize the impact of bullying on communities 3.) analyze bullying prevention programs and 4.) help create a bullying pilot survey aimed at measuring prevalence of bullying within Indiana schools. First, a literature review was conducted to gain knowledge on the topic of bullying. Also, this was used to find other successful bullying surveys to aid in the development of Clarian's survey. Secondly, key informant interviews were conducted through public schools, anti-violence organizations, and government agencies to assess qualitative opinions on bullying. Also, the survey was piloted here to gain feedback for review. Bullying is classified as an aggressive behavior causing physical and/or mental distress, occurring repeatedly, and an imbalance of power/strength in a relationship. Types include verbal/emotional/physical/sexual abuse, isolation, humiliation, and cyber bullying. Those involved in bullying can be categorized into four groups including pure bullies, pure victims, bully-victims, and the uninvolved. Bullies have higher crime convictions and serve more prison time as adults than non-bullies. Yet, common psychological issues affect both bullies and victims such as low self-esteem, depression, and increased suicidal ideation. Research shows that multidisciplinary, “whole-school” interventions are proven more effective than curriculum-based approaches in schools. An example of this is the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program. Survey feedback included suggestions to widen its borders by including questions involving special-interest groups like gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender bullying and special education bullying.

Learning Objectives:
1. Define bullying, types of bullying, and the spectrum of those involved with bullying. 2. Recognize the problems associated with school bullying and their impact on the community as a whole. 3. Discuss & analyze research pertaining to current school bullying prevention programs. 4. Articulate the process of development, implementation, evaluation, and review of a bullying survey tool created by Clarian Health for Indiana schools.

Keywords: Youth Violence, School Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I co-authored and participated in the research of this project and paper in conjunction with Clarian Health of Indiana and the IU School of Medicine, Dept. of Public Health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.