Bullying in North American Schools

Bullying in North American Schools

Bullying in North American Schools

Bullying in North American Schools


Bullying in North American Schools is an exciting compilation of research on bullying in school-aged youth by a representative group of researchers, including developmental, social, counseling, school, and clinical psychologists across North America.

This new edition:

  • illustrates the complexity of bullying behaviors and offers suggestions for decision-making to intervene and work to reduce bullying behaviors
  • provides empirical guidance for school personnel as they develop bullying prevention and intervention programs or evaluate existing programs
  • uses a social-ecological perspective in which bullying is examined across multiple contexts including individual characteristics, peer and family influences, and classroom dynamics
  • includes basic research data from leaders in the field of bullying and victimization in the United States and Canada
  • teaches practical implications of various types of programs and how to choose and implement one that fits their school ecology.

This text will help your students understand how to prevent bullying behavior and how to select and manage intervention efforts in schools and school districts.


Broad problems require broad hypotheses.

(Morse & Allport, 1952)

In 1952, an article was published in the Journal of Psychology that sought to unearth the causes of anti-Semitism (Morse & Allport, 1952). What the authors found was that the variables related to anti-Semitism included physical behaviors (i.e., discriminatory actions), verbal behavior (i.e., derogatory comments), and affective states (i.e., feelings of aversion). The authors also concluded that no one factor could be delineated as the only cause of anti-Semitism. The complexities of behaviors that comprise discrimination have been studied for over 60 years. When the first edition of this book was published in 2004, we argued that bullying had to be studied across individual, peer, family, school, community, and cultural contexts (see Figure 1.1). Like discrimination, bullying is a complex phenomenon, with multiple causal factors and multiple outcomes.

We and other authors (Espelage & Swearer, 2010; Garbarino & deLara, 2002; Newman, Horne, & Bartolomucci, 2000; Orpinas & Home, 2006; Swearer & Doll, 2001; Swearer et al, 2006) have continued to frame bullying among school-aged youth from this social ecological perspective. Drawing a parallel to discriminatory behavior, research on bullying has established that bully perpetration includes physical and verbal behavior within an affective framework (i.e., the intent to harm) (Olweus, 1993; Swearer, Espelage, Vailliancourt, & Hymel, 2010). Bullying comprises a complex set of antecedents, behaviors, and consequences. The reasons why children and adolescents bully one another are complex, multiply-determined, and differentially reinforced. In the next section we will explicate these factors and frame the content for the second edition of Bullying in North American Schools.

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