Academic journal article School Social Work Journal

Youth Voice Project: Student Insights into Bullying and Peer Mistreatment

Academic journal article School Social Work Journal

Youth Voice Project: Student Insights into Bullying and Peer Mistreatment

Article excerpt

Youth Voice Project: Student Insights into Bullying and Peer Mistreatment Stan Davis and Charisse L. Nixon Research Press, Champaign, IL, 2014 167 pages (paperback), $49.95, 978-0-87822-681-8

Reviewed by Kristen A. Prock

Bullying and peer mistreatment continue to be issues in elementary, middle, and high schools throughout the United States. At times, bullying can escalate to the point that students become victims of violence or traumatized to the point that victims may contemplate or commit suicide. Clearly, this is an issue that has drawn media attention, further highlighting the need for school social workers to utilize interventions to prevent bullying within school districts or help schools recover after the learning environment has been negatively impacted by bullying. What caused this to happen? What could we have done to prevent this? Could we have prevented this? These are questions that adults within the school systems ask themselves in the aftermath of such a tragedy. Stan Davis and Dr. Charisse L. Nixon provide us with some of those answers in their new book, Youth Voice Project: Student Insights into Bullying and Peer Mistreatment, which presents data gathered from over 13,000 students enrolled in 31 schools in 12 states across the United States.

Youth Voice Project: Student Insights into Bullying and Peer Mistreatment, is divided into nine concise, easy-to-read chapters. The introduction and first chapter provide the reader with current statistics regarding the prevalence of bullying and peer mistreatment, the short and long term effects, the rationale for the study, and the methodology. The authors state, "a primary goal of the Youth Voice Project has been to investigate and understand the ways adults and peers can reduce the harm caused by peer mistreatment" (p. 5). They believe to do this we must go right to the source, the youth, and ask the difficult questions regarding student connection to the school, prevalence of peer mistreatment, focus of mistreatment, perceived trauma, self-actions, adults' actions, and peers' actions. In addition to gathering these quantitative data, the authors also asked a number of open-ended questions to allow the students to put their experiences into their own words.

The second chapter discusses the characteristics of peer mistreatment in schools. It begins by providing outcome data regarding gender and age, whether the mistreatment was physical or relational, and perceived level of trauma experienced by the students. …

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