Academic journal article Journal of Psychological and Educational Research


Academic journal article Journal of Psychological and Educational Research


Article excerpt

Everyone needs to be a responsible and dutiful citizen. Usually, the main purpose of education laws and strategies is to prepare people to become responsible citizens. Toreinforce this point, responsible behavior has been defined by Bear, Manning, and Izard (2003, p. 140) as being, "the ability to make decisions that concern issues of justice, rights, and the welfare of others, and to act in accordance with such decisions".

A recommendation of the European Parliament and of the European Council of 18 December 2006 states that each citizen will need to develop a range of eight (8) key competencies to be able to responsibly behave and to adapt flexibly to rapid changings in the world. The eight key competencies include both typical cognitive skills and more transversal skills such as learning to learn, social and civic competences, initiative taking, and entrepreneurship. Pellegrino and Hilton (2012) referred to "21st century skills", which each citizen needs to develop in order to meet future economic, environmental, social challenges while preparing for different roles as employees, managers, parents, volunteers, and entrepreneurs. These skills were grouped into clusters of competencies within three main domains: cognitive (cognitive processes and strategies, knowledge, and creativity); intrapersonal (intellectual openness, work ethic and conscientiousness, positive core self-evaluation); and interpersonal (teamwork and collaboration and leadership).

In order to adapt to today's demanding, changing, and unpredictable world, people need to balance sets of cognitive, social, and emotional capabilities. The cognitive and socio-emotional skills interact to mutually influence each other. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development report (OECD, 2015) showed that an increase in cognitive skills increased the probability of completing tertiary education, finding a job, and earning a good salary. Social and emotional skills show higher predictive power in improving health-related outcomes and reducing anti-social behavior.

Social and moral responsibility promotes positive relationships with others, positive school climate, academic achievement, and self-worth. Social and emotional skills help both to protect individuals from being victimized by aggressive behaviors, and to reduce the likelihood of becoming the perpetrator of aggression and engaging in conduct problems.

At the 21st Workshop on Aggression, organized by Department of Psychology, University of Oradea, held in Baile Felix, Romania, on November 18-19th, 2016, approximately 103 researchers, psychologists, educators and students met together. They discussed current and future scientific research regarding the impact of social and emotional skills in reducing aggressive behavior.

The first objective of this event was to introduce, disseminate and promote the results of scientific and technological development on explanatory models of aggressive behavior, prosocial behavior, and methods of assessment. The second aim was to present state of the art applications of socio-emotional programs in a large variety of contexts where aggression takes place.

Bullying and cyberbullying

Bullying among young people is a serious, common social problem that can have repercussions through adulthood. Dorothy Espelage, professor of psychology, University of Florida, USA, and the recipient of the APA Lifetime Achievement Award in Prevention Science was one of the conference keynote presenters. In that presentation, School-Based Bullying Prevention & Intervention: Research Informed Strategies, shediscussed youth bullying, including face-to-face bullying, cyberbullying, gender-based bullying and harassment, plus teen dating violence among middle and high school students.

The most comprehensive definition of bullying was offered by Gladden et al. (2014). Bullying defined is the unwanted aggressive behavior (among school-age children that has a high likelihood of causing physical or psychological harm or injury and can be characterized by: 1) an imbalance of real or perceived power that favors the aggressor(s); 2) is repeated or has a high likelihood of being repeated; 3) the victim(s) of bullying may feel intimidated, demeaned, or humiliated as a result of the aggression. …

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