School for Social Work
Bullying in schools, Bullying in schools-Prevention, Bullying in schools-Study and teaching, School social work, Environmental psychology, Bullying, Intervention, Prevention, Antibullying, Ecology theory
Schools are struggling to find intervention and prevention plans that will be effective in preventing and intervening in bullying. Phone interviews and online surveys were conducted with 16 respondents - a cross-section of child and school counselors - to find what they have found most and least helpful. Overall, participants agreed that they continue to struggle to find effective ways of preventing, managing and responding to bullying incidents and the overall culture that induces bullying. The majority of respondents felt their schools' policies and/or actions were not effective or not effective enough, however, those who worked in schools that used a curriculum perceived greater effectiveness than those participants who worked in schools that only had a policy. There was no significant difference in perceived effectiveness between those respondents whose schools paid for a curriculum and those who used a free or self-created curriculum. Although there were groupings of similar ideas for improving positive outcomes in bullying situations, such as mental health services for bullies and/or victims, increasing parent involvement or encouraging student bystanders to intervene, the counselors typically named different interventions as helpful. This paper highlights ecological factors that appear too often forgotten in bullying curricula and echoes Smith's (2011) encouragement that we "need to consider the wider societal context in which [antibullying] programs take place" (p. 420). Perhaps the time has come to look beyond the microsystem of the school to the mesosystem, to examine "the interrelations among the major settings containing the learner" (Bronfenbrenner, 1976, p. 5).
Gutiérrez, Mary K., "The ecology of bullying : how might counselors' reflections on bullying improve school-based interventions?" (2013). Masters Thesis, Smith College, Northampton, MA.