Girl bullying vs. boy bullying

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Girl bullying vs. boy bullying

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When we think about the differences between girl and boy bullying, we have to recognize that there's a myth associated with this. The general public tends to see girls as engaging in social or relational forms of aggression where they hold a relationship up and they threaten that relationship. Where boys only engage in verbal and physical form of bullying. In fact, the research is pretty strong to suggest that both boys and girls engage in verbal, physical and social forms of aggression at the same rate. However, it appears when girls are victims of the mean girl phenomena that it does have serious consequences for their academics and psycho social development; where boys are able to, if they're targeted through social relational means of bullying, are able to shrug it off and move on. So we do have to recognize that the prevalence, really differences between males and females are not there, but the impact on females tends to be a little more problematic.

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Dorothy Espelage

Professor of Child Development

Dorothy L. Espelage, PhD, is a Professor of Child Development in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  She is a University Scholar and has fellow status in Division 17 (Counseling Psychology) of the American Psychological Association.  She earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Indiana University in 1997. She has conducted research on bullying, homophobic teasing, sexual harassment, and dating violence for the last 18 years. As a result, she presents regularly at regional, national, and international conferences and is author on over 90 professional publications.  She is co-editor of four published books including Bullying in North American Schools: A Social-Ecological Perspective on Prevention and Intervention and International Handbook of Bullying published by Routledge. She is Associate Editor of the Journal of Counseling Psychology. She has presented thousands of workshops and in-service training seminars for teachers, administrators, counselors, and social workers across the U.S.  Her research focuses on translating empirical findings into prevention and intervention programming.  She is currently funded by the CDC for a randomized clinical trial of a bullying prevention program in 36 middle schools. She authored a 2011 White House Brief on bullying among LGBTQ youth and attended the White House Conference in 2011. She is also funded by National Science Foundation to develop better methods to assess bullying among adolescents and CDC and NIJ are funding a longitudinal study of predictors of bullying and dating violence among adolescents. Dr. Espelage has appeared on many television news and talk shows, including The Today Show; CNN; CBS Evening News; The Oprah Winfrey Show, Anderson, Anderson 360 and has been quoted in the national print press, including Time Magazine, USA Today, People, Boston Globe, and the Wall Street Journal. Her dedicated team of undergraduate and graduate students are committed to the dissemination of the research through various mechanisms.

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