Prevalence of bullying

Dorothy Espelage, PhD Professor of Childhood Development, explains how prevalent bullying is today in the United States and how it effects everyone in some manner
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Prevalence of bullying

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How prevalent is bullying in our schools? Well we know that in a national sample of 3rd through 8th graders, that we consistently find that about 17% of kids say that they bully other kids on a regular basis. And when I say a regular basis, that actually includes about 60 instances in the last month. In addition to that, we have 15% of 3rd through 8th graders that say that they're chronically victimized. On average, being victimized twice a day, in the last 30 days. Add to that we have a group of 8% that are called bully victims. Those are the kids that are victimized as opposed to becoming depressed and withdrawn, they actually become aggressive themselves, so that totaling about 40%. The other 60% are those kids that are witnesses to bullying. We also call them bystanders. And we do know that even bystanders that have to watch bullying are affected by the negative climate it creates in our schools and communities. And so we do recognize that the prevalence is increasing to a certain extent, especially among younger kids. And we should also add we are starting to see what we see in 3rd graders among preschool play groups. So even within preschool play groups we're seeing that kids are learning the teasing and the exclusionary behavior that we used to not see until late elementary school.

Dorothy Espelage, PhD Professor of Childhood Development, explains how prevalent bullying is today in the United States and how it effects everyone in some manner

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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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