Bullying & Victimization among School-Aged Youth: A Participatory Action Research Study
Researchers have defined bullying as a series of repeated actions that result from an imbalance of power between the perpetrator and the victim of bullying behaviors. Because many students both perpetrate and suffer from bullying, effective interventions require the perspectives from multiple sources – including students, parents and teachers.
As its name implies, the participatory action research (PAR) model involves community members in the research process by empowering them to identify problems, collect and interpret data, and evaluate results. This study, which incorporates a PAR framework, is examining bullying and victimization behaviors in a large Midwestern high school with the goal of scaling this model to other schools. In addition, we are using this model to understand the relationship among bullying, aggression and cognitive functioning among adjudicated youth. The PAR study also aims to identify psychological and social constructs related to bullying, victimization and bystander behavior. Ultimately, the study's findings should inform effective bullying prevention and intervention strategies for schools and other settings in which youth reside.
Principal Investigators: Scott Fluke (doctoral student, school psychology); Dr. Susan Swearer (professor, school psychology); Zachary Myers (doctoral student, school psychology); Allen Garcia (doctoral student, school psychology)