Anti-Bullying Programs May Have Opposite Effect - Do We Need an Anti-Anti-Awareness Campaign?

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posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 04:13 PM
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This may seem trite but, it is a great example of the futility of all attempts to dictate behavior through 'awareness' campaigns (aka central planning).

We know that it doesn't work for smoking, drinking, texting or any other societally frowned upon activity. In fact, we have abundant evidence to conclude that such 'anti-awareness' programs actually promote them.

When will we learn? Maybe we need an 'anti-anti-awareness' campaign. Wait, that probably isn't a very good idea after all.




Study: Anti-Bullying Programs May Have Opposite Effect



Anti-bullying programs that are now commonplace in schools may be having the opposite of their intended effect, according to new research from the University of Texas, Arlington.

In a study published in the Journal of Criminology on Thursday, a team of researchers found that students at schools with anti-bullying initiatives are actually more likely to be victims of bullying than students who attend schools without such programs.

The findings contradict the popular belief that anti-bullying programs help prevent physical and emotional bullying. Lead author Seokjin Jeong said in a statement that the programs may help students learn what a bully does and looks like, teaching them how to better hide their behaviors.

"The schools with interventions say, 'You shouldn't do this,' or 'you shouldn't do that,'" Jeong said. "But through the programs, the students become highly exposed to what a bully is and they know what to do or say when questioned by parents or teachers."

Additionally, the study says that although bullies may learn a variety of anti-bullying techniques, they may simply choose not to practice what they have learned.

"Sometimes, bullies maintain their dominant social status among peers in school," the study says. "As a result, the preventive strategies may become ineffective."

Jeong and his co-author, Michigan State University doctoral student Byung Hyun Lee, analyzed data  from the 2005-06 Health Behavior in School-Aged Children survey, which has been conducted every four years since 1985. Because the HBSC survey preceded other national anti-bullying efforts, such as 2010's "It Gets Better" campaign, the researchers conducted a separate survey of students and school administrators about school climate and violence prevention strategies for comparison. Together, data for more than 7,000 students from 195 different schools were analyzed. 

Jeong and Lee suggested that schools should develop "more sophisticated" strategies that go beyond implementing preventive programs and move towards "systemic change within the schools," such as employing guards, using metal detectors or conducting bag and locker searches.

Additionally, the authors said researchers need to do more to identify the dynamics involved between bullies and their victims in order to develop prevention tactics for the problem, which affects more than 70 percent of middle and high school students, according to the American Psychological Association. Research shows that victims of bullying have a much higher risk of anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and suicide.

But an increase in the number of reported incidents might not be a bad thing, according to Elizabeth Englander, a psychology professor at Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts. 

“The devil is in the details,” Englander says. “An increase in the number of cases the school is aware of can actually be a good sign … because if you as the adult become aware of an increased number of cases, it means that more students are reporting. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the actual prevalence is increasing. It may just mean that students are actually doing what you want them to do, which is reporting to adults.”


edit on 9-10-2013 by greencmp because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 04:16 PM
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reply to post by greencmp
 


I see the logic behind this.

It's much like when criminals go to jail, all you're doing in the end is creating stronger, faster and smarter criminals, who now have connections.

So I can imagine how kids, bullies in particular, would adapt to that situation so they can carry on their behavior. IMO those kids need some hard knocks. I'm not a fan of violence or anything, but a lot of these kids just need to be put in their places and in a big way.

Secondly, kids need to grow thicker skins in general. This whole culture of 'everybody is a winner and I'm a special snowflake' contributes to the problem of kids being overly emotional, and incapable of dealing with conflict on any level.

~Tenth



posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 04:30 PM
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I went to a catholic school for 5 years. There was zero tolerance for bullying of any kind, even speaking badly about someone and attacking that person's character. We would get long speeches about compassion, honor, etc. They would offer any kid with problems, a time to speak seperately from the class as these kids might have problems at home or something else might have set them off where they took it out on others.They made us feel better and stronger as a human being by being good, doing the right thing. It worked!!

By the time I entered regular school it was shocking. Kids beat the hell out of each other and even had knives. Maybe if those kids would have had a great start like we did in the catholic school, things wouldn't have gotten so out of hand.



posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 04:32 PM
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tothetenthpower
reply to post by greencmp
 


I see the logic behind this.

It's much like when criminals go to jail, all you're doing in the end is creating stronger, faster and smarter criminals, who now have connections.

So I can imagine how kids, bullies in particular, would adapt to that situation so they can carry on their behavior. IMO those kids need some hard knocks. I'm not a fan of violence or anything, but a lot of these kids just need to be put in their places and in a big way.

Secondly, kids need to grow thicker skins in general. This whole culture of 'everybody is a winner and I'm a special snowflake' contributes to the problem of kids being overly emotional, and incapable of dealing with conflict on any level.

~Tenth

Well said, there is nothing like a good old fashioned bully beat-down or a crazy eyed stare if that works.


Ridding the world of #holes one bully at a time.
edit on 9-10-2013 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 04:33 PM
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reply to post by greencmp
 


As I mentioned on another thread a couple of day's ago, I have a major gripe against all the anti-bullying policies in school's. It is all based around promoting that victims report bullies and that retaliation is not allowed. If a victim retaliates, in most cases in school's it is seen as a punishable offence. In a lot of cases this gives the bully the "edge" as victims often don't report because of the stigma of being a "grass".

This does NOT prepare children for the real world once they leave school. Bullying exists in workplace settings and in social settings even for adult's...it is not exclusive in childhood. Enforcing that children should not stand up to bullies and will be seen as just as bad as the bully if they respond back in a forceful manner and that they should report and let the adult's sort it out does absolutely nothing to empower a child. Infact it strips them of valuable life lessons!

But I will concede that in some cases of extreme bullying that adult intervention is needed...



posted on Oct, 10 2013 @ 12:39 AM
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reply to post by Logos23
 


That's pretty much what I've been saying all along, though not quite as eloquently.

Look:


(From the OP's source) Jeong and Lee suggested that schools should develop "more sophisticated" strategies that go beyond implementing preventive programs and move towards "systemic change within the schools," such as employing guards, using metal detectors or conducting bag and locker searches.


See how this problem just gets worse with every attempted solution?'

Just as you say: Bullies exist everywhere at all times. They can beat you down with subtle words and actions that you can't report because they don't cross the threshold of "actionable" behavior, and you end up looking like a fool.

I know because I've been on both sides.

Counsel your kids to develop a thick skin and a slow fuse. They're gonna need it all their lives, in every endeavor. But most of all, teach them to never start a fight but always finish one. They'll thank you later....



posted on Oct, 10 2013 @ 04:02 AM
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If you're still being a bully by the time you are an adult, there is a problem. I would always put these people in their place even if they were a supervisor at work, I would go over their heads. They certainly would think twice before opening their mouths again.

If you start with your own children at home and then from the first time they enter school and continue in each grade, instill a sense of pride for being a good, compassionate and kind individual and to treat others as you yourself would like to be treated. The parents and then teachers working together would help. Zero tolerance means zero tolerance. Allowing kids to get away with bad behavior like bullying others should not be accepted.

Do nothing and all hell breaks loose. Kids bully other kids. The victoms sometimes comit suicide. Kids are vulnerable. Just how tough skinned can you make them? Hell, have them learn self defense so they can stand up for themselves in a bad situation, but don't allow them to get bullied or be the bully.
edit on 10-10-2013 by Night Star because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 10 2013 @ 05:01 PM
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Night Star
If you're still being a bully by the time you are an adult, there is a problem. I would always put these people in their place even if they were a supervisor at work, I would go over their heads. They certainly would think twice before opening their mouths again.

If you start with your own children at home and then from the first time they enter school and continue in each grade, instill a sense of pride for being a good, compassionate and kind individual and to treat others as you yourself would like to be treated. The parents and then teachers working together would help. Zero tolerance means zero tolerance. Allowing kids to get away with bad behavior like bullying others should not be accepted.

Do nothing and all hell breaks loose. Kids bully other kids. The victoms sometimes comit suicide. Kids are vulnerable. Just how tough skinned can you make them? Hell, have them learn self defense so they can stand up for themselves in a bad situation, but don't allow them to get bullied or be the bully.
edit on 10-10-2013 by Night Star because: (no reason given)

This is a complicated problem, so complicated that no one really has a solution to it. That is a primary point to many of these types of societal quandaries, they are actually unsolvable.

It is in attempting to prescribe a single corrective action that we encounter the dreaded unintended consequences which can range from minor oversights to life ending mistakes.



posted on Oct, 10 2013 @ 05:15 PM
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reply to post by greencmp
 




(aka central planning).


You should probably keep your political biases to yourself..



We know that it doesn't work for smoking


It actually has worked for smoking. Less people are smoking today than 10 years ago.


Overall, it's not surprising. What we call "bullying" is a stand-in for a much deeper, psychological and existential dilemma. One side of us - generally our emotional, egoistic side, feels tempted to dominate others. The other side - the rational and reasonable part - tries to curtail the desires of the ego because it recognizes how damaging it can be.

Perhaps a solution should involve a positive and negative approach; continue the anti-bullying campaigns (it's idiotic to assume kids become more eager to bully after being chastened not to bully) in schools. Increasing awareness, in general, promotes intelligent behavior. On the opposite side, we need to show very little tolerance for bullying. A 3 strike approach. If a kid is seen to be bullying another student 3 times, he should receive a suspension. If he receives another 3 strikes - expel him.

If it's between leniency towards the bully and allowing him to stay in school, or leniency towards the student being bullied, and expelling the bully, the latter is clearly the ethical road to take.

Too often teachers are lazy and complacent when they see bullying in their classrooms.



posted on Oct, 10 2013 @ 05:19 PM
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Um. . . what ever happened to just simply beating the sh!t out of bullies?

Just askin'



posted on Oct, 10 2013 @ 05:27 PM
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Astrocyte
reply to post by greencmp
 




(aka central planning).


You should probably keep your political biases to yourself..



We know that it doesn't work for smoking


It actually has worked for smoking. Less people are smoking today than 10 years ago.


Overall, it's not surprising. What we call "bullying" is a stand-in for a much deeper, psychological and existential dilemma. One side of us - generally our emotional, egoistic side, feels tempted to dominate others. The other side - the rational and reasonable part - tries to curtail the desires of the ego because it recognizes how damaging it can be.

Perhaps a solution should involve a positive and negative approach; continue the anti-bullying campaigns (it's idiotic to assume kids become more eager to bully after being chastened not to bully) in schools. Increasing awareness, in general, promotes intelligent behavior. On the opposite side, we need to show very little tolerance for bullying. A 3 strike approach. If a kid is seen to be bullying another student 3 times, he should receive a suspension. If he receives another 3 strikes - expel him.

If it's between leniency towards the bully and allowing him to stay in school, or leniency towards the student being bullied, and expelling the bully, the latter is clearly the ethical road to take.

Too often teachers are lazy and complacent when they see bullying in their classrooms.

So, you're saying that we should tax bullying?

The whole point of this is to point out that the 'awareness' campaigns you are advocating produce the opposite of the intended results.

My whole point is that planning how people will behave in society will fail or require totalitarianistic tactics so horrific as to eclipse whatever negative implications are associated with the targeted behavior.
edit on 10-10-2013 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 10 2013 @ 05:37 PM
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reply to post by greencmp
 

That anti bullying thing does not work instead lets focus in increasing the passing rates of the kids make them a little smarter and less scummier lol. I graduated a couple years ago and the school was very diverse. Off the back you can tell who were the "losers" and who was cool because of the look on their faces. Like kids who looked like they could easily get their nerves poked were targeted, because the kids don't have anything to do since education is a joke in high school, just another place to find chicks and dudes, parties.
Instead focusing of these inefficient programs there should be more programs and funding for actual classes, programs, and more time to actually learn the student instead giving money to schools so they can calm the hormones.
Lets face it, there's no way possible to stop teenagers from being teenagers but lets get them out quick and more educated so when they are out they can fix their mistakes and just try harder because they system tried hard with them.



posted on Oct, 10 2013 @ 05:52 PM
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This problem is not an easy one because there are persuasive arguments for and against. On one side, you have cultural conservatives who invoke the evolutionary biological argument that rationalizes bullying as typical pack behavior: the alpha males pick on those at the bottom of the social order. It's how nature has designed mammalian group dynamics, it's what our biology primes us towards. Baboons and Chimpanzees are notorious exemplars of bullying in primate social systems. On the other hand, Bonobos are gentle, maternalistic primates with far softer features and magnanimous ways of relating. They share more than chips do (Robert Sapolsky would call baboons the assholes of the animal kingdom :cheers


I disagree with those who argue that schools should outlaw every type of aggressive activity: red rover, tag, football, dodgeball, red-ass, etc. are awesome games that most boys grew up playing. I want to preserve these activities in our schools without the testosterone leaking outside the playground into the classroom.

The cause of bullying is obviously related to the emotional excitation of childhood/adolescence and the immature development of the prefrontal cortex - the executive brain - which doesn't reach full maturity till the early 20s. Bullying happens in these years because kids are emotionally charged and lack the intellectual awareness to recognize the damage they can cause other kids. They simply do not understand.

Awareness campaigns are designed to stimulate awareness of what bullying can do to another person via the visceral experience of empathy. Since kids lack the ability to appreciate logical arguments, activists need to increase a kids sense of compassion through a combination of positive and negative imagery.

As for the bullied kids themselves, it's unfortunate that so many kids have to tolerate this. If we want to pride ourselves as being a moral society, decreasing the prevalence of bullying is an important start.

I know a few people (being a developmental psychologist with a focus on developmental trauma, I deal with many adults who've been traumatized by elementary or highschool bullying) who as kids experienced intense bullying; one was very short, another was overweight. Both of these kids came from a dysfunctional household; with the former, the mother was a drunk, father was absent. In the case of the latter, the mother was going through a major depression and the father was stressed out in juggling work and taking care of his sick wife.

It's true that some people believe the bullying they experienced in elementary and highschool to have strengthened them - but many more, the muted, socially outcast ones we don't hear about but who are dependent on governmental social programs - have been traumatized.

Some people can be so lax and blithe when they discuss the "merits" of bullying; it puts "meat" on your bones; and for those who didn't respond with the type of fortitude that they did? They callously dismiss as weaklings be weeded out by natural selection.

If we want to be a moral and ethical society, we need to help the millions of people who till this day suffer the scars of bullying. We need to increase awareness in our schools; we need to increase a sense of compassion and comradery between students. We cannot tolerate this.

Awareness programs ARE good, but we also need to show a little more teeth with kids who consitently bully other kids.



posted on Oct, 10 2013 @ 06:43 PM
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Astrocyte
This problem is not an easy one because there are persuasive arguments for and against. On one side, you have cultural conservatives who invoke the evolutionary biological argument that rationalizes bullying as typical pack behavior: the alpha males pick on those at the bottom of the social order. It's how nature has designed mammalian group dynamics, it's what our biology primes us towards. Baboons and Chimpanzees are notorious exemplars of bullying in primate social systems. On the other hand, Bonobos are gentle, maternalistic primates with far softer features and magnanimous ways of relating. They share more than chips do (Robert Sapolsky would call baboons the assholes of the animal kingdom :cheers


I disagree with those who argue that schools should outlaw every type of aggressive activity: red rover, tag, football, dodgeball, red-ass, etc. are awesome games that most boys grew up playing. I want to preserve these activities in our schools without the testosterone leaking outside the playground into the classroom.

The cause of bullying is obviously related to the emotional excitation of childhood/adolescence and the immature development of the prefrontal cortex - the executive brain - which doesn't reach full maturity till the early 20s. Bullying happens in these years because kids are emotionally charged and lack the intellectual awareness to recognize the damage they can cause other kids. They simply do not understand.

Awareness campaigns are designed to stimulate awareness of what bullying can do to another person via the visceral experience of empathy. Since kids lack the ability to appreciate logical arguments, activists need to increase a kids sense of compassion through a combination of positive and negative imagery.

As for the bullied kids themselves, it's unfortunate that so many kids have to tolerate this. If we want to pride ourselves as being a moral society, decreasing the prevalence of bullying is an important start.

I know a few people (being a developmental psychologist with a focus on developmental trauma, I deal with many adults who've been traumatized by elementary or highschool bullying) who as kids experienced intense bullying; one was very short, another was overweight. Both of these kids came from a dysfunctional household; with the former, the mother was a drunk, father was absent. In the case of the latter, the mother was going through a major depression and the father was stressed out in juggling work and taking care of his sick wife.

It's true that some people believe the bullying they experienced in elementary and highschool to have strengthened them - but many more, the muted, socially outcast ones we don't hear about but who are dependent on governmental social programs - have been traumatized.

Some people can be so lax and blithe when they discuss the "merits" of bullying; it puts "meat" on your bones; and for those who didn't respond with the type of fortitude that they did? They callously dismiss as weaklings be weeded out by natural selection.

If we want to be a moral and ethical society, we need to help the millions of people who till this day suffer the scars of bullying. We need to increase awareness in our schools; we need to increase a sense of compassion and comradery between students. We cannot tolerate this.

Awareness programs ARE good, but we also need to show a little more teeth with kids who consitently bully other kids.

No one here is attributing any merit to bullying.

Some of us (including me) are saying that sometimes violence or the threat of violence is the best course of action when dealing with bullies.

That aside, my point is simply that all attempts to coerce individual behavior within a free society will result in unexpected and predominantly negative outcomes.





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