link back to CSEE's home page
logo

Bullying Behaviors Impact Students’ Mental Health

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on February 22, 2015

What is the relationship between bullying and youth mental health issues?  Who is impacted by bullying behaviors in the school community? Several studies including a recent report, The Relationship between Bullying and Suicide: What We Know and What It Means for Schools by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), provide insight about the bullying dynamic, the school climate context and student mental health. These findings are helpful for educators in guiding their student mental health and bullying prevention and intervention efforts.

Bullying occurs within a school and community context and impacts the perception and behaviors of all students.  Students’ perceptions about their school experience influence their social and emotional health and development. Here are some findings about middle schools:

  • As middle school students’ positive perceptions of their school climate declined so did their psychological and behavioral adjustments.
  • Middle school climate is correlated to students’ mental health, specifically depression, which can impact students’ academics, behaviors and social-emotional development.
  • Middle school boys who held more positive perceptions of their school climate tended to have fewer externalizing behaviors -- aggressive, delinquent behavior.
  • Middle school youth with high levels of self-criticism did not show expected increases in internalizing (anxiety, stress, depression, worry, negative thinking) and externalizing problems (aggressive, delinquent behavior) when they perceived school climate in a positive light.

Bullying impacts the whole school community. It has long-lasting and serious negative effects on the mental health and overall well-being of not only the victim, but also the bully, the bully-victim (an individual who bullies and is bullied), and the bystanders.  Here’s a summary of key findings from the CDC report on bullying, mental health, and suicide:

All students are impacted.  All students may experiencenegative outcomes of bullying including depression, anxiety, involvement in interpersonal or sexual violence, poor social functioning and substance abuse.

Bystanders feel helpless. Any involvement with bullying behavior may significantly contribute to students’ feelings of helplessness and decreased sense of connectedness and support from responsible adults.

Both bully and victim are at-risk for suicide. Youth who report frequently bullying others and youth who report being frequently bullied are at increased risk for suicide-related behavior.

Bully-victim is at highest risk.  Youth who report both bullying others and being bullied are at the highest risk for suicide-related behavior of any group that reports involvement with bullying.

What we don’t know about bullying and suicide.  We don’t know if bullying is a direct cause of suicide-related behavior. The CDC report says that it is “correct to say that involvement in bullying, along with other risk factors, increases the chance that a young person will engage in suicide-related behaviors” (CDC, p 3.)

What we do know about bullying and suicide.  Suicide-related behavior is complicated and rarely the result of a single cause of trauma or stress. Individuals who engage in suicide-related behavior often experience overwhelming feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.  Youth who are at increased risk for suicide-related behavior are dealing with a complex interaction of multiple relationships (peer, family, or romantic), mental health, and school stressors. Suicide-related behavior and bullying behavior are closely related. Youth who report any involvement with bullying are more likely to report high levels of suicide-related behavior than youth who do not report any involvement with bullying behavior. That being said, we do know that most kids who are involved in bullying do NOT engage in suicide-related behavior.  We know enough about the relationship between bullying and suicide-related behavior to recommend focusing on prevention efforts.

For more information on what schools can do click here.

Suicide-related behaviors include:

Suicide: Death caused by self-directed injurious behavior with any intent to die.

Suicide attempt: A non-fatal self-directed potentially injurious behavior with any intent to die as a result of the behavior. A suicide attempt may or may not result in injury.

Suicidal ideation: Thinking about, considering, or planning for suicide.
(CDC, n.d., p.3)

Submitted by:

Lucy A. Vezzuto, Ph.D.
L.A. Vezzuto, Ph.D. & Associates
215 Marketview
Irvine, CA 92602
[email protected]

References

Brand, S., Felner, R., Shim, M., Seitsinger, A., & Dumas, T. (2003). Middle school improvement and reform: development and validation of a school-level assessment of climate, cultural pluralism, and school safety. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95 (3), 570-588.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Violence Prevention. (n.d.)  The relationship between bullying and suicide: what we know and what it means for schools. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/bullying-suicide-translation-final-a.pdf.

Kuperminic, G. P., Leadbeater, B. J., Emmons, C., & Blatt, S. J. (1997). Perceived school climate and difficulties in the social adjustment of middle school students. Applied Developmental Science, 1, 76-88.

Kuperminic, G. P., Leadbeater, B. J., & Blatt, S. J. (2001). School social climate and individual differences in vulnerability to psychopathology among middle school students. Journal of School Psychology, 39, (2), 141-159.

Way, N., Reddy, R., & Rhodes, J. (2007). Students’ perceptions of school climate during the middle school years: Associations with trajectories of psychological and behavioral adjustment. American Journal of Community Psychology, 40(3), 194-213.


 

Research Roundup Dec 1,2014

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on December 01, 2014

Bringing Education to African Girls   New York Times

Ms. Cotton was award the World Innovation Summit Education Prize for her role as founder of Camfed, an organization that has helped millions of young girls in sub-Saharan Africa. Through direct sponsorship to young women’s education, Camfed works to ensur girls remain in school. “Besides financially supporting students, the organization trains teachers, mentors and community activists. It has also created a 25,000-member network of Camfed graduates who use their own experiences to teach and advise their communities, something the organization calls a “virtuous cycle.”

 

What It Takes to Fix American Education The Daily Beast

“We’re spending way too much time focusing on who is ‘winning’ and ‘losing’ debates over education, and not enough on implementing proven solutions.” Jonah Edelman writes how education reform is not a quick fix, but a process that involves many long term changes. He believes students, teachers, and parents should all have a voice in the discussion. 

 

Sacramento City Schools Focus on Emotional Learning The Sacramento Bee

The school district of Sacramento is adding social learning to their curriculum for all grade levels. A teacher says, “The aim, is to move students toward responsible decision-making and making ethical and constructive choices about themselves and their social behavior.” Another questions, “It’s about what kind of future generation we are creating within our current set of students and what kind of world do we want to model for them? Social and emotional learning is at the heart of education. It has got to be. Otherwise we’re lost.”

 

IU Partnership Helps High School Students Learn Art of Film-making, Produce Movies The Republic

Susanne Schwibs, an experimental film professor at IU and Noel Koontz, a film literature teacher at academy decided to bring their classes together through service learning. “"When (IU students) learn and try to teach techniques to the high school students, they get a deeper understanding of what they themselves are doing," Schwibs said."Film-making is collaborative," Koontz said. He continues, "bringing the learners together helps to mimic the film-making process, and it gives his class a chance to try different kinds of techniques to create a narrative hands-on.”

 

Education policy lags behind research findings Boston Globe

There is new development in literature on how children develop skills that are crucial to academic and life-long success, and the development of the brain. The NIH study of a Chicago preschool program found that by age 24, children who participated in the program had lower rates of depression, violent crime and incarceration, and were more likely to attend four-year colleges and to have health insurance than children who did not participate in the preschool program. Learning requires that children be able to pay attention, be patient, persist, persevere, face their mistakes, and remain focused when frustrated. Each of these skills is rooted in the ability of children to understand, control and manage their own emotions.

Research Roundup

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on November 14, 2014

School 'climate' affects teachers' expectations about students Z News 

The school environment in which teachers work affects their expectations about students, says a new study.The research conducted a multilevel analysis using data from 2,666 teachers in 71 secondary schools in Quebec. “From these data, the researchers could distinguish between two levels of variables -- the teacher: His/her perception of school climate, gender, age, courses taught; and the school: its academic, socio-economic, ethnic composition, and the way the entire school community perceived the school climate.”

 

Classroom Tech, Professional Development Top List of Faculty Concerns Campus Technology

This article discusses the changing role of social media in education.  “While technology is very helpful for student engagement and motivation, where it really shines is in providing professional development and opportunities for teachers to collaborate with colleagues. And social media is turning out to be a powerful tool for those purposes.” Sites proving to be most valuable are twitter, facebook, and google+ for conferences. 

 

Harding Elementary School teacher prepares students for high-tech future The Republic

A tech-savvy Ben Feight integrates technology into his 4th grade lessons. He says, “While assignments might feel more like entertainment, they align with Iowa Core 21st Century Skills like employability, financial, health, civic and technology literacy. He continues, "I want to make sure they are prepared for the world and show them the possibilities.”

 

BROADER MEASURES OF SUCCESS: SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL LEARNING York University

Broader Measures highlights the importance of teaching and measuring social emotional learning. The general positive outcomes include improved academic achievement, increased social-emotional skill, self-esteem and mental health. The report states, “The evidence is clear that it is very important to measure how students are progressing in the development of their core social/emotional competencies, and how classroom and school conditions are contributing to this vital aspect of their education. This is not just a vital aspect of their wellbeing, but a critical factor in their long-term academic attainment as well.”

Research Roundup, October 29

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on October 29, 2014

Prevention is Key to Stopping Bullying, Several Experts Say NewsOK

To change the prevalence of bullying in schools, prevention, not intervention, is more effective, research says. “The key to reducing bullying is instilling emotional intelligence in children early, as a preventative measure against becoming a bully or being victimized by one,” emphasizing that anti-bullying versus bullying prevention methods “tends to backfire.” This article highlights emotional intelligence as the “missing link” to prevent bullying.

The Character Factor: Measures and Impact of Drive and Prudence brookings.edu

The importance of non-cognitive skills to succeed in both school and in life is increasingly becoming a topic of interest in many intersecting realms. In this paper from the Center on Children and Families at Brookings, researchers emphasize the importance of character-skills in life outcomes and policy making. By distributing character strengths by socioeconomic backgrounds, measuring character strengths, and viewing the strengths from a “quality of opportunity perspective,” “The Character Factor: Measures and Impact of Drive and Prudence” breaks down the term “non-cognitive.”

The Economic Impact of School Suspensions The Atlantic

All girls are successful in schools. This is a misconception that vice president of education and employment at the National Women’s Law Center, Fatima Goss Graves, would like to clarify. “Much of this is fueled by not having data broken down by race and gender,” indicating that girls of color are then left out of the picture. The reasons behind the 34 percent of African American girls who did not graduate high school on time in 2010 as opposed to 18 percent of white female students “have less to do with student behavior…than with disproportionate and overly punitive disciplinary practices,” argues the authors of the recent report on “Unlocking Opportunity for African American Girls.”

[Read more…]

Research Roundup, October 22

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on October 22, 2014

Getting the Word Out, Part II: How Empowerment and Environment Transform School Climate ASCD

Everyone plays a part in school climate. In the first part of “Getting the Word Out,” equity and engagement were the key topics. In this piece, Sean Slade writes about empowerment and environment. What can educators do to empower students in the classroom? How can principals empower their staff and community? And what can school personnel do to help create a positive environment, both physically and the social-emotional? Read to find out different approaches to empowerment and environment, and the impact school climate contributes to the success of the school.

Things are Improving for LGBT Students, But They’re Still Really Bad Huffington Post

The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) released a survey on Wednesday that illustrated improvement for LGBT students in 2012-2013 compared to the 2010-2011 school year. The survey found that “of the nearly 8,000 students ages 13 to 21 who were surveyed, more than 55 percent reported feeling unsafe at school due to their sexual orientation, down from 64 percent in 2011.” A few of the contributions to this discrimination in schools? Certain school policies, hearing staff make homophobic remarks, and not enough staff intervention.

Small Schools Work in New York NY Times

Smaller, specialized high schools with roughly 100 students per grade and typically in black or Hispanic neighborhoods tend to have a more rigorous curriculum, personalized education, organized around a theme, and “valuable support from community partners.” While research shows that not all schools can or should be small schools, the research group MDRC has conducted a study that found “disadvantaged students who make up a vast majority of the small-school…are also more likely than those in the control group to enroll in college.”

[Read more…]

Page 1 of 11 pages  1 2 3 >  Last ›