The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines bullying as any unwanted aggressive behavior(s) by another youth or group of youths who are not siblings or current dating partners that involves an observed or perceived power imbalance and is repeated multiple times or is highly likely to be repeated. According to the Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2019, between 2005 and 2017, the percentage of students ages 12–18 who reported being bullied at school during the school year decreased from 29 to 20 percent; however, rates of online bullying in the 38 states that reported it ranged from 17 to 28 percent.
As more is being learned about the negative psychological and physical effects of bullying, researchers are focusing on how to address the problem. The research and resources featured here relate to efforts to prevent violence in schools and help young people feel safe and supported.
Bullying and Violence Prevention
The root causes of youth violence are similar in communities across the globe, but community responses to improve public safety and well-being vary considerably. Principal Researcher Patricia Campie shares five takeaways from a comprehensive study of a global review of the evidence on youth violence prevention.
Xan Young, senior technical assistance consultant at AIR, directs the Violence Prevention Technical Assistance Center, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In this Q&A, Young shares her insights on bullying and AIR’s work on this issue.
The National Resource Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention seeks to increase effectiveness of youth violence prevention; prevent mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders; and promote safe and healthy school and community environments that prevent youth violence and support the overall well-being of all children and youth.
Positive School Climate
The National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments offers resources on issues schools and communities face that affect conditions for learning, including bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, and violence.
Schools and communities can play a big role through systems of care to develop supports and services for children and youth with or at risk of mental health or other behavioral challenges.
SSYI fosters collective community responsibility for addressing violence among urban males ages 14-24 who are perpetrators or victims of serious violence. Based on the OJJDP Comprehensive Gang Model and implemented within a public health framework, AIR researchers and partners are conducting the inaugural evaluation of this statewide violence-prevention strategy which features street outreach and therapeutic, educational and vocational supports for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services. Partners include WestEd and Justice Resource Institute.
The definition of bullying and the statistic cited above are from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.