August 6, 2013
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This presentation reviews current research on the antecedents and psychological processes involved in peer bullying. Extant research on the concurrent and long-term correlates and consequences of bully perpetration is also evaluated. The following themes are highlighted: (a) aggression can sometimes be adaptive, and some bullies can be well-integrated into peer social ecologies; (b) developmental antecedents and long-term consequences of bullying have not been well-distinguished from the extant research on aggressive behavior; (c) bullying is aggression that operates within relationships of power and abuse. Power asymmetry and repetition elements of traditional bullying definitions have been hard to operationalize, but without these specifications and more dyadic measurement approaches there may be little rationale for a distinct literature on bullying – separate from aggression. Applications of a relational approach to bullying are provided, with particular focus on the role of gender. Implications for future research are drawn from the study of relationships and interpersonal theories of developmental psychopathology. The other half of the presentation focuses on the bullying involvement of students with disabilities. Building from an ecological systems perspective, three related issues will be addressed. First, we will present an overview of the research on the bullying involvement of students with disabilities. Second, the social factors that place students with disabilities at increased risk for bullying involvement both as a victim and as a perpetrator will be summarized. Third, we will discuss what can be done to reduce these risks and to create an environment that promotes productive relationships and social roles for youth with disabilities. This webinar will be moderated by Meera Mehtahji, a PhD Candidate at Virginia Commonwealth University interning with AAIDD through the summer.
Thomas Farmer, PhD
Associate Professor, Special Education and Disability Policy at Virginia Commonwealth University
Dr. Farmer has authored over 80 research articles in peer-reviewed journal. He has conducted numerous federally funded studies that focus on bridging special education and prevention and developmental sciences. His studies aim at understanding how natural social dynamic processes in school can be leveraged to reduce bullying and aggression, which can be used by teachers to promote academic engagement among students.
Phillip Rodkin, PhD
Associate Professor of Child Development in the Departments of Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois
Dr. Rodkin presented his research at the White House Conference on Bullying. Rodkin’s scholarship is concerned with the social dynamics of children’s environments, with particular focus on aggression and bullying, ethnicity, gender, and educational context. A large part of Rodkin’s research aims at understanding and analyzing complex social environments, within peer ecologies where children organize themselves in status hierarchies and along social networks and evolve within it during the school year.