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AN ECOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE ON HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION, AND BULLYING

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  1. AN ECOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE ON HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION, AND BULLYING Christopher Willis Ph.D. Newport County, Rhode Island John Lestino MS, LPC Edgewater Park, New Jersey NASP Convention – Atlanta Mini Skills Workshop March 31, 2005

  2. THE ECOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE For most behavior there are multiple causes that occur at all levels of the individual’s social ecology. (Smalls and Kerns, 1993)

  3. THE ECOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE Bullying is best conceptualized as an interaction that occurs not only because of individual characteristics of the bully, but also because of the actions of peers, actions of teachers and other adult caretakers at school, physical characteristics of the school grounds, family factors, cultural characteristics, and even community factors. (Swearer & Doll, 2001)

  4. MACRO SYSTEM EXO SYSTEM MESO SYSTEM MICRO SYSTEM ECOLOGICAL PLANE TARGETED / INTENSIVE (Tertiary) VIOLENCE PLANE SELECTED (Secondary) UNIVERSAL (Primary) PREVENTION / INTERVENTION PLANE • ADW • SIMPLE ASSAULT • THREATS OF VIOLENCE HARASSMENT INTIMIDATION & BULLYING VIOLENCE PREVENTION CUBE

  5. VIOLENCE PLANE HARASSMENT INTIMIDATION & BULLYING • ADW • SIMPLE ASSAULT • THREATS OF VIOLENCE VIOLENCE PREVENTION CUBE

  6. Bullying Behavior Defined • Intentional, usually unprovoked attempts • To cause physical and/or emotional harm • To one or more targets • Where there is an imbalance of physical, psychological, and/or social power • Of the perpetrator(s) over the target(s) • Occurring usually, but not necessarily, over time. • Victimization - not a conflict

  7. Hate/Bias Crime Defined • A criminal act directed against a person, group of persons, or property in which the perpetrator either: • a) intentionally selects the victim, or • b) is motivated by hostility or bias toward the victim, because of the victim’s actual or perceived race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, or disability.

  8. TARGETED / INTENSIVE (Tertiary) SELECTED (Secondary) UNIVERSAL (Primary) PREVENTION / INTERVENTION PLANE VIOLENCE PREVENTION CUBE

  9. PREVENTION / INTERVENTION UNIVERSAL – Primary Prevention Promotion of wellness for all students. • Character Education • Teacher Training • School Climate Initiatives • Bully Proofing • Project ACHIEVE • Second Step

  10. PREVENTION / INTERVENTION SELECTED – Secondary Prevention Early Intervention for students at risk . • Improve protective factors • Early identification of students at risk. • Prevent long term negative outcome. • Reduce risk factors. • Conflict Resolution Training

  11. PREVENTION / INTERVENTION TARGETED –Tertiary Prevention – Intensive Intervention for afflicted students. • Anger Management • Disciplinary Actions • Functional Behavior Analysis • Positive Behavior Plans • Counseling (Victim & Bully)

  12. MACRO SYSTEM EXO SYSTEM MESO SYSTEM MICRO SYSTEM ECOLOGICAL PLANE VIOLENCE PREVENTION CUBE

  13. MICRO MESO EXO MACRO

  14. MACRO SYSTEMCultural / Community Level EXO SYSTEM (Parental Work Setting, Teacher In-Service Training) MESO SYSTEM Individual Child Level MICRO SYSTEM (Family Level) MICRO SYSTEM (School Level) MICRO SYSTEM (Peer Level) Bogenschneider’s (1996) Model of Analysis

  15. MICRO ECOSYSTEMS A pattern of activities, roles, and interpersonal relations experienced by the individual person in a given face-to-face setting that invite, permit, or inhibit engagement in sustained, progressively more complex interaction within the immediate environment. (Brofenbrenner, 1993)

  16. MICRO ECOSYSTEMS • Family Level • School Level • Peer Level • Neighborhood Level • Faith organization level • Other

  17. MESO ECOSYSTEM Family Micro Ecosystem Youth Org. Micro Ecosystem Peer Micro Ecosystem School Micro Ecosystem Faith Micro Ecosystem

  18. EXO ECOSYSTEMS • Consultation • Training / Workshops • Parents, teachers , school psychologists, etc. • Parent Work Settings • ER Docs & Nurses • Iraq / Afghanistan • Police & Fire

  19. MACRO ECOSYSTEMS • Overarching Pattern of all Ecosystems • Community, Culture. Example: • NJ Anti bullying legislation.

  20. MACRO SYSTEMCultural / Community Level EXO SYSTEM (Parental Work Setting, Teacher In-Service Training) MESO SYSTEM Individual Child Level MICRO SYSTEM (Family Level) MICRO SYSTEM (School Level) MICRO SYSTEM (Peer Level) Bogenschneider’s (1996) Model of Analysis

  21. Limitations ofRISK FACTORS • No single risk factor or set of risk factors is powerful enough to predict with certainty that a particular youth will become violent. • Risk factors can be used to predict violence in groups with particular characteristics (ecosystems) or environmental conditions but not in individuals. (Report of the Surgeon General, 2001)

  22. Protective Factors Strong Problem Solving skills Well developed IQ Good social skills Mastery Religious commitment Empathy Risk Factors + Attitude to violence Lack of empathy Antisocial behavior Alienation or rebelliousness Bully Victim Aggressive reaction pattern + physical strength Need for power & dominance Temperament Individual Child

  23. Protective Factors High performing school Connectedness with adult at school Faculty & staff that understand bullying Physical features of school School climate Risk Factors School transitions Low commitment to school Poor supervision at lunch and recess Physical features of school Adult denial /unawareness of problem Micro Ecosystem – School

  24. Protective Factors Parent love & involvement Well defined limits (especially re: aggression) Non-physical discipline methods Empathy Risk Factors Hostility toward the environment Lack of warmth from primary care giver Tolerant of aggressive & violent behavior Violent models Poor Parental Monitoring Unclear rules, rewards & expectations Micro Ecosystem - Family

  25. Protective Factors Close friends Risk Factors Peers engaged in high risk behavior Supportive of bullying behavior Bystanders Micro Ecosystems - Peers

  26. Meso Ecosystems Enhanced family-school partnerships and parental involvement in schools. • Home – School collaboration • Future of School Psychology Priority Goal #3

  27. Exo Ecosystems • Risk Factor – Parent work environment; over exposure to violence and stress, long working hours. • Protective Factor – In-service training in Bullying Prevention

  28. Protective Factors Anti Bullying Policies and legislation The Media Risk Factors The Media Macro Ecosystem

  29. Edgewater Park, Burlington County

  30. 1.   Prohibition 2.   Definition 3.   Description 4.   Consequences5.   Procedure(s)6.   Principal/Promptness7.   Range of Responses8.   Prohibition of Reprisals9.   Falsely Accused 10. Policy Publication11. Employee Training NJSA: 18A, 37-15 (3)(b)(3) or “The 10 Command[ment]splus, 1…” School related prohibition of harassment, intimidation and bullying

  31. Model Language: From, NJSA, 18A “Consider whether a response beyond the individual level is appropriate, the administrator should …” • Consider the…circumstances of the act, the level of harm… • Consider the nature of the behavior, past incidences or past or continuing patterns of behavior, • Consider the context in which the alleged incident(s) occurred… SAMPLE

  32. Model Language: From, NJSA, 18A “Consider whether a response beyond the individual level is appropriate, the administrator should …” • Consider that acts may be so serious or parts of a larger pattern of harassment, intimidation or bullying that they require a response either at the classroom, school building or school district levels or by law enforcement officials. • Including suspension or expulsion, as permitted under N.J.S.A. 18A:37-1, Discipline of Pupils…

  33. NJSA, 18A…i.e “Range of responses…” • Positive behavioral interventions • Institutional (i.e., classroom, school building, school district) responses School and community surveys, • Mailings, • Focus groups, • Adoption of research-based bullying prevention program models, • Training for certificated and non-certificated staff, • Participation of parents and other community members & organizations, • Hotlines

  34. NJSA, 18A…i.e “Range of responses…” • Small or large group presentations for fully addressing the actions and the school’s response to the actions, in the context of the acceptable student behavior and the consequences of such actions … • Involvement of law enforcement officers, including school resource officers… • Individual responses can include positive behavioral interventions (e.g., peer mentoring, short-term counseling, life skills groups) and punitive actions (e.g., in-school suspension, expulsion).

  35. NJSA, 18A…i.e “Range of responses…” • Classroom responses can include class discussions about an incident of harassment, intimidation or bullying, role plays, research projects, observing and discussing audio-visual materials on these subjects and skill-building lessons in courtesy, tolerance, assertiveness and conflict management.

  36. NJSA, 18A…i.e “Range of responses…” • School responses can include theme days, learning station programs, parent programs and information disseminated to students and parents. • District-wide responses can include community involvement in policy review and development, professional development programs, adoption of curricula and coordination with community-based organizations (e.g., mental health, health services, health facilities, law enforcement, faith-based).

  37. NJSA, 18A…i.e “Range of responses…” • In addition, the district should make resources (e.g., counseling) available to individual victims of harassment, intimidation and bullying and respond in a manner that does not stigmatize victim(s). • Social skills training provided for all students is an example of a school or district-level response for addressing victimization.

  38. It’s the law…http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2000/Bills/S2500/2408_I1.HTM

  39. Prevention / Intervention to Increase Protective Factors and Decrease Risk Factors in SCHOOL Is it a Universal, Selected, or Targeted Approach?

  40. Visiting kindergarten Little Tommy's kindergarten class was on a field trip to their local police station. There they saw pictures tacked to a big bulletin board. The label clearly read, "The 10 Most Wanted."One of the youngsters pointed to a picture and asked if it really was the photo of a wanted person."Yes," said the policeman, "the detectives want him very badly."So Little Tommy asked, while tugging on the man's belt, "Um, mister, why didn't you keep them when you took their pictures?"

  41. By the end of kindergarten, children trained repeatedly • Able to name more solutions to social problems • Significantly better at naming consequences for social acts like grabbing from peers or taking from adults • Rated by teachers as having significantly better adjusted behavior A rising tide raises all boats Doll, et al.

  42. How classroom goal structures predict student help-seeking • Within students, gender and academic efficacy were significant predictors of ‘avoidance of help-seeking’ • 20% of the variance in student help-seeking was due to classroom effects • When classrooms had task-focused goals, students were more likely to seek help • When classrooms had relative-ability goals, students were more likely to avoid help • It was student reports of the classroom goal structure that predicted help seeking and not teacher reports. Doll, et al.

  43. Unified Discipline (White, 1996) • Clearly described school and classroom rules • Similar and consistent correction procedures when students misbehave • Roles and responsibilities are described for all school personnel Doll, et al.

  44. Three Sound Bites to Remember • School Climate is most important factor affecting nature and extent of bullying in school. • Bystanders play crucial role in dynamics of bullying behavior. • Committed Coordinating Committee is most important feature of a bullying prevention program: • spearheads the effort • maintains momentum • keeps issue on front burner

  45. Agonic Resource-holding potential Toughest wins the most fights Hedonic Power determined by social attention Achieve status by showing talent, being knowledgeable and/ or attractiveness Two Ways in Which Power Is Determined in Social Groups

  46. Social Development In Early and Mid-Adolescence • Increased importance of peer relationships • Look to peers for guidance on behavior and affirmation of individual worth • Development of young person’s racial, ethnic, religious, sexual/gender identity • May lead to hostility toward those who are “different” • Important period of social development • Behavior patterns learned during this time usually persist

  47. Direct v. Indirect Bullying • Direct Bullying • Physical - hitting, kicking, shoving, spitting • Verbal - taunting, teasing, putdowns • Non-verbal - threatening, obscene gestures • Indirect Bullying • Physical - getting another person to assault someone • Verbal - spreading rumors, gossip • Non-verbal - deliberate exclusion from a group or activity • Cyber-bullying - using email, Instant Messages, web sites • (Adapted from the Olweus Bullying Prevention Group, 2001)