UNL bullying research featured in new online resource

Released on 12/02/2008, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Lincoln, Neb., December 2nd, 2008 —

University of Nebraska-Lincoln research on bullying is featured in a new online resource for parents at Education.com, co-sponsored by the American Association of School Administrators. Guest editors for the special online edition at Education.com are Shelley Hymel and Susan Swearer, co-directors of the Bullying Research Network headquartered at UNL. The Education.com special edition Web site is www.education.com/topic/school-bullying-teasing.

In creating the Special Edition on Bullying at School and Online, Education.com and AASA worked with researchers and contributors from around the world to compile new evidence-based, peer-reviewed content to dispel common myths and empower parents and their children to take effective action against bullying. The result is a more than 30 reference articles, video clips, quizzes, online workshops, community forums and quick-fact lists that are all available free-of-charge on the Web site.

A highlight on the site is a list developed using research findings reported in the Special Edition of 10 actions parents can take to help address bullying. The list suggests parents spend time at their child's school, learn the signs that a child is being bullied, and establish household rules about bullying. The complete list is at www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Ten_Actions_ALL.

"Bullying robs kids of the chance to make the most of their potential," said Hymel, a professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver who collaborated with Swearer, associate professor of school psychology at UNL. Swearer said the latest research shows that bullying has serious and long-term effects not only on victims, but also on children who bully and those who witness bullying. The effects include depression, anxiety, social phobias and even delinquent behavior. Equally concerning is the fact that more than half of children and youths report involvement in bullying as a bystander, victim or perpetrator, or both, Swearer and Hymel said.

"Unfortunately, bullying is something that every administrator in every school in our country faces," said Daniel Domenech, AASA executive director. "No one is immune. Kids of every race, gender, grade and socio-economic sector are impacted. We know we can't solve this problem without the partnership of parents. Bullying at school affects and is affected by what happens at home between siblings, what happens in the neighborhood, and what happens when kids go online. The information and tools in the Special Edition are groundbreaking."

Often called "The WebMD of education," Education.com has teamed up with leading universities, nonprofits, and research organizations to offer highly credible parenting, developmental, and educational information. The site also offers printable activities, discussion boards, access to best-of-breed educational services, and SchoolFinder -- a tool that gives parents comprehensive data on the nation's 125,000 public, private and charter schools. The American Association of School Administrators, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders across the United States. AASA members range from chief executive officers, superintendents and senior-level school administrators to cabinet members, professors and aspiring school system leaders.

The Bullying Research Network was founded in 2005 by Swearer and Hymel and is supported by the College of Education and Human Sciences at UNL. It serves as a virtual clearinghouse to support national and international research initiatives in effective bullying prevention and intervention. Visit http://brnet.unl.edu

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