Study: Anti-Bullying Campaigns May Have Opposite Effect

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File photo of bullying. (credit: Getty Images)

File photo of bullying. (credit: Getty Images)

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HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – A new study has found that anti-bullying campaigns might have the opposite effect on students at schools with programs in place.

The study from the University of Texas reports that students may learn different bullying techniques from student videos used in the campaigns that show examples of bullying and how to intervene.

“One possible reason for this is that the students who are victimizing their peers have learned the language from these anti-bullying campaigns and programs,” said Seokjin Jeong, an assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice at UT Arlington and lead author of the study, in a statement.

For the future direction of anti-bullying campaigns, the study suggests schools implement new school security measures such as guards, bag and locker searches and also more sophisticated strategies involving the bullying prevention program.

Jeong said that researchers need to identify the bully-victim dynamics better in order to develop a better prevention policy.

“The schools with interventions say, ‘You shouldn’t do this,’ or ‘you shouldn’t do that.’ But through the programs, the students become highly exposed to what a bully is and they know what to do or say when questioned by parents or teachers,” Jeong added.

The researchers also found that older students were less likely to be victims of bullying than younger students and that boys were more likely than girls to be victims of physical bullying.  However, girls were more likely to be victims of emotional bullying.

Race or ethnicity was not a factor in whether students were bullied and high school students faced the most pervasive bullying than other age groups researchers noted.

The study was published in the Journal of Criminology.





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