Bullying. Why haven’t we solved this social problem yet? Because, according to an important update from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering & Medicine, bullying is one very complex problem.
“Composition of peer groups, shifting demographics, changing societal norms, and modern technology are factors that must be considered to understand and effectively react to bullying in the US,” wrote the authors of “Preventing Bullying through Science, Policy & Practice” released this month. Not much is left out of that equation, and possibly the most complex part is that it’s a “group phenomenon, with multiple peers taking on roles other than perpetrator and target. Peers are a critical factor because they influence group norms, attitudes, and behavior,” according to the report. Each of those peers has his or her own personality, gender identity, psychosocial makeup, abilities and/or disabilities, family environment and other factors, right?But we’re learning a lot – and, since the arrival of cyberbullying, likely faster than ever before in the history of social aggression. We have better definitions, a better handle on the scope of the problem and better knowledge of what we still don’t know and need to study.
So new clarity comes with this report. It also reflects greater consensus across multiple disciplines: education, law and policy, pediatrics, neurobiological development, criminology, technology and clinical and developmental psychology.
Here’s just a sampler, just a dozen insights from this major update on bullying and cyberbullying: Read more