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Bullying Prevention Workshop Brings Together Leaders to Work Towards Solutions

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Watch the Workshop - The full webcast of the workshop and speaker presentation slides is available here. An individually authored workshop summary detailing the research, discussions and activities will be shared later in the year.

On April 9-10, 2014, practitioners, researchers, students, educators, and community members came together at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., to discuss research on bullying and interventions, laws and public policies to prevent and address it. Convened by the Institutes of Medicine (IOM), and commissioned by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the goal of the two-day workshop was to determine what is working within the field of bullying prevention. Specifically, workshop organizers were asked to:

  1. Identify the knowledge base and conceptual models that guide the design, delivery, and evaluation of bullying prevention and intervention efforts;
  2. Identify interventions that have proven effective in decreasing bullying;
  3. Identify methods that increase protective factors which can reduce the negative health impact of bullying among those targeted; and
  4. Identify key sectors involved in bullying prevention and intervention roles for each in preventing bullying.

The public workshop was the first phase of the project entitled Increasing Capacity for Reducing Bullying and Its Impact on the Lifecourse of Youth Involved. The workshop was directed towards examining, analyzing, and synthesizing information and knowledge about policy, education, and behavioral strategies aimed at decreasing and preventing bullying behavior. Presenters, moderators, and guests participated in lively discussion over the two-day period. Topics of discussion included:

  • Bullying and victimization
  • Risk and resiliency
  • Interventions (family-focused, school-based, technology-based, and community-based)
  • Peer-led and peer-focused prevention programs
  • Laws and public policies around bullying
  • Translating bullying research into policy and practice

“The thing that amazed me the most was getting a better understanding of the actual science behind bullying … Learning about how the brain functions was amazing and gave me a different view on how to approach bullying prevention,” said Natasha Herring, Ward 8 Manager for DC’s Department of Parks and Recreation, who attended the two day event. “The workshop was incredible, and I was excited about the opportunity to share my insight. Here in Washington, D.C., we are in the midst of creating an official anti-bullying policy and being a part of the process was eye opening,” said Herring. 

As Director of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau which is responsible for the health and wellbeing of all of America’s children and families, I was proud to open the workshop, and offer welcoming remarks to attendees. Millions of children and youth in our nation are bullied every year. How can we move the needle on bullying? What more can we do?  There is still a big science gap in bullying prevention; how do we close that gap in the next five years? This workshop moves us one step closer to identifying effective approaches that will make a difference in the lives of children and families who experience bullying.

Should a proposed second phase of the project continue, the workshop will result in a consensus study that provides concrete recommendations for action. The hope is that the study will set forth a multi-disciplinary road map on next steps for the field of bullying prevention, providing guidance to federal, state and local governments, as well as public and private partners. To ensure that results from the IOM serve the needs of various federal partners, HRSA established a Federal Advisory Group in order to provide the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention a venue for engaging directly in the project development, and I want to thank each partner for their support in this process.  

Millions of children in our nation are bullied every year. As a community, we will work towards a solution together.

For more information on bullying prevention, visit www.stopbullying.gov/training. You can also stay up-to-date with the latest research and information by following us on Facebook and Twitter.