Teaching Problem Solving Can Prevent Bullying

Character Counts

From guest contributor Dr. Michele Borba

Researchers have always recognized the benefits of kids learning to work together to solve their problems. After all, using problem-solving skills is one of the best ways to help kids and teens curb playground battles, deal with friendship tiffs, manage teammate squabbles and handle the social jungle, as well as boost resilience, empathy, academic performance, self-esteem, peacemaking skills, and character. New research by the American Psychological Association reveals another huge plus: Teaching problem solving may prevent bullying and reduce the odds of victimization.  
Researchers from Louisiana State University-Baton Rouge and the University of California-Riverside began the study as a quest to see what individual or environmental characteristics might predict the likelihood of a child becoming a bully or victim. The team, lead by Clayton R. Cook, analyzed 153 studies on bullying that were published in the USA and Europe over the past 30 years and involved kids from ages three to eighteen. The results, published by the American Psychological Association  and entitled, “Predictors of Bullying and Victimization in Childhood and Adolesce... found crucial information to help prevent bullying and aggressive behaviors. 

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