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Classroom management strategies

for children involved in bully/victim

conflicts disorder



Facts about bullying

Theoretical framework
Bullying as a behavior management issue
Response to Intervention (Rtl) model
Interventions for Tiers I,II, and III
Progress monitoring interventions

Facts about bullying

Been Bullied
28% of U.S. students in grades 612 experienced bullying.
20% of U.S. students in grades 912 experienced bullying.
Bullied Others
Approximately 30% of young people admit to bullying others in surveys.
Seen Bullying
70.6% of young people say they have seen bullying in their schools.
70.4% of school staff have seen bullying. 62% witnessed bullying two or more
times in the last month and 41% witness bullying once a week or more.

Facts about bullying

Types of Bullying
The following percentages of middle schools
students had experienced these various types of

name calling (44.2 %); teasing (43.3 %);

spreading rumors or lies (36.3%);
pushing or shoving (32.4%); hitting,
slapping, or kicking (29.2%); leaving
out (28.5%); threatening (27.4%);
stealing belongings (27.3%); sexual
comments or gestures (23.7%); email or blogging (9.9%).

Facts about bullying

Where Bullying Occurs
The following percentages of middle schools
students had experienced bullying in these
various places at school:

classroom (29.3%); hallway or

lockers (29.0%); cafeteria (23.4%);
gym or PE class (19.5%); bathroom
(12.2%); playground or recess

Ecological Systems model, Bronfenbrenner (1979)
Social learning theory, Bandura (1977)
Dominance theory, Pellegrini and Long (2003)

Ecological systems model

For a child to be likely to engage in bullying or be the victim
of bullying:
no single cause
the interaction between individual traits, family
dynamics, interpersonal relationships, school climate,
and community characteristics

Social learning theory

reciprocal interaction between an individuals
cognitions, his or her behaviors, and the environment
acquiring bullying behaviors through operant and
vicarious conditioning mechanism
o Youth who support primary perpetrator
o Youth who witness violence
between adults/peers
Aggression as effective strategy
to obtain goals

Dominance theory
Primary motivation of perpetrators of bullying is to obtain
social status in order to establish a high position among
Greater access to resources, such as toys for younger,
relationships (social or romantic for adolescents)

Definitions of bullying
form of instrumental
Three types of peer
- physical bullying
- verbal bullying
- relational bullying

Signs of Victimization
The importance of identifying signs of victimization:
Victims dont inform teachers (only 4% of 8th graders reported
they would tell a teacher about an incident of teasing)

It occurs when theres lack of adult supervision

Characteristics of victims

levels of depressive symptoms

exhibit internalizing symptoms
use externalizing behaviors
lack of social skills
be isolated & are rejected by peers
have a negative family environment
have negative cognitions about themselves
see themselves as stupid
wrongly blame themselves for the attacks
have lower academic achievement

Effects upon victims

low self-esteem
physical & psychosomatic complaints
posttraumatic stress disorder
suicidal ideation
poor relationship with peers
less likely to feel connected to others at school
more likely to bring weapon to school

Characteristics of perpetrators

exhibit externalizing behaviors (defiant, aggressive, disruptive,

non-compliant responses)

internalizing symptoms (withdrawal, depressive, anxious, avoidant


display social competence but experience academic

have negative attitudes toward others (lack of empathy)
experience trouble resolving social conflicts
experience poor parental monitoring & high levels of
family conflict

Consequences for perpetrators

- exhibit higher levels of aggressive-impulsive behavior
- less likely to feel a sense of connection to others at their
- increase risk of mental health disorders (ADHD, depression,
oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder)

- more likely to engage in criminal behavior, domestic

violence, substance abuse as an adult
- have poor academic achievement, dropout of school and
struggle with career performance in adulthood
- severely punitive with their own children

RtI model
three-tiered intervention structure:
- Primary interventions: target whole school, build
proactive factors to prevent behavior problems from
- Secondary interventions: designed for students who
are at risk for emotional or social behavior problems.
- Tertiary interventions: focus on the need of children
already demonstrating emotional or social behavior

Tier 1 Prevention and Intervention

Student Code of Conduct
Whole school anti-bullying policy
Recognizing differences in views
Three prominent definitional criteria of bullying:
intentionality, repetition, and power imbalance
Standardized definition of bullying
Peer victimization

Tier 1 Prevention and intervention

Classroom Climate
Research has identified that there is a robust
relationship between childhood bullying and a negative
school climate.
Trust between students and teachers, respectful
interactions among and between students and rules that
are fair

Tier I Intervention Examples

Bullying Survey
School-wide bullying curriculum (Olweus or something
Increased supervision on playground, in cafeteria, or in
Discussion at PTO meetings
Increased communication between parents and school
Start bully prevention early (preschool)

Tier II Intervention
Focuses more specifically on group populations that
exhibit at-risk behavior, and typically consist of approx.
5-10% of the general population
Identify students who are at risk and provide sufficient
instruction to change negative behavior
Tier II Interventions should include the following:
parental education, problem solving, social integration
activities, counseling and school to home

Tier II Intervention
Selecting Students for Intervention
When identifying students who are at-risk for bully or
victim behaviors and are in need for Tier II
intervention, teachers should identify based on
discipline, teacher and parent referrals, as well as direct
assessment procedures
Set goals that are obtainable and measurable
Check in

Tier II Intervention
Second Step
Focuses on promoting social skills and altering attitudes
that lead to violence through the development of
empathy, impulse control and anger management
Steps to Respect
anti-bullying program that targets children in the upper
elementary school years

Tier II Intervention
Behavior Education Programs (BEPs)
Check in/ Check out system
BEP forms
Social Skills Groups
Focus on identifying critical skills that students fail to
exhibit naturally
Develop social skills that instruct, demonstrate, and
allow children to practice missing skill.

Tier II Intervention Examples

Immediate consequences for aggressive behavior
Immediate rewards for inclusive behavior
Ongoing meetings about behavior expectations
(check in/check out)
Discuss assertive behavior with potential victims

Tier III Intervention

Tier III level of bully intervention is necessary when there
are clear or recurring cases of bullying in a classroom or
Short and long term steps that not only can protect and
empower victims but also work with perpetrators to
reduce their bullying behavior.

Tier III Intervention

Selecting Students for Intervention
Understand nature of problem
Building rapport
Reaffirm that he/she did not cause the bullying to occur
Talk with other students
Taking steps to correct the problem

Tier III Intervention

Selecting a Tier III Intervention
Continuation or escalation of victimization and/or
Following the application of Tier II interventions would
indicate eligibility.

Working with Victims of Bullying

Indications that victims would need continued individual
interventions would be: extremely low self esteem,
continued or increased signs of depressive symptoms,
negative views of self, and increased social isolation.
Important to create supports both external to and
within the child in order to promote a sense of control
and safety in ones environment as well as to build
resiliency skills.
Facilitate social interactions

Working with Victims of Bullying

Victimized students should be encouraged to
believe that they have the power to affect their
environment as well as have their needs met.
Continuous positive regard and encouragement

Working with Perpetrators

Perpetrators who maintain a defensive position and fail to
develop any behaviors of empathy for their victims or
remorse, insight regarding the impact of their behaviors
upon victims or their motivations, or a willingness to
change, would be likely candidates for continued
individual interventions.
Important for teachers to use a straightforward delivery
of the facts of the aggression demonstrated toward peers
and the resulting consequences

Working with Perpetrators

Build rapport
Help identify long term consequences of continuing to
use dominance-oriented strategies
Assist perpetrator in identifying the socially acceptable
ways to obtain status
Empathy and perspective talking should be built slowly
through modeling, role playing and restructuring the way
that the student perceives interactions with other

Tier III Intervention Examples

Serious discussions with bullies, victims, and
their parents
Role play non-aggressive behavior with bullies
Role play assertive behavior with victims

Case Study
Henry was a shy sixth-grader who recently arrived at school from out of state.
One day as he was browsing a social media site he came across a page about
the school with pictures of students, including one of him labeled The Fat
Nerd. Upset, he posted a reply expressing his dismay.
The postings became nastier, and soon some students were making loud
comments in the lunchroom and on the playground. A teacher overheard
some of the names, and asked Henry what was going on. He described the
social media page and the cyberbullying.

Questions to consider...
What can the teacher and/or school do to help
How could this situation have been prevented?
How should the school address the
perpetrator(s)? What if a perpetrator cannot be

Progress Monitoring of Interventions

Even if an intervention has been proven in many
cases, it is not guaranteed to work in every case.
Implementers should use data to make decisions
about interventions
Progress monitoring uses objective benchmarks
to quantify behaviors

Progress Monitoring
Measures short and long term changes in
individuals, classrooms, and schools
Behavior should be measured before, during, and
after an intervention is implemented
More than one form of monitoring should be used

Progress Monitoring
The type of monitoring should be based on the
intervention being used
The implementer must decide what the desired outcome
is (perpetrator or victim, individual or group, what types
of thoughts, behaviors, or attitudes are being targeted)
Define what type of change is desired and choose a
monitoring method that will measure that change.

Direct Behavior Observation

Direct observation and rating of a childs behaviors
Provides concrete examples of the negative behavior
Observer should have predetermined operationallydefined behaviors in mind
Record the frequency, duration, and intensity
Establish a baseline, then select desired time interval
and compare information between sessions
Must track progress over time

Daily Behavior Report Cards (DBRCs)

Performance, behavior-based recording system

Collects teachers ratings of predetermined behaviors
Record disruptive behaviors and/or measure progress
Should include no more than three behaviors, rated on a
likert scale
Teacher completes each day during baseline and
intervention phases
Electronic Daily Behavior Report Card (e-DBRC)

Behavioral Scales
Questionnaires that measure behaviors, thoughts,
and feelings (students, teachers, parents)
Teachers perceptions of students behavior
Students perceptions of conflict management and

Conflict Resolution Scale (CRS)

Measures how a child or adolescent handles conflict
Student chooses frequency of certain behaviors or
events (problems with friends, getting in trouble), 25
items, likert scale (1-5)
Second part of the scale: student answers how easy or
hard it is to participate in certain behaviors (standing up
to friends, asking another child to play), 22 items, likert

Young Adult Social Behavior Scale

Measures pro-social and aggressive social behaviors in
adolescence and young adulthood
Examinee chooses frequency of certain behaviors
(spreading rumors, arguments with friends, keeping
secrets) 14 items, likert scale
Factor analysis shows three constructs (relationally
aggressive behaviors, socially aggressive behaviors,
interpersonally mature behaviors)

Social Skills Improvement System

Norm-based system used to gauge and monitor
students social behaviors
Social Skills Scale, Behavior Problems Scale, Autism
Spectrum Scale, Academic Competence Scale
Great depth and breadth into students social strengths
and weaknesses
Can be filled out by the individual, parents, or teachers
Can be administered every four weeks to monitor

Teachers who use effective management
techniques have a lower prevalence of bullying in
their classrooms
Teachers behaviors DO matter in the prevention
and intervention of childhood bullying.
Teachers have a moral obligation to address

Bradshaw, C.P., Sawyer, A.L., & OBrennan, L.M. (2007). Bullying and peer victimization at school: Perceptual differences between students and
school staff. School Psychology Review, 36(3), 361-382.
Education World, Inc. (2015), retrieved from
Growing Wireless (2015), retrieved from
Kolbert, J., & Crothers, L. (Eds.). (2013). Understanding and managing behaviors of children with psychological disorders: A reference for
classroom teachers. New York: Bloomsbury.
National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice Statistics (2011), retrieved from