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Help Wanted: Bullying Researchers with True Grit

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Without courage, researchers will never discover the solution to bullying.

Published on October 30, 2011 by Izzy Kalman in A Psychological Solution to Bullying

CourageAre you a serious researcher on bullying and/or aggression? Are you interested in conducting a study that might uncover the solution to bullying that the schools of the world have been desperately seeking? Is scientific truth more important to you than politics?

Hundreds of studies have been published on bullying and bullying-prevention programs, with the ultimate purpose of finding a solution to the suffering of victims. Yet the massive body of bullying research has brought the world no closer to this goal. Bullying continues unabated and victims are taking their lives with increasing regularity. President Obama labeled bullying an ‘epidemic.’ The U.S. Department of Education has called for exploration of new approaches because what the country is doing is obviously not working.

Each bullying related suicide or school shooting escalates the public’s demand for a solution to bullying in schools. As psychological professionals, we have been eager to reassure the populace that the solution does exist because we had confidence in the value of the field of bullying psychology, created by Prof. Dan Olweus, whose bullying prevention program has been promoted as the “gold standard.” As time has passed, though, independent research, as well as real-life experience, has been revealing that the Olweus program and those based on his teachings rarely reduce bullying and often result in an increase. These disappointing findings have led to desperation on the part of our researchers, who are anxious to allay the public’s fears by proving that these programs are, indeed, effective and therefore worthy of taxpayer funding.

Thus, the major organization representing my profession, the National Association of School Psychologists, recently sent us a Bullying Prevention notice about new research study of the popular Steps to Respect program entitled, Outcomes From a School-Randomized Controlled Trial of Steps to Respect: A Bullying Prevention Program, published in The School Psychology Review, Volume 40, Issue 3 (2011), pp. 423-443. The abstract presents the program as a great success, concluding with, “Results of this study support the program as an efficacious intervention for the prevention of bullying in schools.” However, an actual reading of the paper reveals the program to have been a failure. Bullying increased during the one-year period of the study. But the paper’s authors declared the program a success because bullying increased slightly more in the control group. I reported in the past on another study of an anti-bullying program that was hailed a success by the researchers because bullying increased less than in the control group: The Anti-Bully Operation was a Success but the Patient Died. Neither study considered the possibility that bullying also increased in the control groups because their independent efforts to comply with state anti-bullying laws were a pittance more ineffective than those using the program being studied.

Anti-bullying laws and policies throughout the world are also based on the Olweus paradigm, which is why bullying has become an epidemic. But since researchers universally accept the Olweus paradigm as correct, they are fearful about investing time, energy and money conducting studies on programs that defy the Olweus paradigm, as they are not based on the current body of bullying research. As long as researchers are unwilling to consider an alternative to the Olweus paradigm, they will be precluded from finding an effective solution to bullying. (For the only article in the world that explains what’s wrong with the anti-bullying psychology, read: https://bullies2buddies.com/Izzy-s-Articles/whats-wrong-with-the-p…)

Anti-bullying laws and policies throughout the world are also based on the Olweus paradigm, which is why bullying has become an epidemic. But since researchers universally accept the Olweus paradigm as correct, they are fearful about investing time, energy and money conducting studies on programs that defy the Olweus paradigm, as they are not based on the current body of bullying research. As long as researchers are unwilling to consider an alternative to the Olweus paradigm, they will be precluded from finding an effective solution to bullying. (For the only article in the world that explains what’s wrong with the anti-bullying psychology, read: https://bullies2buddies.com/Izzy-s-Articles/whats-wrong-with-the-p…)

Researchers, why am I turning to you? Because I am not a researcher but a practitioner. For over three decades I have worked intensively in schools helping students, teachers and parents deal with aggression. Incorporating basic psychological concepts common to all major schools of psychology and psychotherapy, I developed what I believe to be the most logical, comprehensive, quick and effective system that exists for eradicating bullying. For the past decade, I have been teaching my radically different Bullies to Buddies approach to mental health professionals and educators, and those using it are experiencing unprecedented success. The schools of the world, as well as the taxpayers, deserve to discover that there may be a simple, effective and inexpensive approach to bullying. I am not capable of producing a rigorous research study on my own. Even if I were, the results of a study I conduct on my own program would be considered suspect. So I am looking for the collaboration of capable researchers who value scientific truth over political pressure.

I will provide you whatever assistance I can in conducting a proper study. Before you consider such a major undertaking, I can show you enough supporting evidence to whet your appetite, including a preliminary study conducted a few years ago by Dr. Kathy McNamara of Kent State University. If you wish to quickly get a sense of its effectiveness, please go to the following web page: https://bullies2buddies.com/does-bullies-to-buddies-work

Sincerely,

Israel “Izzy” Kalman, MS, Nationally Certified School Psychologist

Director, Bullies to Buddies, Inc.

www.Bullies2Buddies.com

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