Building Resilience in Children to Prevent Social Aggression: The Principles of Behavioral Sciences

Percival Longworth*, Israel Kalman and Jennifer Peluso

Building Resilience in Children to Prevent Social Aggression: The Principles of Behavioral Sciences.

Most anti-bullying programs today are punitive. They rely heavily on schools enforcing procedures based on reporting, investigating, punishing, and labeling bullies. Furthermore, the current legal definitions of bullying are confusing and complicated. In many cases, even trained lawyers have
difficulty identifying acts of bullying.

We suggest, the better approach to preventing bullying in schools, even the workplace, is
to ground interventions using psychological frameworks to strengthen children’s social and emotional competence. We contend that social development models provide the psychological frameworks society needs to develop emotionally stable children and adults while providing them with the internal fortitude to bounce back effectively from adverse situations like bullying.

According to Borgwald & Theixos, despite the efforts to regulate and prohibit aggressive behavior, incidents of bullying remain persistent in U.S. schools and throughout the world. In response to the mass shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado, virtually every school system in the U.S. has adopted an anti-bullying intervention program of one kind or another.

Second, size and strength of the bully notwithstanding, power imbalance is difficult to assess and establish, and it is an aspect typically ignored by victims reporting a bullying incident. Unfortunately, science has not developed tools for isolating and identifying power imbalance.

While Columbine sparked a national effort to end bullying, the more pressing question is does current policy and legislative processes provide an effective solution? Oddly, little research has been conducted to determine the execution of these laws and policies.

Psychol Cogn Sci Open J. 2019; 5(2): 42-49. doi: 10.17140/PCSOJ-5-148