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In a new study, two UD professors are looking at bullying based on stigma -- where one is treated unfairly or unjustly due to one's race, sexual orientation, gender, or other characteristic -- and examining the methods used to prevent this type of bullying and address it when it happens.
"I became interested in this because we're realizing that being bullied due to a stigmatized characteristic or identity is really harmful. I started wondering what people are doing about it, and whether they are doing the right things about it," said lead author Valerie Earnshaw, a professor of Human Development and Family Sciences.
Study - Journal - Developmental - Review - Earnshaw
In a study released recently in the journal Developmental Review, Earnshaw, Assistant Professor Tia Barnes and their colleagues found that although there has been an increase in stigma-based bullying interventions, there are some issues with how these interventions are being implemented and evaluated.
"Stigma-based bullying has always been around, but I think that there have been some recent societal shifts that have led people to pay more attention to it," Earnshaw said.
Earnshaw - Process - Research - Study - Project
Earnshaw is already in the process of developing new research based on the study. One project focuses specifically on increasing the capacity of school health professionals to address LGBTQ bullying. It aims to develop and pilot an intervention that can help these professionals prevent, identify, and address bullying of LGBTQ students, particularly of multiracial backgrounds and those who identify as transgender.
Earnshaw said that some strategies like bystander intervention, where students not involved in a bullying incident speak up or intervene in an incident, could be helpful to address all forms of bullying. But specific strategies that address stigma, like reducing stereotypes and prejudice, may be necessary to address stigma-based bullying.
Earnshaw - Research - Connections - Violence - Schools
Earnshaw said that although research has not made strong connections between gun violence in schools and stigma-based bullying, some signs...
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