Date: 12 Jun 2012

Resilience Through Violence and Bullying Prevention in Schools

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Abstract

When asked to write a chapter focusing on school for this book, we thought of the many fine books, chapters, and articles written about the multitude of school-based programs targeted at the prevention of social and emotional problems in children and adolescents. The majority of these programs target specific issues, such as drug and alcohol prevention, weapons-reduction, school–community partnerships, school-based mental health clinics, and school-based family support services (to name, but a few). All of them target the social and emotional well-being of our nation’s students, and could be said to broadly foster resilience. In this chapter, however, we will not be discussing programs that target youth who have been identified as having problems, programs with a clinical or mental health focus, or other programs that have a secondary or tertiary prevention focus. Programs that target students with identified problems are more likely to have a clinically focused symptom-reduction emphasis rather than a wellness-promotion resiliency model (Cowen, 1994; Cowen, Hightower, Pedro-Carroll, Work, Wyman, & Haffey, 1996). They typically target a small proportion of the overall student population; for example, the U.S. Department of Education (2007) estimates that 0.67% of students between 6 and 21 years of age are identified as having an emotional disturbance and qualifying them for services under IDEA. We strongly support such programs and believe they have a vital role in our nation’s schools. We also believe that such programs contribute, directly or indirectly, to the reduction of factors related to violence in schools, as well as the promotion of factors related to resilience in our nation’s student population.