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[edit] Background

Definition of Bullying: a persistent, deliberate attempt to hurt or humiliate someone. All types of bullying have three things in common: it is deliberate hurtful behavior, it is repeated over time and there is an imbalance of power, making it hard for the victim to defend themselves (Cambridgeshire County Council, 2007).


[edit] Types of Bullying

(As Stated in the Office of Children and Young People’s Services Anti-Bullying Strategy (Cambridgeshire County Council, 2007)

• Physical:

Kicking or hitting

Prodding, pushing, or spitting

Other physical assault

Intimidating behavior

Interference with personal property

• Verbal/Psychological: Threats or taunts

Shunning or ostracism

Name calling/verbal abuse


Spreading of rumors

Making inappropriate comments in relation to appearance


• Racist

Physical, verbal, written, on-line, text, or ridicule based on differences of race, colour, ethnicity, nationality, culture or language

Refusal to cooperate with others based on the above differences

Stereotyping based on colour, race, ethnicity , nationality, culture or language

Promoting offensive materials such as racial leaflets, magazines etc.

• Faith Based:

Negative stereotyping, name calling or ridiculing due based on religion

• Sexual:

Unwanted/inappropriate physical contact

Sexual innuendo

Suggestive propositioning

Distribution or display of pornographic material aimed at an individual

Graffiti with sexual content directed at an individual

Negative stereotyping based on gender

• Homophobic

Name calling, innuendo or negative stereotyping based on sexual orientation

Use of homophobic language

• Special Educational Needs or Disability:

Name calling, innuendo, or negative stereotyping based on disability or learning difficulties

Excluding from activity on the basis of disability or learning difficulties

• Gifted or Talented

Name calling, innuendo, or negative stereotyping based on high levels of ability or effort

Ostracism resulting from perceptions of high levels of ability

• Cyber:

Abuse online or via text message

Interfering with electronic files

Setting up or promoting inappropriate websites

Inappropriate sharing of images from webcams/cell phones etc.

Interfering with e-mail accounts

These types of bullying can occur at the same time, and bullying is not limited to these actions.


[edit] Contributing Factors of Bullying:

Factors Causing People to Bully: Negative familial and adult influences, negative peer relations, parental physical discipline, time spent without parental supervision and neighbourhood safety concerns were all discovered to cause bullying behaviors in middle school students (Espelage et al, 2000). Other causes include but are not limited to poor self esteem,percieved need to feel acceptance from peers, or dealing with issues in their homes (Aluede, et al, 2008).

Factors Preventing Students from Bullying: Positive adult role models were associated with less bullying behaviors (Espelage et al, 2000).

[edit] Bullying Prevention:

Having positive adult role models can reduce the amount of bullying that occurs (Espelage et al, 2000). Positive role models can be found in places like the home, the school and other places in the community. Physical activity can provide ample amounts of opportunities to build life skills, such as communication, trust, kindness, courtesy, teamwork, leadership, benevolence, and respect for themselves and others. Building these skills and having these role models impacting the lives of youth can help to reduce the factors that cause people to bully. Although some of these factors cannot be altered by using sport, ones such as peer relations, adult influences and time spent with adult supervision can be changed in a positive manner by sport involvement. The development of these skills can improve the self image that an individual has and prevent bullying. Using sport to build life skills can be an effective tool in the reduction of bullying.

[edit] Mental and Social Impact of Bullying:

Bullying does not only cause physical pain, but can cause psychological pain as well (Aluede, et al, 2008). Bullies target people who are not like them, and use these differences as motive to act in a hostile manner towards their victim (Aluede, et al, 2008). Socially, this can cause exclusion, ostracism, and bullying by people other than the original bully. The victim feels isolated and alone. Social isolation is enhanced by the spreading of rumours, telling lies, and betraying trust. The act of bullying separates the victim from the rest of their peers in a negative manner (Aluede, et al, 2008). The mental aspect of bullying on the bully is a sense of approval from their peers, a feeling of power and acceptance. The mental impact of bullying to the victim is feelings of insecurity, anxiety, and carefulness in their actions. They are heavily dependent on their family due to vulnerability and often do not have many friends at school (Aluede, et al, 2008). As the bullying continues and or increases, the school setting can be seen as frightening, unfriendly and the victim has increasing amounts of depression, anxiety, shyness and loneliness (Aluede, et al, 2008). The victim is often impacted mentally for the long term by their experiences with bullying (Aluede, et al, 2008). Also, fear of areas in which they experience bullying, such as the playground, is a common occurrence (Aluede, et al, 2008).

[edit] Bullying as a Risk Factor

Bullying is a risk for many things. There is a greater amount of depression among bully victims than in the rest of their peers, and academics of bullied individuals can suffer due to anxiety, lack of concentration, and absence from school because of fear of bullying (Aluede, et al, 2008). Bullying is a risk factor for suicide and instills fear into victims. Anxiety caused by bullying can result in physical or emotional ailments. Some of these ailments include headaches, migraines, skin problems, ulcers, sweating, trembling, shaking, palpitations, panic attacks, and frequent illness. The effects of bullying can go past school, and into adulthood causing difficulty interacting in positive relationships (Aluede, et al, 2008). Bullying also has negative impacts on the bully. These include lack of friendship, anti-social attitudes, delinquent behaviors, and possibly is a risk factor to the beginning of juvenile crime and criminal activities (Aluede, et al, 2008).

[edit] History

[edit] General Inquiry

The practice of bullying has been a part of societies since the beginning of time. However, as time progresses, the significance of bullying has been changing. It is important to realize that when social class and social order is present within a society, that bullying starts to take on a much more significant meaning. Ancient Rome Example of Bullying Spartans used common bullying tactics to develop character during the lifelong training of a Spartan soldier. A Spartan soldier prided himself on the amount of pain he could endure physically, which reflected the strong character traits of the Spartan mind. In fact, bullying in this time period was considered nothing more than the normal development of a true, strong Spartan warrior.

[edit] Bullying in previous time periods

Forms of bullying have been present for a very long time in numerous different forms. In the years leading up to the 20th century, bullying was often considered a part of the human development process. In previous time periods, forms of bullying occupied the everyday life of people just as factors which affect bullying we see today. There was much emphasis put on the size, the appearance, the intellect, the religious beliefs, the sexuality, the social ranking in class (royalty vs. peasant) and the athletic ability of the individual. All of these factors contributed to how a person was treated and viewed within the society. Although all these factors contributed to how individuals were treated, the term bullying had not yet been created. People were more accepting of their role in society whether it be an outcast or a nobleman, as what we call “bullying” in modern society, was just a normal part of life and had little significance.(Mechikoff 2010)

[edit] Development of the term “Bullying”

As previously mentioned, bullying has been a part of society for hundreds of years and was disregarded in terms on its emotional and psychological effect on children. It took the work of Swedish researcher, Dan Olweus to not only develop the term, but conduct a large research study on bullying, to alert the public of this public epidemic. The psychology Professor out of the University of Bergen, Norway was the first to address the issue of the high presence of bullying within young developing children, as the professor was also among the first to publish his work in 1973. Professor Olweus was also the first to implement prevention programs within schools and has paved the way for many other large scale prevention programs that are in place today. Professor Olweus was the pioneer in identifying bullying and taking the necessary measures to prevent it.(Carpenter et al. 2011)

[edit] Evolution of Bullying

Bullying is not just a modern day problem, but is a part of basic human nature. Bullying existed well before the 1970’s, however the focus was primarily on the physicality of this behaviour. Attributes of bullying such as punching, tripping, pushing, stealing, have always been the main focus. After Olweus’s studies, the problem was found to be much worse, as the evolution of bullying spread to the most vulnerable aspect of a child’s development: the mind. There has been a vast, negative progression of the epidemic. The significance of bullying was first identified in social edifices that implicated the mass gathering of developing youth under one roof. In reality, there is no secret to why people bully. People who bully generally have a sense of control, and a higher social status as bullies often use bullying as a sense of control. As mentioned, bullying made the progression of physical to psychological, which is what has been causing a enormous outcry for help in elementary programs globally which will be the focus of the discussion as we progress to modern day bullying.

[edit] Leading up to Modern Day Bullying

Since the evolution of bullying progressed from mainly physical attributes to the psychological focus, bullying has taken a entirely different course. Bullies everywhere have used their physical dominance to instill fear into their “inferior” peers, however, the psychological warfare is what terrorizes the vulnerable mind of a developing child. While going through the process of growing up in a social surrounding such as school, the battle kids face on a regular basis is to be accepted by the majority of their peers. What logic has shown is that kids with superior size and strength (first forms of bullying) use their physical attributes, alongside their ammunition of verbal abuse, to psychologically bully their peers.(Carpenter et al. 2011)

[edit] Modern Day Bullying

Technology has revolutionized almost all aspects of life, bullying is no exception. Modern day bullying is almost directly categorized with the advancements in technology which we now refer to as Cyberbullying. This newly introduced form of bullying has taken the severity of bullying to new heights. In previous time periods, bullying has progressed from ‘’physical bullying’’ to ‘’psychological bullying’’ and the most recent progression refers to using social media tactics in bullying behavior. This new form of bullying allows virtually anyone to become either the bully, or the victim of the bullies and it raises the scale of public humiliation to new heights. What we now see in bullying is that kids are not only vulnerable to the ‘’hallway bully’’, as we have seen in previous time periods, but that they are subject to being humiliated online which can devastate a child with one click of a button. The effect that technology has on bullying is very overwhelming as cases of bullying leave the confined walls of social edifices. It allows for cases to be viewed by the public eye which can have detrimental effects on the victims. There is nothing that leaves a scar on a child like the public humiliation those victims of bullying face every day. The deepened impact of bullying has led to many cases where young victims have resorted to the taking of their own lives rather than face the wrath of their bullies which is why this topic has become so important.(Mickie et all 2011)

[edit] Target Audience

The intended participants are children ages 6 to 18. This age group was chosen because it is around that time when children are generally in school, grades 1 to 12. Children in school are able to interact with kids who may not share the same beliefs, background, or physical abilities. The target audience chosen is a relatively large group. This is due to the fact that bullying can occur at any point in ones life but these are the years when it is most prevalent and is more likely to cause psychological damage. Below is a link to a commercial which exhibits the negative effects of bullying in school.

[edit] Research

[edit] The Effectiveness of Teaching a Life Skills Program in a Sport Context

The objective of this article was to determine if the experience of sport was found to enhance personal development and if how the activity was set up had an effect on the individual’s participation experience. It also highlighted the development of life skills through a sport based context, and the ability of an individual to display these skills in their life as well as in sports (Papacharisis et al, 2005).

Life skills were defined as skills that facilitate the development of the psychological skills that are required to deal with the demands and challenges of everyday life (Papacharisis et al, 2005). It was highlighted that life skills have to be taught through demonstration and practice. The program GOAL was developed as a 10 hour, 10 session program taught by carefully selected and well trained high school students, to middle school children (Papacharisis et al, 2005). This taught the students how to have a sense of personal control and confidence in their future so they can make positive life decisions. Major findings about this program were that participants learned about the GOAL program, were able to achieve the goals they set, found the program easier than they expected, and felt that they had learned a lot about how to set goals (Papacharisis et al, 2005). This program was used as the control (Papacharisis et al, 2005).

The program SUPER was the sport based adaptation to the GOAL program. This program is taught like a sport clinic and participants took part in three types of activities: learning sport specific physical skills, learning life skills related to sports in general, and playing the sport (Papacharisis et al, 2005). There is little evaluation about the effects of the SUPER program, but it did test the participant’s knowledge about life skills, self assessment about their ability to use these skills and performance in sport skills (Papacharisis et al, 2005). It is expected that the participant’s belief of their effective use of life skills in the SUPER program would be higher than that of an individual participating in the GOAL program, based on their ability to actually practice these life skills. It was also expected that the use of life skills by athletes would increase their performance abilities (Papacharisis et al, 2005).

The participants in the first study were all Greek, between 10 and 12 years of age and all female volleyball players. The second study was entirely male soccer players ages 10-12 years old (Papacharisis et al, 2005).

The concluding results were that a life skills program that integrates sport along with the life skill training is more effective than simply life skill training (Papacharisis et al, 2005). Athletes who use these life skills can improve their sport related skills, and the inclusion of life skill training alongside sport was an effective way to actually learn the life skills better. Youth with these improved life skills and better goal setting methods will cope better with the complex realities of life and have a better chance of becoming better students, better athletes, more concerned and productive community members (Papacharisis et al, 2005).

Papacharisis, V., Goudas, M., Danish, S. J., & Theodorkis, Y. (2005). The effectiveness of teaching a life skills program in a sport context. Journal of Aplied Sport Psychology. 17:3. Retrieved from

[edit] Healthy Lifestyle Behaviour Decreasing Risks of Being Bullied, Violence and Injury

It has been observed that today’s adolescents all over the world are becoming increasingly hostile toward one another either through bullying or violence and primarily in school. As a child grows older and starts to reach adolescence, negative/risky personal behaviours become evident, such as smoking, sex, drinking and drug abuse, which all are usually associated with bullying or violence. Another major concept of growing up, that parents frequently teach at home is having a healthy lifestyle behaviour from diet, physical activity, to hygiene, especially as an adolescent reaches puberty. As both risky and healthy behaviour weigh heavily on an adolescents mind, it was thought that if programs were created both in and outside of school that stress on the healthy aspect of life, those students would feel more self-confidence, and wouldn’t need to bully others to gain that self-esteem. This study was performed to see if this is really the case and if introducing a positive healthy lifestyle could decrease the amount of bullying

As this article looks through 9 different countries, the 2003/2004 Global School Health Survey was used to calculate data. It is a survey conducted in school, given to student between the ages of 13-15. The survey that was used was constructed to have very in-depth questions on both risky and healthy behaviours to get true and concise results.

After all the data was analyzed, it was found that indeed a healthier lifestyle would reduce any relation to bullying or violence. The students that involved themselves with risky behaviours had a higher percentage toward being bullied, whereas those who didn’t still got bullied, but not to the same extent. Once students changed their behaviours, they had a more positive outlook on life and didn’t involve themselves in self-destructive situations/behaviour. An example related to hygiene would be if you were labeled as the “dirty” student in class, it is fairly easy to be picked on, but if you implemented a cleanliness routine into your lifestyle, that label is easily taken away. It is almost impossible to wipe out bullying all together, but this study shows that it is possible to drastically reduce the amount of bullying that occurs around the world

Turagabeci, AR. (2008). Healthy Lifestyle Behaviour Decreasing Risks of Being Bullied, Violence and Injury. In PLoS one. Retrieved October 19, 2011, from

[edit] "Bullies and Bullying"

Violence is one of the best ways bullying can be described, whether it is categorized as physically, verbally, or relationally, they all seem to hurt a person in one way or another. According to Ralston (2005), bullying is a part of growing up, where all people have experienced it at one point or another in their lives. It has become apparent that it starts in the early ages of childhood, at places such as elementary school, as well as secondary. Ralston (2005) also makes reference to The National Association of School Psychologists and the U.S. Department of Justice, where they make a realistic approximation that 160,000 students are afraid of bullying, and between 15% and 30% are the antagonist bullies, or their targets, consequently making children afraid of places with great relevance to their lives, such as school. These numbers are relatively large, and have a significant impact on many people, by making them fearful of doing things they love, for they are teased and believe that they are not good enough (Ralston, 2005). A great example of this “social norm” would include children who are teased for their weight at school, this would bring their confidence to a low level, allowing the desire to attend school be non-existent, and therefore heavy eating, no eating, and/or no physical education at all is suggestive to these lifestyles.

Ralston (Ralston, 2005) suggests that bullying is a negative behaviour that is picked up and learned from others. With this being said, it is automatically known that one who can learn a behaviour can be taught that is not the social norm, and should be removed from everyday lifestyles (Ralston, 2005). Therefore it is significant that teachers, parents, and other children help bullies engage in activities that will teach them this is wrong and truly hurts other people. In some cases bullies may have been victims, therefore it is important to lend them time and support to listen and contribute to their stories so that they too may feel at ease and comfortable with who they are in their lives (Ralston, 2005).

Bullying very often occurs within physical education class, or during recreation time during or after school hours. It is important to help bullies and their victims realize that differences are acceptable, for they all may then be able to engage in physical activity that helps them become the healthy child they are supposed to be, in terms of mind and body (Ralston, 2005). They are able to proceed maturing successfully in their adolescent stages, free of harm, with their minds at ease. (Ralston, 2005)

[edit] The Effect of Race, Ethnicity and Sexual Orientation on Bullying

As kids start to grow older, they tend to differentiate from their peers, which is what leads to common bullying factors. The specific bullying factors in question in this research focuses on the race, ethnicity and sexual orientation of the individual. Researchers believe that increased levels of depression and even suicide are relatively higher when a child faces harassment based on these factors. One of the reasons these issues raise the levels or severity when dealing with youth, is because the factors target their deeply routed morals and behavioral patterns as a human being. When children are exiled from their peers simply because of what they look like and what they believe in, that the symptoms commonly found in depression are elevated in correlation with these factors.

Researchers examining these factors conducted a study that isolated some of the factors in question: Ethnicity and Sexual Orientation. The study took young men who were part of the racial minority within their demographic region, combined with their irregular sexual preference (young black men who preferred the intimate company of men).

The research found that men who fell in this category experience an additive effect in regards to the bullying and verbal harassment by others. What the study explains is that there was an astonishingly high number of men in this category (85%) who fell victim to both their sexuality and race in regards to bullying.

In conclusion, the research shows that if a person falls into a specific minority, that they have increased chances of facing bullying. However, if a person happens to fall into two of the categories simultaneously, they have higher susceptibility of being bullied and facing an “additive effect”. This means that the person may face “double” the bullying if comparing to only falling into one of the bullying factors described. (Hightow-Weidman et al 2011)

[edit] Adolescents' Vulnerability to Peer Victimization: Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Predictors

The purpose of this study is to pinpoint how a child’s behaviour or personality can influence whether they become a bully or are victimized by bullies. About 36% of secondary students face bullying at school. Nearly a third of secondary students admitted to taking part in bullying as well (D'Esposito, 2011). These numbers indicate how bullying in school is becoming a greater issue in today’s society.

This study used “The Bullying Victimization Scale”, the “Harter Social Support Scale for Children and Adolescents”, a demographic survey and “Behaviour Assessment Self Report System for Children” on kids from rural areas in grades 6 to 8 (D'Esposito, 2011). Using a number of tests to determine the amount of victimization experienced by the child improves the accuracy of the study. It also may allow it to be replicated more easily by those who may wish to reduce bullying in their communities.

It is observed that physical weakness contributed to victimization along with obesity, social or speech impediments, and physical disabilities. However, those more prone to being bullied were generally kids who struggled with nervousness and depression (D'Esposito, 2011). Internal characteristics were greater predictors of how much negative attention the child received. It was shown that being a victim of bullying lowered self-esteem and reduced decision-making abilities (D'Esposito, 2011).

This article concludes by encouraging school counselors to take a more active roll in including the children, who have personality traits conducive to bullying, in more activities. By doing this, self-esteem and confidence may rise. The article also pointed out the difference between how boys and girls victimized others. It suggested that girls, who were more likely to be bullied, should be taught social skills in a small group, while boys should participate in a small group focused on building alliances (D'Esposito, 2011). This study suggests that actively screening children for internal characteristics and early intervention can reduce the victimization children face. D'Esposito, S. E., Blake, J., & Riccio, C. A. (2011). Adolescents' Vulnerability to Peer Victimization: Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Predictors. Professional School Counseling, 14(5), 299-309. Retrieved from

[edit] Existing Physical Activity Programs

[edit] Right to Play

The program Right to Play was created out of a fundraising organization called Olympic Aid. Olympic athletes were sent as ambassadors to impoverished countries, and many donated money for each gold medal that they won. The program began in 1994 and is still going strong today. Right to Play has a vision to create a healthier and safer world through the power of sport and play. They aim to improve the lives of children in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world by using sport and play for development, health, and peace. Right to Play works to develop life skills through the use of sport and play, and some of these skills include cooperation, hope, integrity, leadership, dedication, respect, enthusiasm, and nurturing. They allow children from all walks of life to become constructive participants in society and create change in communities all over the world. Right to Play has some permanent staff members, many volunteers, sponsors and partners working together to reach their goals. These staff members and volunteers help teach coaches how to build life skill development in the children attending their programs and therefore help children of all backgrounds. This program is implemented worldwide, many of these countries being severely impoverished. They work with the local communities to create a stable, long term program in the area. They can affect an entire community with the implementation of the Right to Play program.

[edit] The Centre For Healthy Development Through Sport and Physical Activity (CHDSPA)

The Centre is a program that was created by Brock University students and educators, which encourages the development of life skills. This program is geared toward children and emphasizes sport as a way to improve communication, physical literacy and positive interaction. The Centre works with other programs including “Coordinated Approach To Child Health”, the “Brock Niagara Penguins” and “Brock Recreation Services” to instill leadership skills and self-esteem in children in the Niagara Region. One of the goals of this organization is to teach children that a balanced set of life skills can improve the way they deal with everyday problems and that the life skills they develop can be used to improve their community. This program offers best-practice activities and is working to assist other groups spread the practice of healthy development through physical activity.

[edit] Peaceful Playgrounds

Peaceful Playgrounds is a program that encourages children to be more active by helping show school staff different and fun ways to keep their students active, safe, and entertained. This program comes into the school and completely reconstructs the existing playground, to have many ground based games (four square, hop scotch) that incorporate colours and line markings, rather than big adventure playgrounds that are more dangerous and usually lead to injury. Not only do they build the playground, but they also hold workshops for both students and staff as many of the structures are multi-purposed for many different games. Due to the variety of games that are now available to the children, they are constantly moving and rarely argue about turns. This program also teaches the students new civilized rules for problem solving, rather than bullying or fighting to get what they want. The outcomes from implementing this program are: increased physical activity levels, decreased bullying and playground conflict, and better academic behaviour as they have spent all their physical energy. It also gives the children a sense of teamwork and cooperation.

[edit] Canadian Safe School Network (CSSN)

This bullying prevention organization helps young children in schools across the country cope with bullying and try to help prevent it. Special sections devoted towards the community are also found in this non-for-profit, registered charitable organization. Canadian Safe School Network has found that bullying is an everyday issue where children from both elementary and secondary schools are constantly being hurt mentally and physically. This makes them afraid to attend school, and classes they love, for example, physical education. This means less kids are receiving the daily physical education, and knowledge on the subject that they should get within a day, week, month or even year. CSSN now has a vision to improve and eliminate the issues identified. They promote standing up to bullies, allowing adults to lend a helping hand with advice, supporting smart and safe "strategies" to prevent bullying in children's schools and communities across the nation, along with promoting physical games to get both the mind and body moving in our youth. These activities improve children's perspectives on differences, therefore eliminating the number one fear of children, bullying.

[edit] Playsport

Playsport is a great organization that takes aim at many social issues in relation to physical activity. Not only does Playsport target the need for physical activity in the “social diet” for youth, they identify physical activity as a necessity for developing strong, healthy body and minds of children everywhere. The reason Playsport is effective, is because they primarily focus on the complete development of the child. Not only do they incorporate skills and sport development, they also include the fundamentals needed to build confident, healthy children. What is most important about this program is that with each activity, they try and incorporate a new skill within physical activity, alongside a new life skill that kids can incorporate in everyday life. Much like techniques taught in physical education programs in universities, Playsport uses a wide range of games such as Target, Net/Wall, Striking/Fielding, and Invasion/Territory. Each category respectfully develops well rounded individuals both physically and mentally.

[edit] Critique

[edit] Right to Play Critique

The Right to Play activity program is a very effective program using physical activity to teach life skills to youth. The development and awareness created by the implementation of this program allows understanding and respect for different cultures, races, behaviors and overall differences between individuals. This understanding and respect can reduce the amount of bullying that occurs in these areas, showing value in differences that people have. A successful trait of this program is the action of training local coaches to lead the programs, as this instills a long term program, rather than only a short term influence on an area. This is a very effective program for the target range that bullying affects the most, people in grades 1 to grade 12. Sport and play are popular activities in this age bracket, and allow for everyone to be included in some way. Some downfalls of this program is that it is only used in some areas of the world as of right now, and is not easily implemented in other areas. It is not an act that can just be accepted and easily adopted, but involves a lot of time and effort to work effectively. On the other hand, this leads to high quality programs in the areas that do adopt it.

[edit] The Centre For Healthy Development Through Sport and Physical Activity Critique

Not only does this program outline how sports can improve life skills, but it also gives practical examples of games and activities to help enforce it. “The Centre” focuses on providing a healthy future for children through physical literacy. It also strives to accomplish the Millennium Development goals locally and internationally. This program includes children with disabilities and is actively working to give children all over the Niagara region a chance to develop their physical literacy by teaming up with CATCH. This partnership allows them to hold workshops and have their program integrated into several schools in the DSBN. The teaching of these life skills can help reduce bullying in a number of ways. The Centre offers a number of resources to help educators, coaches and community leaders to implement best-practice activities. By gathering children together in a safe environment and allowing them to play with others, who may not look, act or sound the same, they may learn to build communication skills and remove social barriers. The more people are able to relate to others and accept them for who they are, the less bullying may occur.

[edit] Peaceful Playgrounds Critique

Peaceful playgrounds is a great program that gives kids an opportunity to play many different types of games with one another and keeps them busy. It is a simple, but very affective system that implements the use of colours and boundaries to keep the kids attention and reduce school ground conflict. This program's system teaches children at a young age the importance of communication skills and settling problems in a courteous way, rather than arguing or fighting. However, one downfall to this program is the fact that all these resources are costly. It is recommended that there be some community involvement, as these tools can be used at all time, not just during school hours.

[edit] Canadian Safe School Network (CSSN)

CSSN is a very effective organization that has gathered numerous programs and resources that have worked to eliminate youth violence in schools and communities across the nation. An example of a resource includes "Slam Dunk Violence For Safe Schools" this is a video hosted by Chuck Swirsky, a Toronto Raptors Announcer, and involves many Toronto Raptors NBA players. This video helps children see that differences are acceptable and encouraged! This video also gives children ideas for group games involving all children and supporting interaction between all children, rather than chosen groups. This video also helps coaches and physical education teachers gain different effective ideas that eliminate teasing, and violence within the schools and communities. Many other programs can be adopted to further gain success in promoting equality along with more physical activity and knowledge in our youth today. Much effort and support must be given to ensure progress, however once completed success will be noted, says the network.

[edit] Playsport

The Playsport program is a great and effective way of incorporating fun and physical activity into life skills. What Playsport does so well, is that it provides educators with the necessary tools to effectively implement life skill development through physical education. This program is part of the Longterm Athlete Development Program for Canadians as it serves as a template for developing strong, healthy people. One thing that may be problematic for the program would be ensuring the people implementing the program are sufficiently educated in order to correctly develop the young children. If the educators do not incorporate the life skills into the physical activity programs effectively, it can actually promote bullying within the parameters of the games or activities in the program. For example, if teams need to be formed for the Playsport activities, it is very important to avoid biased in picking teams such as captains that narrow their choices to the last kid picked in class. Instead, teams should be formed based upon un biased information such as the color of your shirt today. All in all, when executed correctly, the Playsport program shows great future advancement for developing life skills in youth everywhere.

[edit] Best Practice Activity Suggestions

[edit] Group Work

Group work allows children to gain the chance to interact with others they may not be familiar with. Supporting those differences which are acceptable, allows children to give chances to those they normally would not pay any attention to. As Lakewood states, "its not the situation itself, but rather how we look upon it that will determine our mood, and actions towards anything related to that topic" (Lakewood, 2009. With this being said, children do not always understand this concept, therefore it is important that instructors are available to guide children through promoting equality amongst one another, especially when paired with others in group work. A great example of this topic would include sports teams. This is a group experience that allows children of all types to interact and play fairly together. Physical activity is also promoted, therefore allowing the bodies and minds to expand in a social friendly environment. Children are constantly busy, therefore by allowing them to engage in physical activity sports teams, they can burn off enough energy while making friends outside their social barriers. This gives them something to look forward to, in terms of school and community involvement.

[edit] Atmosphere Settings

Sometimes an atmosphere must be changed for a more broad learning and grasp of a specific subject to be made by children. Children are constantly busy, and love to be 'on the go', therefore it may be a good idea to teach them different aspects of bullying in a gym or outdoor environment. This may encourage them to engage in sports and interact freely with other children with both similarities and differences. Children are found to learn best where they succeed best. Therefore by making physical activity a positive experience for each child, they will be able to create a safe space for themselves and others. In this way skills such as listening, cooperating, trusting, respecting, and more are built rather than judging and stereotyping skills that are not wanted in any learning environment (Storey, K., Slaby, R., Adler, M., Minotti, J., Katz, R., 2008).

[edit] Social Change

Bullying has developed to be a social norm in today's society across the globe (Ralston, 2005). By eliminating bullying and violence we are changing socially for the better, and helping our children better adapt and cope to real life scenarios (Hymel, et al., 2011). It seems our society has come a long way in terms of changing socially for the better. Some examples include the laws on seat-belts, drinking and driving, smoking, and many more. It seems these laws were not enforced without the help of community involvement in terms of public awareness, and group support (Hymel, et al., 2011). This goes to show that by making groups feel like they belong, and spreading awareness, much can be accomplished, even if its in a way they perform best, such as through physical activity. Here more than one point is being proven; physical education in the nation's youth is being promoted along with bullying prevention, and keeping today's future educated and in healthy shape to continue making a statement across the globe.

[edit] Formulating Community Involvement

Involving the Community is another way of saying 'getting adults to help with the cause'. Adults, such as parents, teachers, coaches, and community leaders should be taught about bullying and how it effects the nation as a whole (Hymel, et al., 2011). These adults are kind hearted and available to help with situations occurring around them by setting examples as 'role models', setting consequences, intervening, and simply getting involved in action plans to raise awareness about ending the cause before it spreads too far (Hymel, et al., 2011). It is through this prevention activity that children are pushed to get involved and crush their fears of doing what they love, even if they aren't as good as others. An example of this may be a sport during or after school hours (Storey, et al., 2008). Children are most often taken away from, or are fearful of continuing to engage in physical activity because of their 'bad experiences'. However, it is important for an adult to make this a positive experience for them in order to get their minds, bodies and fears on to the right track again. It seems that bullying can be learned, therefore it can also be unlearned. However, the prevention plan must be kept ongoing, through communication, supervision, encouragement, and much more. It is evident that a supportive and involved community response to the situation is a key idea in the termination of youth-on-youth violence (Storey, et al., 2008).

[edit] Delivering Services & Support

This is best known as seeking help to intervene and stop bullying from further occurring. Services and Support are only efficient when help from the whole community is contributed. This allows children to feel the safest and helps them understand the difference between right and wrong, in terms of bullying (Hymel, et al., 2011). Most support groups found today eliminate bullying through group activities in physical education. This is extremely productive for it helps children keep their minds and bodies active while noting the differences in others with a positive attitude and positive outlook on our society. This sort of prevention activity is one of the most efficient for it combines all four of the previous activities, and allows for the most effective results in bullying across the nation.

[edit] Future Directions

[edit] Government

The Canadian Government realizes that there is a severe problem with the amount of bullying that is going on in our country (Public Safety Canada, 2011). They have created many action plans on how to reduce bullying, however instead of implementing them into schools, they merely suggest or encourage the school to take on the responsibility of executing them. It is shown that bullies often portray self-destructive behaviour, which has a close relation with delinquent behaviour in their later years (Public Safety Canada, 2011). Why not stop this cycle at the start by implementing anti-bullying programs straight into the school. The Government must continue to focus on this topic and take action into their own hands.

[edit] Media

The media plays a large role in the fight against bullying as they are a means of easily connecting people to the problem. The media does a good job at making very touching and informative commercials and PSA’s that gives the viewer a first-hand look at examples of bullying and the facts that go with them. A way that the media could make these commercials more moving is to show what the victim’s life would look like in the future after being the target of bullying. People would then see the toll that it takes on a person and hopefully lead them away from any relation to bullying. The television is not the only connection though, the use of radio, billboard, or even YouTube ads could be utilized to help spread the word.

[edit] Parental Involvement

Studies show that a parent that takes a high level of interest in their child's life; talk and share ideas, meet the child’s friends, will reduce the likelihood of that child becoming a bully (Science Daily, 2010). There are many different parenting programs that are easily accessible to the public, that teach awareness of child emotions and ways to help manage their feelings (Science Daily, 2010). It also helps as a parent to make and enforce a routine where every night the child has their homework done and other responsibilities finished.

[edit] External Links

For more information about Right to Play go to the following website:

For more information on The Centre

For examples of how bullying can be reduced through physical activity programs go to the following websites:

For more information about Peaceful Playgrounds

Refer to this site for celebrity support on bullying

[edit] Notes and References

Aluede, O., Adeleke, F., Omoike, D., & Afen-Akpaida, J. (2008). A review of the extent, nature, characteristics and effects of bullying behaviors in schools. Journal of Instructional Psychology. 35:2. Retrieved from

Brown, E. C., Low, S., Smith, B. H., & Haggerty, K. P. (2011). Outcomes From a School-Randomized Controlled Trial of Steps to Respect: A Bullying Prevention Program. School Psychology Review, 40(3), 423-443.

Cambridgeshire County Council. (2007). Office of Children and Young People’s Services Anti-Bullying Strategy. Retrieved from

D'Esposito, S. E., Blake, J., & Riccio, C. A. (2011). Adolescents' Vulnerability to Peer Victimization: Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Predictors. Professional School Counseling, 14(5), 299-309. Retrieved from

Espelage, D.L., Bosworth, K.., & Simon, T.R. (2000). Examining the social context of bullying behaviors in early adolescence. Journal of Counseling & Development. 78:3. Retrieved from,9,14;journal,46,48;linkingpublicationresults,1:112973,1

Hightow-Weidman, L. B., Phillips, G., Jones, K. C., Outlaw, A. Y., Fields, S. D., & Smith, f. C. (2011). Racial and Sexual Identity-Related Maltreatment Among Minority YMSM: Prevalence, Perceptions, and the Association with Emotional Distress. AIDS Patient Care & Stds, 25S39-S45. doi:10.1089/apc.2011.9877

Hymel, S., et al. (1995-2011). Creating a bully free Alberta, What adults can do. Retrieved from:

Lakewood, M. (2009). Bullying prevention skills and techniques for children. Retrieved from:

Mechikoff, Robert A. "Chapter 4: Rome." A History and Philosophy of Sport and Physical Education: from Ancient Civilizations to the Modern World. 5th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010. 86-90. Print.

Mickie, W., Bullock, L. M., & Gable, R. A. (2011). Cyber bullying: practices to face digital aggression. Emotional & Behavioural Difficulties, 16(3), 317-325. doi:10.1080/13632752.2011.595098

Papacharisis, V., Goudas, M., Danish, S. J., & Theodorkis, Y. (2005). The effectiveness of teaching a life skills program in a sport context. Journal of Aplied Sport Psychology. 17:3. Retrieved from

Public Safety Canada. (2011). Bullying Prevention: Nature and Extent of Bullying in Canada. Retrieved from

Ralston, J. (2005). Bullies and bullying. School Library Journal, Issue 5, p.49, 2/3p. Refer also to:

Science Daily. (2010). Parental Involvement Key to Preventing Child Bullying. Retrieved from

Storey, K., Slaby, R., Adler, M., Minotti, J., Katz, R. (2008). Eyes on bulling what can you do? A toolkit to prevent bullying in children's lives. Massachusetts: Education Development Center, Inc. p.25-34. Retrieved from:

Turagabeci, AR. (2008). Healthy Lifestyle Behaviour Decreasing Risks of Being Bullied, Violence and Injury. In PLoS one. Retrieved October 19, 2011, from

All photos taken with permission from Rebekah Steele

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