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Peer-based anti-bullying initiatives may harm victims more, researcher says

Peer-based anti-bullying initiatives may harm victims more, researcher says

Health
Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Encouraging classmates to defend bullied pupils may do more harm than good, according to a review of existing research published Tuesday by Child Development Perspectives. Unlike programs that include parental training, firm discipline or enhanced playground supervision, interventions that involve working with the peers of bullied students tend to lead to increases in the behavior, the author wrote. Advertisement So-called "bystander interventions," in which peers are trained to come to the defense of the bullying victims, may actually increase feelings of victimization and distress by "disempowering" them, reinforcing or provoking bullying or eroding broader support for them, the review suggests. "Many school bullying prevention programs encourage and train peer bystande...