Monitor on Psychology - October 2011 - (Page 19)

Bullying may contribute to lower test scores High schools in Virginia where students reported a high rate of bullying had significantly lower scores on standardized tests that students must pass to graduate, according to research presented at APA’s 2011 Annual Convention. “A bullying climate may play an important role in student test performance,” said Dewey Cornell, PhD, a clinical psychologist and professor of education at the University of Virginia. “This research underscores the importance of treating bullying as a schoolwide problem rather than just an individual problem.” The research, which is part of the ongoing Virginia High School Safety Study, compiled surveys about bullying in 2007 from more than 7,300 ninth-grade students and almost 3,000 teachers at 284 high schools located across Virginia. About two-thirds of the students were white, 22 percent were African American and 5 percent were Hispanic. The study found that schoolwide passing rates on standardized exams for algebra I, earth science and world history were 3 percent to 6 percent lower in schools where students reported more severe bullying. “This difference is A study found that schoolwide passing rates on standardized exams were 3 percent to substantial because it affects the school’s 6 percent lower in schools with severe bullying. ability to meet federal requirements and the educational success of many students climate and facilitate academic achievement,” he said. who don’t pass the exams,” Cornell said. Effective anti-bullying programs must take a schoolwide Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, students must approach that involves students, teachers and parents, Cornell receive a passing grade on the standardized tests to graduate said. The programs should provide help for bullying victims, from high school, and at least 70 percent of a school’s students counseling and discipline for bullies, and education for must pass the tests for the school to keep its state accreditation bystanders to discourage them from supporting bullying. in Virginia. Cornell doesn’t believe bullying has increased in schools, but Ninth-grade students were surveyed because ninth grade media attention has highlighted the serious problem. “We have is the year students enter high school, and research has shown become more aware of bullying due to a series of high-profile that poor academic performance in that grade predicts a higher tragic cases involving school shootings and suicides,” Cornell probability of high school dropouts. said. “Our society does not permit harassment and abuse of Schools are under immense pressure to improve adults in the workplace, and the same protections should be standardized test scores because of the No Child Left Behind Act, Cornell said. “This study supports the case for schoolwide afforded to children in school.” bullying-prevention programs as a step to improve school —L. BOWEN OCTOBER 2011 • MONITOR ON PSYCHOLOGY 19

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Monitor on Psychology - October 2011

Monitor on Psychology - October 2011
President’s Column
Subtle and stunning slights
From the CEO
Live science on the showroom floor
Zimbardo re-examines his landmark study
Ready, set, mentor
Attention students and ECPs: Self-care is an ‘ethical imperative’
Suicide risk is high among war veterans in college, study finds
Psychotherapy is effective and here’s why
From toilet to tap: getting people to drink recycled water
What’s ahead for psychology practice?
A push for more accountability is changing the accreditation process
Peer, parental support prove key to fighting childhood obesity
Popular media’s message to girls
Bullying may contribute to lower test scores
A consequence of cuckoldry: More (and better) sex?
Manatees’ exquisite sense of touch may lead them into dangerous waters
Building a better tomato
How will China’s only children care for their aging parents?
‘Spice’ and ‘K2’: New drugs of abuse now on the market
Many suspects don’t understand their right to remain silent
In Brief
Boosting minority achievement
Where’s the progress?
And social justice for all
Helping new Americans find their way
Segregation’s ongoing legacy
A new way to combat prejudice
Retraining the biased brain
Suppressing the ‘white bears’
How to eat better — mindlessly
Protect your aging brain
Must babies always breed marital discontent?
Outing addiction
Flourish 2051
The danger of stimulants
Keys to making integrated care work
Is technology ruining our kids?
Facebook: Friend or foe?
The promise of Web 3.0
NIMH invests in IT enhanced interventions
Science Directions
Science Directions
PsycAdvocates work to safeguard key programs
The psychology of spending cuts
APA’s strategic plan goes live
Visionary leaders
Vote on bylaws amendments

Monitor on Psychology - October 2011