Goal Statement: My overall goal is to decrease the incidents of bullying among children by integrating the family of the perpetrator of aggression into the therapeutic process.
Significant Findings: Most of the research for this project either focused on the victim and the lasting effects of being bullied or the steps taken by the school to decrease incidents of being bullied. In Iowa despite the anti-bullying policies in place, bullying continued at a high rate, ranking Iowa 11th in the nation. One of the key pieces of information was that family dysfunction was a significant risk. Another finding was that children that live in poverty also tend to perpetrate violence towards others. The CDC discusses the importance of family relationships and that strong familial relationships will decrease adverse childhood experiences.
Objectives/Strategies/Interventions/Next Steps: In order to decrease incidents of bullying it is important that not only the school is involved but the family as well. By using the Systems theory it is felt that the outcome will be successful in reducing the incidents of bullying. This theory focuses on the family dynamic and view it as a interdependent system, meaning that each member contributes to patterns of behavior. The program would consist of parenting skills, coping skills, rebuilding the family relationship, building self-esteem, and any other issue the family may be experiencing. Collaborating with the school is a key in this project. As shown in one study when the parents and the school both work together, the incidents of bullying decreases. There are a couple of steps that would need to take place for this project to be successful. The first one is that more research needs to be done to look at the impact of one’s family life on a child. The second step is working with the Board of Education, or higher to include families in therapy in the anti-bullying policies.