NICHD supports and conducts a range of research on bullying. In addition to its own research, the Institute collaborates with other NIH Institutes and organizations to further our understanding of bullying.
The following is only a summary of some of the Institute's efforts related to bullying.
Child Development & Behavior Branch (CDDB) research supports a number of projects related to bullying through its Social and Emotional Development/Child and Family Processes Program. Some of these include:
- Identifying Positive Aspects of Youth Internet Use: The Next Step in Prevention (Michele Ybarra, Internet Solutions for Kids, Inc.)
- Social Aggression: Growth and Outcomes (Marion Underwood, University of Texas at Dallas)
- Bullying Prevention Intervention for Adolescent Primary Care Patients (Megan Ranney, Rhode Island Hospital)
- Reducing Problem Behaviors Through PYD: An RCT of Restorative School Practices (Joie Danielle Acosta, RAND Corporation)
- Development of the CABS: Child-Adolescent Bullying Screen (Judith Vessey, Boston College)
The CDBB is soliciting Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants to develop and test games that address bullying and cyberbullying, such as games that raise awareness about bullying or help those being bullied cope.
Division of Intramural Population Health Research (DIPHR) research on bullying is aimed at understanding the prevalence and patterns in bullying and how they change over time. Some of the DIPHR projects related to bullying include:
- Examining cross-national health trends in children, including the prevalence of bullying
- Identifying bullying and victimization factors in school-aged children
- Characterizing the link between cyberbullying and depression in both bullies and those who are victimized by bullies
Other NICHD-supported studies include:
- Co-occurrence of victimization for several subtypes of bullying, including physical, verbal, social exclusion, rumor spreading, and cyberbullying
- Predictors of being bullied, such as weight status and race/ethnicity
- Likelihood of substance use among adolescents who have been bullied
- NICHD adapted materials from the stopbullying.gov website to create the "Bullying: Be More Than a Bystander" educational resource. The resource includes a presentation and facilitator's guide to educate students on how they can support someone who is being bullied.
- In addition to supporting and conducting studies on bullying, NICHD collaborates with other NIH Institutes and organizations to understand bullying behavior and the effects of bullying. These activities include but are not limited to:
- Research co-funded by NICHD and the National Institute of Mental Health to study the mental health effects of verbal victimization, the risk of self-harm after being bullied, and the genes that are associated with the development of emotional problems after being bullied
- Research co-funded by NICHD and the National Institute of Drug Abuse to study the effects of bullying on adolescent substance abuse
- Research co-funded by NICHD and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases on sexual orientation and being bullied
- NICHD co-sponsored a 2016 consensus report, Preventing Bullying Through Science, Policy, and Practice . The report examines the state of the science on bullying and outlines next steps for educators, parents, and policymakers.
- NICHD staff participated in planning the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Summit. Dr. Layla Esposito, director of the program on Process in Social and Emotional Development, serves on the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Steering Committee, an interagency effort that was launched in early 2010 to focus on the problem of bullying. Members of the committee help plan the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Summits.
- NICHD also participated in the Surgeon General's Workshop on Making Prevention of Child Maltreatment a National Priority: Implementing Innovations of a Public Health Approach. This workshop was convened to discover and elucidate effective strategies for preventing child maltreatment, including bullying, and promoting child well treatment.
- The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health, formerly the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health) , also referred to as the Add Health Study, began in 1994 under a grant from NICHD, with co-funding from 17 other federal agencies. The Add Health study is the largest, most comprehensive survey of adolescents ever undertaken. Initially, the goals of the study focused only on adolescents. Researchers designed the study to determine how families, friends, peer groups, schools, neighborhoods, communities, and individual characteristics influence health, health behaviors, and use of health care. The study provides researchers with knowledge on how adolescent experiences, such as bullying, affect adolescent health and health-associated activities later in life.