*** was founded with a mission to be an alternative to incarceration. The organization is a private, free-standing, non-profit agency which is accessible to all, regardless of economic, ethnic or religious backgrounds. Since 1971, ***. has provided a highly successful, comprehensive, continuum of behavioral health services. Our formal treatment services have helped over 20,000 young people and their families. Under the *** umbrella, broad arrays of evidence-based prevention services have also been implemented in the treatment of substance use and co-occurring disorders. With their focus on identifying risk and protective factors, these programs have helped to educate and support communities throughout the greater Delaware Valley region. The prevention office at *** provides high-quality prevention programming to various *** County communities. We strive to provide programs which meet the needs in our community and to create a spirit of healthy living and social responsibility on all levels. Many of our programs are evidence-based and have been shown to be successful in effecting change and preventing substance abuse and its associated behaviors. All of our programs are grant-funded and take place in schools, community centers, and other community settings across *** County. We truly have a passion for prevention and understand the relevance and need for prevention services in **** County.
Approximately 5.7 million students in the United States report being involved in bullying as either the bully or bullied. Johnston, Munn & Edwards defined bullying as "The willful, conscious desire to hurt or threaten or frighten someone else". Dan Olweus, a pioneer in Bullying research explains bullying as "A student is being bullying or victimized when he or she is exposed, repeatedly, and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more students". (Olweus, 1993)
Once thought of as an initiation of childhood, researchers have found that that bullying has severe consequences for society. While research shows that incidents of bullying decrease as student's progress in age, the effects are still long term. Bullying is associated with numerous physical, mental, and social detriments (Dake, Price & Teljohann, 2003). Youth who suffer from bullying at school are prone to become anxious, insecure, cautious, depression and low self-esteem. Students who report being bullied report difficulty concentration and high absentee rates. This in turn, leads to poor academic achievement. A study conducted by the Secret Service produced astounding findings. Researchers interviewed friends, family and associates of 41 past school shooters in attempts to create a psychological profile of school "shooters". They found one correlation in their study: 71% of school shooters reported being bullied at school (Vossekvil, Fein, Reddy, Borum, & Modzeleski, 2002). Youth who bully tend to have difficulty forming positive friendships and are at high risk for smoking and drinking at young ages. One study found that 60% of those identified as bullies in grades 6-9 had at least one criminal conviction by 24 years of age (Olweus, 1993). A survey conducted by The Justice Department found the number of bullying victims increasing, finding 8% of 12 to 18 year old report being bullied in the past six months (Fox, Elliott, Kerilikowski, et al, 2003).
In a survey conducted by The Kaiser Foundation, participants aged 8-15 identified bullying and teasing as bigger problems than pressure to have sex, drugs, alcohol, racism or AIDS. More African Americans chose bullying as a bigger problem than racism (Fox et al, 2003). As many as 7% of eight graders admit to staying home at least once a month to avoid being bullied (Batsche & Knoff, 1994).
Research has shown that bullying most likely occurs in schools where there is a lack of adult supervision at breaks, when...