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Bias-based bullying and bystander responses in schools: Why we need an intergroup approach

Mood Disorders Centre Think Tank Seminar Series

A Mood Disorders Centre seminar
Date1 November 2019
Time12:00 to 13:00
PlaceThe Sir Henry Wellcome Building for Mood Disorders Research

Our guest speaker is Sally Palmer of the University of Exeter


Abstract: Bullying in schools is a serious issue, affecting social-emotional wellbeing, academic performance and school belonging. Although bystanders (i.e., witnesses) can play an important role in reducing bullying, programmes that promote “prosocial” bystander responses tend to be less effective in diverse communities. Unfortunately, this is exactly where bias-based bullying is most likely to occur. This type of bullying occurs when a student is targeted due to their group membership or affiliation with a social category, such as gender, nationality or disability. When it goes unchallenged, additional negative consequences can potentially arise - as negative attitudes towards related social groups are entrenched. To understand when and why bystanders will respond prosocially to bias-based bullying, it is necessary to take a developmental intergroup approach. This approach applies what we know about children’s developing cognition of social groups to understand how they respond in bias-based (or “intergroup”) contexts of bullying. In this seminar, I will demonstrate the importance of applying an intergroup lens to understand bystander responses to bias-based bullying and discuss implications for school-based interventions

OrganizerMood Disorders Centre

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