Written by Joan Tabachnick
As part of our new prevention series, I had the chance to speak with one of my ATSA heroes, Ray Knight about his relatively new work and interest in bullying prevention. Most people know Ray as a passionate public speaker who once literally presented on stage while in bed from a back injury. He is remarkable for his ability to race through 180 slides in an hour and still leave the audience wanting more. If felt that way in my interview with him about this new avenue of his work.
The initial data are showing that the intervention is working. Ray and Judith are also finding that physical bullying seems to break into two components, instrumental/proactive and reactive aggression. For those who don’t know the terms, instrumental or proactive aggression is an aggressive act intended to achieve a goal, while reactive aggression is retaliatory and stems from anger or hurt. The CSC program does affect the anger and dysregulation that contributes to reactive aggression, but is less effective for reducing instrumental aggression. The program also appears to reduce the active forms of relational aggression (rumors, gossiping) but not the more passive exclusionary types of relational aggression (not enough room for one more at the lunch table…). Direct meanness and verbal harassment also decrease. Next year, they will be able to analyze whether CSC also decreased sexual harassment, when the participating students reach the age at which these questions are asked.