Educational Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

May 2004


Published in: Bullying in American Schools: A Social-Ecological Perspective on Prevention and Intervention, Edited by Dorothy L. Espelage (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) and Susan M. Swearer (University of Nebraska–Lincoln). Published by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, New Jersey & London, 2004. Copyright © 2004 Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Used by permission.


Bullying and other forms of violence among children and youth is a prevalent concern among educators, psychologists, and families alike. Families and schools represent the primary systems in children's lives, and schools and homes are their primary learning contexts. These ecological contexts provide important frameworks within which development occurs. Healthy development occurs most seamlessly when there are congruent and consistent messages delivered across contexts, and healthy and constructive relationships among them. The development of meaningful partnerships among these systems on behalf of children and youth is particularly important to produce positive, lasting outcomes. Thus, an optimal focus for interventions aimed at bullying and victimization exists in the cross-setting contexts of home and school.

This chapter will focus on consultation processes for working across home and school ecologies to address concerns related to bullying and social competence. Included is information on (a) consultation strategies aimed at developing partnerships among parents and educational professionals to help develop social competence in children (i.e., bullies, victims, bystanders); (b) procedures for assessing the child and environment to identify sources of difficulties as well as facilitators to support social skillfulness; and (c) strategies for implementing interventions across home and school settings to enhance social competence.