Bullying in schools has received a great deal of attention in the United States over the last 15 years. Despite this increase in attention and the resulting increases in funding and programs, bullying continues to be a significant issue of concern today. Researchers have often suggested two fundamental approaches to reducing violent behavior. These include seeking social change and empowering victims through self-defense training. When it comes to bullying in schools, however, educators have focused primarily on seeking social change. This study sought to evaluate the possible benefits of self-defense training for school-age children. The Gracie Bullyproof program, in Torrance, California, was selected for case study evaluation. Research was conducted in two overlapping phases. The first phase of the study was exploratory. This phase consisted of document and media analysis and direct observation. The primary purpose of this phase was to explore the nature of the Gracie Bullyproof program and to lay the foundation for further research. The second phase was descriptive. Six family-groups were selected for participation in the study, including nine school-age children and nine parents or guardians. Participants were administered a semi-structured interview and a follow-up questionnaire. Phase two was designed to evaluate the lived experiences of participants. Participants overwhelmingly reported that their experience in the program was positive. They found the program helpful in both preventing and responding to bullying at school. Those with past experiences with bullying also reported that the training was therapeutic and helpful in overcoming the effects of past trauma. Recommendations for further study include additional research examining self-defense as a bullying prevention strategy, the negative effects that victimization can have on the family, and the complex interactions between individual, family, and school responses to bullying.
|Advisor:||Joki, Russell A.|
|Commitee:||Curtis, Heidi, Loether, Chris|
|School:||Northwest Nazarene University|
|School Location:||United States -- Idaho|
|Source:||DAI-A 76/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Secondary education, Individual & family studies|
|Keywords:||Bullying, Families, Parents, Qualitative, Schools, Self-defense|
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