Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Research Journey of a Lifetime

Option #2 - Alleviating Bullying

My research choice comes from a news report that touched my heart.  A 13 year old child took his life after being bullied for being gay.  There have recently been a number of suicides due to bullying so this is the premise of my research topic.

This would be a longitudinal research project.  The project  would be a collaboration with behavioral researchers in the United States.  The subjects of the study would be every child born in 2012 and their parents.  The length of the project would be until the children reached 18 years of age.    The parents would be asked for their permission, as found in OHRP regulation 45 CFR 46.402(c) and given free parenting classes, which would provide the tools to use in promoting acceptance.  When the children reach 3.8 years of age, they will be asked to assent to the study, unless determined by the IRB (Institutional Review Board), using one of the circumstances in regulation 45 CFR 46.408(a) .  At this time Parents would have the opportunity to remove themselves from the study or to continue on.

The study would also include any pre-school staff and the school system in which the children are enrolled.  Researchers would look at policies and procedures in those institutions regarding bullying.

The children would have opportunities to meet a diverse group of people, along with their parents and will be subjected to questions regarding their feelings about those diverse people.  They would listen to statements made about the various groups and decide whether the statements were true or false and if the statement was "mean".  Mean, being hurtful and/or damaging to the "feelings" of the person(s) the statement was aimed at.

The statements would target the following, but would not be limited to:
  • Handicapped/Disabled
  • Mentally challenged
  • Poor people
  • Homelessness
  • Elderly
  • Obese
  • Races (African American, Hispanic, Caucasian, Asian, etc.)
  • Homosexual
  • Single parents
  • Drug users
  • Incarcerated
  • Religions
  • Atheism
The researchers would meet with their designated groups bi-annually to inquire whether they, the parents and/or their children, had been subjected to bullying or bullied someone since their last meeting.  The teachers would also be questioned on what they were seeing.

I know there are many variables to this research project that haven't been addressed but the ultimate goal, for the "greater good" would be to develop children who are sensitive,caring and strong enough not to bully or allow others to be bullied.


Special Protections for Children as Research Subject retrieved from


  1. Thanks Stephanie for researching and advocating for a topic that we hear about more now in the news than ever. Growing up I can remember being on the receiving end of bullying and wishing I had someone who would listen and stick-up for me. It is nothing like it was 30+ years ago, with advancement in technology, the bully does not have to be present to hurt you with words or followers. Again, thanks for addressing such an important topic.

  2. Stephanie-

    This is such an important topic. I had training in a bully prevention program it was very hard for me. It brought up many painful memories of my own childhood and being bullied by others. I was not physically bullied but I emotionally and psychologically bullied for many years by my peers. Thank you for taking on such a tough topic.

  3. Hi Stephanie I am really excited about reading your post on bullying. This is something that is so common in this generation. I can relate to bullying because I use to be a bully in a sence. I didn't go around beating up other children I just messed with children who were really cruel to me as a child which was mainly white children. They would say mean things to the black students that was bussed to a all white school. This was really hard for me because as a kid I just wanted to fit in and be everyone's friend. Great research topic.