Cognitive-Behavioral Interventions for Participants in Bullying and Coercion
Peer aggression is an all-too-common occurrence in children’s daily lives. The nature and frequency of children’s peer conflicts shift and change across the developmental stages, such that participation in physical aggression is quite common among toddlers, and participation in verbal and relational aggression becomes quite common in adolescence. In this rough-and-tumble world of children’s peer interactions, the ability to cope with and respond effectively to aggressive overtures is a critical adaptive skill (Pellegrini, 2002; Cairns & Cairns, 2000). In some instances, however, the form and intensity of peer aggression make it unlikely that children can respond effectively and unreasonable to expect them to do so. This chapter will describe one form of peer aggression-bullying-that is never adaptive and is often quite damaging to the children who bully and those who are bullied. Bullying will be described as a cognitive-behavioral phenomenon that is part of the broader framework of childhood aggression and that occurs within a social-ecological context.