Resistance to violence prevention interventions in schools: Barriers and solutions

Eric M. Vernbrg, Bridget K. Gamm

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Studies of the prevalence and impact of aggression among school-age children and adolescents document the pervasiveness of bully-victim problems and indicate clear linkages between bully-victim problems, psychological distress, and, in rare instances, lethal attacks on perceived tormentors or towards the self. Evidence is slowly accumulating to show how well-conceived school-based strategies can be effective in addressing bully-victim problems - if implemented and sustained. However, anecdotal evidence suggests many comprehensive school-based initiatives suffer from incomplete implementation, resulting in limited effectiveness. We propose that multiple factors nested within different levels of social ecological complexity (e.g., individual, school, community, and culture) limit the widespread use ofschoolwide approaches to reducing bully-victim-bystander problems. Challenges arise at each of these levels and can potentially thwart efforts to produce meaningful changes in the problems of peer victimization in and around school. Drawing from efforts to implement and evaluate bully-victim-bystander programs, we describe a core set of potential barriers at each ecological level and offer possible strategies for action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-138
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2003


  • School Consultation
  • Treatment acceptability
  • Violence prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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