Bullying and discrimination in schools: Exploring variations across student subgroups

Susan Swearer, Shelley Hymel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


This commentary reviews the four articles included in a special issue of the School Psychology Review that address factors related to the bullying and discrimination among youth. The articles explore rather diverse topics within the broader literature on youth interpersonal violence, but each adds to our understanding of the very complex nature of bullying involvement. In an attempt to understand this complexity, we view these studies through the lens of a socialecological diathesis-stress model (Swearer & Hymel, 2015), considering the individual, family, peer, school community, and societal contexts in which youth interpersonal violence occurs, and how biological and cognitive vulnerabilities interact with stressors like peer victimization to understanding the mechanisms at play in any particular incident of interpersonal violence. Together, the studies presented in this special issue contribute to our understanding of this complexity, reminding us that peers matter; educational placement matters; individual differences in race, sexual orientation, and disabilities matter; and measurement matters. It is perhaps this complexity that limits the effectiveness of current universal strategies for addressing such behaviors in school, but paves the way for more effective, multidimensional prevention and intervention efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)504-509
Number of pages6
JournalSchool Psychology Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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