Reducing Bullying: Application of Social Cognitive Theory

Susan M. Swearer, Cixin Wang, Brandi Berry, Zachary R. Myers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Social cognitive theory (SCT) is an important heuristic for understanding the complexity of bullying behaviors and the social nature of involvement in bullying. Bullying has been heralded as a social relationship problem, and the interplay between the individual and his or her social environment supports this conceptualization. SCT has been used to help guide the development of an individualized intervention for bully perpetrators, which will be described in this article. Intervening directly with those who bully others helps understand individual variation in bullying, as well as teaches bully perpetrators alternative, prosocial ways of interacting with others. Students who bully others exhibit a complex array of psychological, cognitive, and social characteristics. In this article, we argue that to truly reduce bullying, interventions must address these psychological, cognitive, and social contributing factors. Only when interventions target these constructs will individuals be able to transform their bullying behaviors into prosocial interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-277
Number of pages7
JournalTheory into Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 26 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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