Dorothy L Espelage

Clinical Psychology

Ph.D.
38.48

Publications

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    Gabriel Merrin · Jun Sung Hong · Dorothy L Espelage
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    ABSTRACT: This study examines the risk and protective factors for gang involvement among subgroups of youth (i.e., current or former gang members, youth who resisted gang membership, and non-gang-involved youth) using the social-ecological framework. 17,366 middle and high school students from school districts in a large Midwestern county participated. Results indicated that males were more likely than females to be involved in gangs. For the individual context, our findings indicate that racial and ethnic minorities, females, and youth with depression/suicidal ideation are likely to be at risk for gang involvement. For the family context, we found that having gang-involved family members and family dysfunction are related to youth gang involvement. For the peer context, peers’ alcohol and drug use and bullying were significantly associated with gang involvement. For the school context, as our results demonstrate, youth who perceived fair treatment from teachers and other adults in school and those with a sense of belonging in school are more likely to avoid gang membership. For the neighborhood context, we found that presence of adult support in the neighborhood and perceived neighborhood safety are negatively associated with gang membership. Findings suggest that gang prevention efforts need to target multiple ecologies that surround and influence youth.
    American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 08/2015; · 1.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The current study investigated demographic variables, sense of belonging, and social supports as predictors for involvement in bullying for students with specific learning disabilities (SLD) and students without disabilities. Although these student groups are characteristically different, results suggested involvement in bullying was invariant. However, gender, race, grade point average, and participation in extracurricular activities emerged as significant predictors for involvement in the bullying dynamic. In addition, increased peer social support was found to be the most significant predictor of decreased bullying, victimization, fighting, and anger for both students with SLD and students without disabilities. Educational implications include the suggestion that schools adopt multitiered antibullying programs that foster increased social supports and peer acceptance and incorporate targeted interventions for at-risk subpopulations of students.
    Journal of Learning Disabilities 07/2015; 48(3):239-254. DOI:10.1177/0022219413496279 · 1.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Using a national sample of 7,533 U.S. adolescents in grades 6-10, the present study compares the social-ecological correlates of face-to-face and cyberbullying victimization. Results indicate that younger age, male sex, hours spent on social media, family SES (individual context), parental monitoring (family context), positive feelings about school, and perceived peer support in school (school context) were negatively associated with both forms of victimization. European American race, Hispanic/Latino race (individual), and family satisfaction (family context) were all significantly associated with less face-to-face victimization only, and school pressure (school context) was significantly associated with more face-to-face bullying. Peer groups accepted by parents (family context) were related to less cyberbullying victimization, and calling/texting friends was related to more cyberbullying victimization. Research and practice implications are discussed.
    Violence and Victims 07/2015; · 1.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Publication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information:
    Journal of School Violence 06/2015; DOI:10.1080/15388220.2015.1056879
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    Philip C Rodkin · Dorothy L Espelage · Laura D Hanish
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    ABSTRACT: This article reviews current research on the relational processes involved in peer bullying, considering developmental antecedents and long-term consequences. The following themes are highlighted: (a) aggression can be both adaptive and maladaptive, and this distinction has implications for bullies' functioning within peer social ecologies; (b) developmental antecedents and long-term consequences of bullying have not been well-distinguished from the extant research on aggressive behavior; (c) bullying is aggression that operates within relationships of power and abuse. Power asymmetry and repetition elements of traditional bullying definitions have been hard to operationalize, but without these specifications and more dyadic measurement approaches there may be little rationale for a distinct literature on bullying-separate from aggression. Applications of a relational approach to bullying are provided using gender as an example. Implications for future research are drawn from the study of relationships and interpersonal theories of developmental psychopathology. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
    American Psychologist 05/2015; 70(4):311-321. DOI:10.1037/a0038658 · 6.87 Impact Factor
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    Sarah J. Rinehart · Dorothy L. Espelage
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    Dorothy L Espelage
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    Dorothy L. Espelage · Chad A. Rose · Joshua R. Polanin
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    ABSTRACT: Results of a 3-year randomized clinical trial of Second Step: Student Success Through Prevention (SS-SSTP) Middle School Program on reducing bullying, physical aggression, and peer victimization among students with disabilities are presented. Teachers implemented 41 lessons of a sixth- to eighth-grade curriculum that focused on social-emotional learning (SEL) skills, including empathy, bully prevention, communication skills, and emotion regulation. Two school districts in a larger clinical trial provided disability information. All sixth-grade students (N = 123) with a disability were included in these analyses, including intervention (n = 47) and control (n = 76) conditions. Linear growth models indicated a significant intervention effect for bully perpetration; compared with students in the control condition, intervention students’ bullying perpetration scale scores significantly decreased across the 3-year study (δ = −.20, 95% confidence interval = [−.38, −.03]). SEL offers promise in reducing bully perpetration among students with disabilities.
    Remedial and Special Education 03/2015; DOI:10.1177/0741932514564564 · 0.68 Impact Factor
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    Dorothy L Espelage
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    Jun Sung Hong · Dorothy L. Espelage · Paul R. Sterzing
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    ABSTRACT: This study examines ecological level correlates of adverse peer relationships among early adolescents (ages 12-14). Data analysis was conducted using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY). The sample was drawn from the mother-child data set, which included youth who in 2002 or 2004 were living with their mothers and enrolled in school. Eligible participants responded to at least 1 of the 13 items from the survey and their mothers responded to at least 1 of the 2 items measuring adverse peer relationships at Times 1 (2002/2004) and 2 (2004/2006). Multivariate hierarchical logistic regression was estimated. The presence of a learning disorder and adverse peer relationships at Time 1 (socio-demographics), perceptions of school environment (microsystem), and area of residence and perceptions of safety (exosystem) were all significantly associated with adverse peer relationships at Time 2. Assessing and targeting these ecological levels hold the potential to decrease adverse peer relationships among early adolescents.
    Youth &amp Society 02/2015; DOI:10.1177/0044118X15569215 · 1.82 Impact Factor
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    David Scott Yeager · Carlton J Fong · Hae Yeon Lee · Dorothy L Espelage
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    ABSTRACT: a r t i c l e i n f o Available online xxxx Highly visible tragedies in high schools thought to involve bullying have directly contributed to public support for state-mandated K-12 anti-bullying programming. But are existing programs actually effective for these older adolescents? This paper first outlines theoretical considerations, including developmental changes in (a) the manifestation of bullying, (b) the underlying causes of bullying, and (c) the efficacy of domain-general behav-ior-change tactics. This review leads to the prediction of a discontinuity in program efficacy among older adoles-cents. The paper then reports a novel meta-analysis of studies that administered the same program to multiple age groups and measured levels of bullying (k = 19, with 72 effect sizes). By conducting a hierarchical meta-analysis of the within-study moderation of efficacy by age, more precise estimates of age-related trends were possible. Results were consistent with theory in that whereas bullying appears to be effectively prevented in 7th grade and below, in 8th grade and beyond there is a sharp drop to an average of zero. This finding contradicts past meta-analyses that used between-study tests of moderation. This paper provides a basis for a theory of age-related moderation of program effects that may generalize to other domains. The findings also suggest the more general need for caution when interpreting between-study meta-analytic moderation results.
    Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 01/2015; 37. DOI:10.1016/j.appdev.2014.11.005 · 1.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (the "Content") contained in the publications on our platform. However, Taylor & Francis, our agents, and our licensors make no representations or warranties whatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Any opinions and views expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors, and are not the views of or endorsed by Taylor & Francis. The accuracy of the Content should not be relied upon and should be independently verified with primary sources of information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for any losses, actions, claims, proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages, and other liabilities whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with, in relation to or arising out of the use of the Content. This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. Terms &
    Journal of School Violence 01/2015; DOI:10.1080/15388220.2014.990462
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    Sarah J. Rinehart · Dorothy L. Espelage
    01/2015; DOI:10.1037/a0039095
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    Dorothy L Espelage · Sabina Low · Joshua R Polanin · Eric C Brown
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    ABSTRACT: School-based social-emotional (SEL) programs that address interpersonal conflict and teach emotion management have succeeded in reducing youth aggression among elementary school youth, with few studies in middle schools. Results of a two-year cluster-randomized (36 schools) clinical trial of Second Step Middle School Program (Committee for Children, 2008) on reducing aggression and victimization are presented. Teachers implemented 28 lessons (6th & 7th-grade) that focused on social emotional learning skills (e.g., empathy, problem-solving). All 6th graders (n = 3658) completed self-report measures assessing bullying, aggression, homophobic name-calling and sexual harassment at three waves. Multilevel analyses revealed significant intervention effects for two of the seven outcomes. Students in intervention schools were 56% less likely to self-report homophobic name-calling victimization and 39% less likely to report sexual violence perpetration than students in control schools in one state. SS-SSTP holds promise as an efficacious program to reduce homophobic name-calling and sexual violence in adolescent youth.
    Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 12/2014; 37. DOI:10.1016/j.appdev.2014.11.007 · 1.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: This study examined whether childhood bullying victimization was associated with psychosocial and academic functioning at college. Participants: The sample consisted of 413 first-year students from a large Northeastern university. Methods: Students completed an online survey in February 2012 that included items assessing past bullying involvement, current psychosocial and academic functioning, and victimization experiences since arriving at college. Results: Regression analyses indicated that reports of past bullying and other peer victimization were associated with lower mental health functioning and perceptions of physical and mental health, but were not associated with perceptions of social life at college, overall college experience, or academic performance. Conclusions: Childhood bullying victimization is associated with poorer mental and physical health among first year college students. Colleges should consider assessing histories of bullying victimization, along with other past victimization exposures, in their service provision to students.
    Journal of American College Health 11/2014; 62:552-560. DOI:10.1080/07448481.2014.947990 · 1.45 Impact Factor
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    Dorothy L Espelage
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    ABSTRACT: This commentary reviews research findings of the five papers in the special entitled "School-related Factors in the Development of Bullying Perpetration and Victimization", which represent critical areas that are often overlooked in the literature. First, one paper points to the complex interaction between a genetic disposition for aggression and classroom norms toward aggression. Second, an intervention paper unpacks the underlying mechanisms of an efficacious school-wide bully prevention program by opening the "black box" and testing for mediators. Third, the remaining studies employ a wide range of rigorous designs to identify how teachers' attitudes, behaviors, and classroom practices play a critical role in the prevalence of victimization and bullying in the classroom. Further, teachers' attitudes and behaviors are shown to be predictive of youth's willingness to intervene to assist a peer who is being victimized. Results are situated in what is known about bullying prevention, and how the findings from these studies could maximize the sensitivity of future prevention efforts.
    Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 10/2014; 43(1). DOI:10.1007/s10802-014-9948-8 · 3.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (the "Content") contained in the publications on our platform. However, Taylor & Francis, our agents, and our licensors make no representations or warranties whatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Any opinions and views expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors, and are not the views of or endorsed by Taylor & Francis. The accuracy of the Content should not be relied upon and should be independently verified with primary sources of information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for any losses, actions, claims, proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages, and other liabilities whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with, in relation to or arising out of the use of the Content. This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. Terms & Conditions of access and use can be found at
    Journal of School Violence 10/2014; 14(1). DOI:10.1080/15388220.2014.963593
  • Dorothy L. Espelage
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    ABSTRACT: Bronfenbrenner's (1977)7. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1977). Toward an experimental ecology of human development. American Psychologist, 32, 513–531.[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®]View all references classic ecological theory is used as a framework to review the documented risk and protective factors associated with involvement in school-related bullying during childhood and adolescence. Microsystems such as peers (socialization during adolescence), family (violence, lack of parental monitoring), community (exposure to violence), and schools (teacher attitudes, climate) contribute to the rates of bullying perpetrated or experienced by youth. The interaction between components of the microsystem is referred to as the mesosystem, and offers insight into how contexts can exacerbate or buffer experiences for youth who are involved in bullying (e.g., family support can buffer impact of peer victimization). Recommendations are provided for teachers and other adults who work with youth.
    Theory Into Practice 10/2014; 53(4):257-264. DOI:10.1080/00405841.2014.947216 · 0.63 Impact Factor
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    Dorothy L Espelage · Kathleen C Basile · Lisa De La Rue · Merle E Hamburger
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    ABSTRACT: Bullying perpetration and sexual harassment perpetration among adolescents are major public health issues. However, few studies have addressed the empirical link between being a perpetrator of bullying and subsequent sexual harassment perpetration among early adolescents in the literature. Homophobic teasing has been shown to be common among middle school youth and was tested as a moderator of the link between bullying and sexual harassment perpetration in this 2-year longitudinal study. More specifically, the present study tests the Bully-Sexual Violence Pathway theory, which posits that adolescent bullies who also participate in homophobic name-calling toward peers are more likely to perpetrate sexual harassment over time. Findings from logistical regression analyses (n = 979, 5th-7th graders) reveal an association between bullying in early middle school and sexual harassment in later middle school, and results support the Bully-Sexual Violence Pathway model, with homophobic teasing as a moderator, for boys only. Results suggest that to prevent bully perpetration and its later association with sexual harassment perpetration, prevention programs should address the use of homophobic epithets.
    Journal of Interpersonal Violence 10/2014; 30(14). DOI:10.1177/0886260514553113 · 1.64 Impact Factor
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    Dorothy L Espelage · Sabina K Low · Shane R Jimerson
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    ABSTRACT: Existing scholarship suggests that classroom practices, teacher attitudes, and the broader school environment play a critical role in understanding the rates of student reports of aggression, bullying, and victimization as well as correlated behaviors. A more accurate understanding of the nature, origins, maintenance, and prevalence of bullying and other aggressive behavior requires consideration of the broader social ecology of the school community. However, studies to date have predominantly been cross-sectional in nature, or have failed to reflect the social-ecological framework in their measurement or analytic approach. Thus, there have been limited efforts to parse out the relative contribution of student, classroom, and organizational-level factors. This special topic section emphasizes a departure from a focus on student attitudes and behaviors, to a social-contextual approach that appreciates how much features of the school environment can mitigate or perpetuate aggression. This collection of articles reflects innovative and rigorous approaches to further our understanding of climate, and has implications for theory, measurement, prevention, and practice. These studies highlight the influence of school climate on mental health, academic achievement, and problem behavior, and will hopefully stimulate interest in and further scholarship on this important topic. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
    School Psychology Quarterly 09/2014; 29(3):233-237. DOI:10.1037/spq0000090 · 1.45 Impact Factor

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