Dorothy L Espelage

Dorothy L Espelage
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | UNC · School of Education

Ph.D.

About

386
Publications
439,669
Reads
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20,596
Citations
Introduction
Dorothy L. Espelage, Ph.D., is the recipient of the APA Lifetime Achievement Award in Prevention Science & the 2016 APA Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in Public Policy, and is a Fellow of APS, APA, and AERA. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Education. She has authored over 180 peer-reviewed articles, 70 book chapters on bullying, homophobic teasing, sexual harassment, dating violence, & gang violence. Her federally-funded research (NSF, CDC, NIJ) focuses on translating empirical findings into prevention and intervention programming.
Additional affiliations
July 2019 - present
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Position
  • Professor
August 2016 - June 2019
University of Florida
Position
  • Professor (Full)
September 1997 - August 2016
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Position
  • Edward William Gutgsell & Jane Marr Gutgsell Endowed Professor Hardie Professor of Education University Scholar

Publications

Publications (386)
Article
Despite the rise in anti-Islamic sentiment, Muslim youth’s experiences of religious discrimination are under researched. The goal of this paper is to better understand the complexities associated with religious discrimination for youth and adolescents and how to mitigate the harm caused by these discriminatory experiences. This mixed methods system...
Article
We present outcomes from a field test of a student-centered and technology-driven school safety framework. We describe the framework components rooted in school violence prevention. Results from our field test indicate moderate student and teacher use of the framework components, improvements in student perceptions of school safety, reductions in s...
Article
The present study investigates whether poverty status might explain the relationship between welfare assistance and children’s involvement in bullying. The study found that welfare assistance was positively associated with children’s involvement in bullying. Additionally, poverty status, regardless of welfare assistance, was significantly related t...
Article
Adolescent sexual violence (SV), which includes non-contact verbal sexual harassment (SH) and forced sexual contact (FSC), is a significant public health problem with long-term impacts on health and well-being. Understanding how sports participation is linked to SV can inform prevention efforts; however, the current literature is unclear about the...
Article
Bullying is common among students; however, there are several individual characteristics or identities that make an adolescent more susceptible to victimization. This secondary data analysis of a sample of 20,302 high school students in Wisconsin uses a multilevel model to assess common risk factors such as gender identity, sexual orientation, raci...
Article
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The current study, grounded in a social learning theoretical framework, examined attitudes and behaviors associated with verbal and physical teen dating violence (TDV) victimization. Because TDV varies by gender in both frequency and severity, these associations were examined first within the overall sample, and then by gender to further investigat...
Article
As studies have documented, children and adolescents who are identified as bullies, bully victims, or both are at an elevated risk of being involved in other forms of violence, for example, dating violence and sexual violence. Moreover, those who are exposed to violence (e.g., exposure to community violence) have increased odds of being involved in...
Article
Emerging adulthood (EA) is a time of self-exploration as new opportunities for independence and autonomy arise. Yet, for some youth, this may also contribute to instability, uncertainty, and anxiety. Consequently, evidence suggests that rates of exposure to various forms of violence increase in EA. This study examined changes in experiences of bull...
Article
Sexual violence (SV) among adolescents continues to be a major public health concern with numerous consequences. Research, predominantly with male collegiate samples, has suggested an association between sports participation and SV perpetration, and has included other important risk factors such as substance use and attitudes. However, more researc...
Article
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Objectives Adolescents’ exposure to violence between parents acts as a precursor to risky behaviors; however, empirical studies that examined the potential pathways from exposure to violence between parents to risky behaviors are rare. Consequently, the prevention and intervention strategies for risky sexual activities are limited without the ident...
Article
A limited number of findings from empirical studies show that biracial adolescents are at a heightened risk of peer victimization. Black/White biracial adolescents are frequent targets of peer victimization due to racism and systematic oppression that are inherent in U.S. schools. Similar to adolescents of other racial and ethnic groups, biracial a...
Article
The current study, grounded in a social learning theoretical framework, examined attitudes and behaviors associated with verbal and physical teen dating violence (TDV) victimization. Because TDV varies by gender in both frequency and severity, these associations were examined first within the overall sample, and then by gender to further investigat...
Article
Bullying victimization remains to be a public health concern in the United States, especially among sexual and ethnic minority youth. However, few studies have examined how school outcomes might be associated with bullying victimization among heterosexual and sexual minority African American youth and the factors that may attenuate that relationshi...
Article
The purpose of this study was to investigate the possibility that cognitive and affective variables form a reciprocal relationship when it comes to predicting future bullying perpetration. To this end, the bidirectional relationship between cognitive impulsivity and anger was evaluated in an effort to determine whether both cross-lagged pathways co...
Article
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which began in January 2020, has had numerous deleterious impacts on children, families, schools, and communities around the world and in the United States. Schools around the globe have implemented an array of instructional strategies, including in-person, remote/distance learning, and assorted hybrid configurations...
Article
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Adolescent bullying continues to be a major focus of scholarship across the globe. This article reviews research from 2010 to 2021 with a particular focus on longitudinal studies of the bully–sexual violence pathway ( BSVP), where bullying serves as a precursor for sexual violence (SV) (e.g., sexual harassment, sexual coercion, and sexual assault)...
Article
The present study explored racial and ethnic and sex differences in fathers’ awareness and perceived ease of communication with fathers and how they are related to adolescent bullying victimization and psychosomatic symptoms. Data were from the 2009 to 2010 Health Behavior in School-Aged Children study in the United States. The sample consists of 5...
Article
The current study tested differences in social network characteristics of high school students who report perpetrating sexual violence (SV) versus those who do not. N = 4554 students (49% male, 49% female, 2% another gender identity; 45% Hispanic, 43% white, 12% another racial identity) from 20 high schools reported how often they had perpetrated 1...
Article
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Peer victimization, also referred to as bullying victimization, is associated with deleterious mental health outcomes including depression and suicidality. However, most of the bullying literature in the USA is centered around the experiences of non-Latinx White and African American adolescents. To center Latinx experiences, this cross-sectional st...
Article
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Homophobic name-calling and sexual violence are prevalent among US high school students and have been associated with a host of negative consequences including anxiety, depression, and substance use disorders, especially among sexual and gender minority youth. Although homophobic name-calling and sexual violence are linked to common risk and protec...
Article
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This special issue is dedicated to Dr. Dan Olweus (April 18, 1931–September 20, 2020), a pioneer in research on school bullying. This special issue aims to bring together scholarly works of bullying researchers around the world to identify protective factors that potentially inhibit the development of bullying and peer victimization and buffer agai...
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Introduction A relationship between homophobic verbal and bullying victimization has been established in the scientific literature, yet its findings remain debated. Similarly, the emotional impact of these phenomena may cross over, although not enough evidence is available to confirm this hypothesis. The study sought to examine this overlap of phen...
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Purpose Sexual and gender minority (SGM) youth (e.g., gay, lesbian, bisexual, questioning, transgender) are systemically impacted by victimization and poor mental health because of discrimination in society. To prevent adverse outcomes, we must understand factors that help communities support and protect SGM youth. This study examined to what exten...
Article
Evidence suggests that cyberbullying among school-age children is related to problem behaviors and other adverse school performance constructs. As a result, numerous school-based programs have been developed and implemented to decrease cyberbullying perpetration and victimization. Given the extensive literature and variation in program effectivenes...
Article
Grounded in Restorative Justice theory, the current study examines the perspectives of School Resource Officers (SROs) and other School Security Personnel (SSPs) during a professional development training on restorative-problem solving. Specifically, focusing on how school security staff are currently using restorative justice in their work, how th...
Article
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Background Children who come from families on welfare or government assistance might be at risk for bullying involvement. As research has shown, children living in poverty and experiencing family economic hardship are significantly likely to be involved in bullying in school. Objective This study investigates whether welfare assistance is associat...
Article
Purpose To address the gap in interventions for improving sexual and gender minority youth (SGMY; e.g., lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth) health, we tested the feasibility of a game-based intervention for increasing help-seeking, productive coping skills, resource knowledge/use, and well-being. Methods We conducted a 2-arm randomized...
Preprint
Full-text available
Abusive language is a massive problem in online social platforms. Existing abusive language detection techniques are particularly ill-suited to comments containing heterogeneous abusive language patterns, i.e., both abusive and non-abusive parts. This is due in part to the lack of datasets that explicitly annotate heterogeneity in abusive language....
Article
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Sexual and gender minority (SGM) youth experience higher rates of adverse mental health outcomes, most notably suicidal thoughts and behaviors (STBs). The current study examines risk and protective factors for STBs and depression among 1,078 youth in high schools. We examine these outcomes through an intersectional lens, and we extend the use of th...
Article
Guided by the ecological systems perspective, the objective of the study was to examine whether caregiver’s difficulty paying their child’s healthcare bills is associated with bullying victimization directly and indirectly through the mediating mechanisms of caregiver’s frustration, adolescents’ internalizing problems, and social difficulty focusin...
Article
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Bias-based aggression at school in the form of homophobic name-calling is quite prevalent among early adolescents. Homophobic name-calling is associated with low academic performance, higher risky sexual behaviors, and substance abuse, among other adverse outcomes. This longitudinal study examined risk and protective factors across multiple domains...
Article
This study, grounded in the theory of diffusion, utilizes a qualitative phenomenological methodology to understand perspectives of parents and school personnel on the implementation of tiplines and/or reporting apps for school safety. Barriers and facilitators for the development and successful implementation of Advocatr, a school-based tipline/rep...
Article
Although past research suggests that parental stress can heighten adolescents’ risk for bullying perpetration and victimization, the mechanisms underlying such a potential link and that may involve child psychological wellbeing remain unclear. Parental stress may heighten adolescents’ risk for bullying involvement by elevating adolescents’ anxiety...
Article
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This study aims to compare the applicability of the Social Disorganization Theory, General Strain Theory, and Social Control Theory in the exploration of violent delinquency in Chicago’s Southside. The study participants included 546 adolescents in Chicago. Descriptive statistics, bivariate correlation, and multivariate regression analyses were con...
Article
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School resource officers and other school security professionals (SSPs) (e.g., security specialists, guardians, campus monitors) have become increasingly common in schools; however, most states do not require that these professionals receive training related to understanding trauma and how it may affect students’ behavior and how to promote social–...
Article
Purpose/objective: College students with physical disabilities are often at a higher risk for mental health problems. In addition, some universities have created disability community spaces, but it is not known whether these spaces are associated with social support or increased mental health and well-being among students who use them. This study...
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Using social networks to inform prevention efforts is promising but has not been applied to vaping. To address this gap, we pilot tested the peer-led Above the Influence of Vaping (ATI-V) and examined diffusion through 8th grade networks in three schools. Fifty students, nominated and trained as Peer Leaders, implemented prevention campaigns inform...
Article
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School resource officers (SROs) and school security professionals (SSPs) have increased presence in schools, yet little is known about how they view the importance of their relationships with students and the broader school climate. This article is part of a larger study of an online professional development module on trauma-informed care and is fo...
Article
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The present study aimed to explore whether caregivers' parental frustration mediates the relationship between parental health and children's externalizing behaviors and whether family cohesion potentially moderates this association. Data were derived from the 2016 National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH), and the total sample for the study inclu...
Article
African American heterosexual and sexual minority (SM) adolescents report widespread bullying victimization (BV), which is associated with poorer psychosocial functioning. However, studies examining potential protective factors that moderate this association are limited. Using data from a cross-sectional study conducted in Chicago, we examined the...
Article
In a previous study, reactive criminal thinking or cognitive impulsivity mediated the relationship between parental knowledge and delinquency. This study sought to determine whether cognitive impulsivity also mediated the relationship between parental knowledge and childhood aggression. A path analysis was performed on a sample of 438 early adolesc...
Article
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Aggression among peers during adolescence is associated with deleterious developmental outcomes. Family violence has been strongly associated with many forms of aggression - such as verbal and physical aggression. Yet, associations between sibling and peer aggression at school and the protective role of school belonging remain understudied. Thus, t...
Article
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Family violence and youth violence have received a significant amount of research attention over the years. A large body of research findings has substantiated a significant association between experiences in family violence, such as maltreatment and exposure to parental violence, and youth violence, such as bullying, fighting, dating violence, gan...
Chapter
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth consume more digital media than their peers. This chapter offers an examination of the existing literature of pertinent theoretical frameworks, LGBTQ youth and their digital media use, as well as the potentially harmful impact these digital experiences may engender. The synthesis of...
Article
The current study applied the General Strain Theory (GST), Social Disorganization Theory (SDT), and Social Control Theory (SCT) to examine the association between exposure to verbal conflict between a mother and her intimate partner, and aggressive behavior of urban adolescents. The sample included 518 urban adolescents (96% Black), aged 14 to 17 y...
Article
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Importance Engaging adolescent boys and young men in preventing violence against women is a potentially impactful public health strategy. Objective To evaluate the effectiveness of a community-based, gender-transformative program (ie, Manhood 2.0) on perpetration of gender-based violence by adolescent boys and young men. Design, Setting, and Part...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic, beginning January 2020, has already had an unprecedented impact on children, families, and schools around the world and in the U.S. The context and impact has varied considerably over time, including tremendous variation in schools providing education services in-person, via remote/distance learning, and various hybrid config...
Article
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Adolescent sexting is a serious public health concern and is associated with adverse psychosocial outcomes, including depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, declining academic performances, and health problems. Effective prevention of sexting requires a comprehensive and deep understanding of the multiple contexts whereby sexting is likely to occur....
Article
Sexual and gender minority youth (SGMY) are more likely to experience bullying and violence compared to the youth who do not identify as SGMY, leading to increased risk of poor mental and physical health outcomes, and poor academic performance. Few studies explore the entire range of bullying experienced by sexual and gender minority youth (SGMY)....
Article
The daily challenges resulting from all types of school violence-such as physical aggression, bullying, peer victimization, and general threats-have the potential to affect, longitudinally, students' mental health, school performance, and involvement in criminal or delinquent acts. Across primary and secondary studies, however, variation in how and...
Article
Guided by the Social-Ecological Perspective, we examined familial, peer, and school-related predictors of bullying victimization among a large sample of U.S. White, Black, and biracial adolescents. Data were drawn from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study, drawn from adolescents who self-identified as White, Black, or biracial. Of the...
Article
Sexual and gender minority youth (SGMY) have higher rates of bullying than their heterosexual peers and must disproportionately cope with bullying victimization. The purpose of this research is to highlight various coping strategies employed by SGMY. We conducted 20 cross-sectional, semi-structured online interviews with SGMY about their bullying e...
Article
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There are consistently high rates of sexual victimization and substance misuse among youth in the United States. Although there is a known relation between sexual victimization and substance use, there is a gap in the research regarding the magnitude and temporality of these associations. This study examined whether latent classes of sexual victimi...
Article
Sexual violence (SV), homophobic name-calling, and bullying commonly occur in school settings. As such, comprehensive school-based violence prevention strategies are needed. Recent calls in prevention science argue that investigations of preventive interventions must move beyond simply testing if programs work; rather, they must also examine how in...
Article
School resource officers (SROs) have become increasingly common in schools; however, most states do not require that they have youth- or school-related training (Morris et al. 2017). The intent of this project is to address potential gaps in training through the creation of four online professional development modules for SROs. Each module focused...
Article
Full-text available
This study explored the intersections of disability, race, sexual orientation, and gender on peer victimization, suicidal ideation, and school connectedness. Participants were 11,353 high school students aged 14 to 18 years ( MD =15.88, SD = 1.20). Of these individuals, 1,640 students self-identified as either having an Individualized Education Pro...
Article
Although parental monitoring often reduces youth risk behaviors, some research on bullying perpetration has found that parental monitoring deters bullying while other research has found a null effect or a positive effect. We investigated the bidirectional relationships of bullying perpetration and parental monitoring from age 11 to 18 years, levera...
Article
Decades of research have categorized risk and protective factors for youth gang involvement in social contexts that include individual, family, peer, school, and community factors. However, most studies are cross-sectional and only examine 1 or 2 social-ecological contexts. This study, which used a time-to-event model with time-variant and time-inv...
Article
There is a paucity of research on developmental trajectories of bias‐based aggression. We examined homophobic bullying victimization trajectories among high school students (N = 3,064; M age = 13.67; Girls = 50.2%) and how these developmental pathways vary as a function of factors like homophobic bullying perpetration, sex assigned at birth, and se...
Article
A number of studies have examined the association between male involvement in sports and sexual violence (SV) perpetration, especially among college-age males. Less is known about the association between sports involvement and SV perpetration for adolescent males and females. To address this gap, the current study examined sports involvement in mid...
Article
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In response to growing evidence of associations between harmful masculinities and adverse health outcomes, researchers developed the Man Box Scale to provide a standardized measure to assess these inequitable gender attitudes. In 2019, we evaluated the psychometric properties of the 17-item Man Box Scale and derived a 5-item short form. Using previ...
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Meta-analysts rely on the availability of data from previously conducted studies. That is, they rely on primary study authors to register their outcome data, either in a study’s text or on publicly available websites, and report the results of their work, either again in a study’s text or on publicly accessible data repositories. If a primary study...
Article
Interactive and mediating effects have the ability to elucidate variable relationships. The goal of the current study was to explore how these two effects potentially clarify the victimization–offending relationship. Examining three waves of longitudinal data, it was predicted that Wave 1 victimization would enhance Wave 2 cognitive impulsivity, Wa...