Lisa Duval

Date of Award

Spring 5-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Joseph F. Marcoline, D.Ed.

Second Advisor

Kelli R. Paquette, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Meghan Twiest, Ed.D.


Tragic acts of violence in and around schools across the nation have increased the need to understand bullying behaviors and acts of aggression, as they are often cited as the reason for these heartbreaks. Schools work to prevent these situations from happening and intervene with fairness and discipline when they occur, and as a result, the duties of a school counselor has changed from a primarily academic focus to one which now includes assessing the social and emotional stability of the students with whom they work.

The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the phenomenon of bullying and what middle school counselors from western Pennsylvania perceive as effective philosophies of intervention and prevention for the bully, the victim, and the bystander. After evaluating the data received from semi-structured one-on-one interviews, recommendations were made for intervention philosophies for the bully, the victim and the bystander. Additionally, recommendations were made for various strategies and programs that can be implemented in schools by administrators, teachers and other stakeholders. These strategies aligned with the ideas presented in three distinctive philosophies of intervention and prevention, Bandura’s Social Learning Theory or a comprehensive (school, family, and community) approach, the common group theory otherwise known as a socio-cultural phenomenon where students of like behavior are provided the opportunity to work together, and individual interventions through a person-centered approach.

Although a public focus on bullying is apparent, the results from this study indicated a lack of training and professional development opportunities for counselors and school staff. All participants shared a need for increased education for students, parents, teachers and the school community regarding the difference between bullying and conflict. There also was a collective belief that the expansion of technology has led to increased cyber-bullying and cyber-conflict that is impacting students on a regular basis. The relationship between the school counselor and administration was viewed as a critical component to any bullying prevention or intervention philosophy being successful.

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