Kimberly P Mularczyk
Brock University, Canada
Posters & Accepted Abstracts: J Psychiatry
Although adolescent bullying and psychopathic personality traits are often viewed in a purely negative light, they are likely to be an evolutionary adaptation. In the context of a high school, bullying and psychopathy may increase adolescents’ access to sexual partners, social dominance, and non-social resources. Common anti-bullying intervention practices, such as the “zero-tolerance” policy (e.g., suspending students) are ineffective, for their purpose is to stop adolescents’ predispositions to pursue resources. If adolescents are provided with more effective, pro-social alternatives to bullying, such as helping or cooperating with others, will they be more likely to use pro-social over antisocial strategies to obtain resources? This study hypothesizes that adolescents higher in psychopathy and bullying will be more likely to capitalize on effective, pro-social opportunities to achieve resources and mates. The main objective of this research is to increase the success of bullying prevention programs within secondary schools. With approximately 160 adolescents between grades 7 and 12 in Southern Ontario, this study will explore adolescents’ cognitive and behavioral predispositions and whether they can be changed. Participants will complete a self-report questionnaire package and will read short vignettes that depict individuals obtaining adaptive goals with the use of pro-social or antisocial strategies. Data analysis will include correlations and multiple regressions. Being victimized by a bully or psychopath has been linked to severe emotional trauma, adolescent suicide and school shootings. Providing bullies with an effective and pro-social alternative to achieving adaptive goals is imperative, for it may minimize the probability of harm to future victims.
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