Psychology Research into School Bullying

Psychology Research into School Bullying

Dr. Yoona Lee | 10 Weeks, 12 Credits | June 5 to August 11, 2017

Bullying has become an important topic in adolescent psychology as schools report an alarming trend of increased bullying behaviors from their students. To address the school bullying epidemic, psychologists, parents, teachers, school administrators, social workers, and other educators are looking to answer two fundamental questions: 1) why do bullying behaviors exist? And more importantly, 2) what can be done to address the problems of school bullying?

Given the growing attention to school bullying behaviors, not only in the field of developmental psychology but in society in general, the ultimate goal of this JBS is to help students increase their understanding of this issue from psychological and developmental perspectives based on their learning statistical and scientific research methods. This ground-breaking JBS program also aims to expand students' sense of justice to include responsibility as participants in a society which contributes to bullying behaviors.

Students will learn statistics (PSYC 51a) and research methods (PSYC 52a) for the behavioral sciences. Together, PSYC 51a and PSYC 52a are key components of a major in Psychology and are required prerequisites for more advanced Psychology courses. The third course in this JBS is a new course focused entirely on the psychology of school bullying and includes methods for identifying bullying, seeking the root causes for bullying behaviors, and how to address the problem of school bullying. (Please note: if you have already taken PSYC 51a or PSYC 52a, be sure to read this section).

As part of this JBS, students will meet with experts in the field like Dr. Ron Slaby from Harvard Medical School, an authority on youth violence prevention programs and children's social and cognitive development. Students will also have the opportunity to learn about a field-based research experiences of the Boston vs. Bullies Bullying Intervention Program. The program culminates in a final "make-a-change" project where participants will apply their knowledge and analysis of bullying research to real-world bullying intervention programs.

Ideal for

This summer JBS is ideal for students who are Psychology majors looking to fulfill the required courses of PSYC 51a (Statistics) and PSYC 52a (Research Methods) while learning more about the bullying epidemic, psychological research, and adolescent psychology. This JBS would also be of interest to those who are concerned about bullying in schools and those who plan careers in social work, education, sociology, and other fields that work with children and adolescents.

PSYC 51a and PSYC 52a are major components of this JBS program, so this JBS is a perfect fit for students who need to complete these two requirements for the psychology major. Psychology majors are strongly encouraged to take PSYC 51a and PSYC 52a by the end of their sophomore year and no later than their junior year. These two courses are also required for taking higher level PSYC courses. The new third course will count toward the Advanced Seminar and the Advanced Research Intensive Seminar requirements of the psychology major.

Students in this JBS will also earn 3 courses (12 credit hours) and fulfill one Writing Intensive (WI), two Quantitative Reasoning (QR), and three Social Science (SS) requirements toward graduation. Additionally, one JBS can count as a semester of residency toward graduation.


PSYC 51aj: Statistics (4 credits)
Requirements Fulfilled: QR SS

Prerequisite: PSYC 10a.
This course serves as an introduction to descriptive and inferential statistics. Statistics is used to find meaning in observation by collecting, summarizing, analyzing, and interpreting numerical information about subjects of interest, and is used to make decisions that go beyond the observation. Since this is a psychology course, techniques useful in the behavioral sciences will be emphasized. Students will learn the theory of statistical decisions, practical application of statistical software (SPSS), how to present analyzed statistics into convincing written arguments, and how to evaluate presented statistics. As part of the "Psychology Research into School Bullying" JBS much of the material we review will incorporate statistics on School Bullying.

PSYC 52aj: Research Methods and Laboratory in Psychology (4 credits)
Requirements Fulfilled: WI QR SS

This course is aimed at learning scientific research methods in psychology to address research questions about mental processes and behavior. In this course, students will receive "hands on" training on the fundamentals of conducting psychological research. This course will be conducted as a workshop that fully integrates lectures and laboratories in order to give students experience with designing, conducting, analyzing, interpreting, and communicating scientific psychological research. A major emphasis is "learning by doing;" in small sections where students will actively participate in laboratory tasks that demonstrate the range of activities in experimental research. That is, students will actually do research. Specifically, they will learn to define hypotheses, design and conduct experiments, appropriately analyze and interpret data, and present results in technical reports. This class emphasizes active participation. As part of the "Psychology Research into School Bullying" JBS much of the material we review will incorporate research into School Bullying.

PSYC 177aj: School Bullying and Psychology: Issues in Methods, Morality, and Intervention (4 credits)
Requirements Fulfilled: SS

This course addresses three main questions of school bullying behaviors in psychology: What is the bullying behavior? Why do we have this behaviors? How can we solve the problems of bullying? Through three modules, each responding to one of these questions, students will learn (1) the psychological perspectives in current issues of bullying behaviors, and (2) understand developmental perspectives to address the reasons behind bullying behaviors in identity and morality issues and (3) analyze intervention programs and campaign to suggest constructive solutions.

As a final project, students will integrate the findings covered in this course and conduct a "make-a-change" project to actively involve their learning and analysis to corresponding research and real-world bullying settings. Students will propose an evidence-based intervention component or social campaign to fill in the gaps between what we know about bullying and what we do about bullying in the real settings. This course will double count toward the "advanced seminar" and the "advanced research intensive seminar" requirements of the Psychology major.

Note for students who have already taken PSYC 51a and/or PSYC 52a

If you have already taken PSYC 51a and/or PSYC 52a, but are passionate about the subject matter, you may still enroll in this JBS. Please contact the JBS instructor for this program, Yoona Lee, to discuss your options.  In your email, be sure to include which classes you have already taken.

Draft Course Syllabi

Click here for Draft Syllabii for the three courses that make up the Psychology Research into School Bullying JBS: PSYC 51aj, PSYC 52aj, and PSYC 177aj. 

Approximate Course Schedule

Classes will meet on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons from 1:00pm to 4:15pm

Week 1 – PSYC 51aj: Statistics (M/T/Th)
Week 2 – PSYC 51aj: Statistics (M/T/Th) + PSYC 177aj: Bullying (F)
Week 3 – PSYC 51aj: Statistics (M/T/Th) + PSYC 177aj: Bullying (F)
Week 4 – PSYC 51aj: Statistics (M/T) + PSYC 177aj: Bullying (Th/F)
Week 5 – PSYC 51aj: Statistics (M/T) + PSYC 177aj: Bullying (Th/F)
Week 6 – PSYC 52aj: Research Methods (M/T/Th) + PSYC 177aj: Bullying (F)
Week 7 – PSYC 52aj: Research Methods (M/T/Th) + PSYC 177aj: Bullying (F)
Week 8 – PSYC 52aj: Research Methods (M/T/Th) + PSYC 177aj: Bullying (F)
Week 9 – PSYC 52aj: Research Methods (M/T) + PSYC 177aj: Bullying (Th/F)
Week 10 – PSYC 52aj: Research Methods (M/T) + PSYC 177aj: Bullying (Th/F)

While this is the planned course schedule for our group, students are asked to be reasonably flexible to changes in the schedule. We may nee to alter the schedule based on things like guest speaker availability, etc.  


If you have questions about the program, please email Yoona Lee at:

If you have questions about the application process or have general programs about the JBS program, email us at:

JBS Applications:

The application period for summer 2017 is now open!

Applicants should first review the application process, then begin your JBS application here.

There are limited spaces in all JBS programs, so applicants are encouraged to apply early - some popular programs will fill before the application deadline!