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The problem of bullying in schools and the promise of positive behaviour supports

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Abstract

Bullying in schools is recognised as a global problem. In the USA, school shootings and increasing school aggression focused research on the causes of bullying and interventions that could reduce or eliminate bullying behaviours. A variety of bullying programs have generated mixed results with some actually increasing bullying behaviours. There are consistent limitations on the research, including problems of definition, scope, generalisability, complexity and philosophy and model, but slowly, consensus on these issues is being reached. Positive behaviour supports (PBIS) in schools provides a framework for comprehensive behavioural management. PBIS is being implemented across the USA as part of a national response to intervention (RTI) model. PBIS might offer an opportunity to address some of these persistent problems and to avoid others altogether. This literature review considers the nature of the problems limiting success of bullying prevention programs and will offer recommendations for potential solutions within a PBIS framework.

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