Explore our ongoing research projects that address understanding, preventing, and intervening with bullying and other types of violence and abuse that impact children, schools, and communities.

General Research

Bystander Intervention in Bullying

three children dressed in superhero costume.

Bullying is now recognized as a group process where peers witness the majority of incidents. Our research examines the extent to which variables such as empathy, relationships with parents, norms, and affiliations with peers predict intervening (directly or indirectly) with bullying. We have also developed and validated a measure of the bystander intervention model for bullying and sexual harassment.

Cyberbullying and Screen Media Use

Image of teen holding cellphone.

Research has found important differences in screen media use among youth, including frequency of use, platforms used, content consumed, and interactive or more passive use. However, many questions remain regarding the impact of screen media use on peer relationships and mental health. Our research examines the variation in screen media use among youth and how differences in media use are associated with involvement in cyberbullying.

Social Emotional Learning and Bullying Prevention

Image of smiling children.

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) skills (emotional awareness and regulation, perspective taking, relationship skills, and problem solving) are essential skills for all children for healthy development; however, these skills are especially important for youth involved in bullying.

Dr. Fredrick and Dr. Nickerson's research examines the extent to which universal SEL instruction in schools can improve school climate and culture, prevent bullying, and protect youth that are targets of bullying from further negative outcomes.

Currently Funded Projects

Building Youth Resiliency and School Capacity to Identify and Respond to Violent Behavior Through Bystander Intervention Training

Image of teen kneeling on the ground and covering ears, surrounded by three bystanders who appear to be taunting or bullying the teen.

PI: Amanda Nickerson, PhD
Co-I: Stephanie Fredrick, PhD
Funding Information: US Department of Homeland Security, EMW-2023-GR-00124-S01, 10/1/23-09/30/25

The grant will fund development of a Training of Trainers (TOT) training model for two bystander intervention programs: Norms and Bystander Intervention Training (NAB IT!) and Communities Acting to Refer and Engage (CARE). A minimum of 200 high school students at four schools will be trained in NAB IT!; at least 200 students and 80 high school faculty and staff will be trained in CARE so they can safely interject when they witness issues of concern.

View abstract on US Department of Homeland Security website

UBNow news story

Creating Upstanders: The Development of Norms and Bystander Intervention Training (NAB IT!) to Reduce Bullying and Sexual Harassment

High School students standing at locker.

PI: Amanda Nickerson, PhD
Co-Is: Jennifer Livingston, PhD | Thomas Feeley, PhD | Lyndsay Jenkins, PhD
Funding Information: Institute for Education Sciences, R305A190139, 7/1/2019-12/31/2024

This project, funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) will develop and test a social norms and bystander intervention training to reduce bullying and sexual harassment in high schools. NAB IT! (Norms And Bystander Intervention Training) relies on influential peer leaders in high schools to establish social norms and bystander intervention training to promote peer intervention in instances of bullying and sexual harassment to improve school climate.

PREPaRE School Crisis Prevention and Intervention Program Evaluation

PI: Amanda Nickerson, PhD
Funding Information: National Association of School Psychologists, 8/15/2011-5/31/2024

The PREPaRE curriculum was developed by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) in order to provide training for school personnel in crisis prevention and intervention. Continued evaluation is an integral piece of the PREPaRE model and is used to further refine training and curriculum. Our research studies have indicated high amounts of participation satisfaction as well as significant increases in knowledge and attitudes toward crisis prevention and intervention.