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Portrait of Anna Liuzzo in her school classroom.

Published March 13, 2018

Weight bullying at school and home:

A community collaboration to inform novel solutions

Myles Faith, professor from the Department of Counseling, School and Educational Psychology is partnering with Charter Middle School for Applied Technologies in Buffalo to address weight bullying issues among adolescents and develop resources to provide prevention and/or coping strategies. The collaboration is part of the UB Graduate School of Education Faculty in Residence Program.

Recurring teasing and intimidation about being overweight is associated with depression, suicidal attempts, disordered eating, and poorer school performance. “To date, there are no empirically-guided strategies to help children cope with weight bullying,” said Faith.

The goals of this project include: (1) conducting the first research study of coping skills among adolescents related to weight bullying, (2) interviewing school teachers/staff regarding perceptions of weight bullying, plus the perceived needs for helping bullied students, and (3) develop a “weight bullying toolbox” for school partners that will provide coping strategies.

“The toolbox can be used in multiple ways,” said Faith. “These uses could be for professional development for teachers and staff, for a subsequent intervention with students experiencing weight bullying, and/or for students and families to assist with the problem.”

The Faculty in Residence Program is an initiative designed to engage GSE faculty and local community-based educational institutions in site-based, mutually beneficial research-based projects. Projects must demonstrate clear benefits to the community and may include a wide-range of researchable topics.

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