Adult Intervention in Relational Aggression in Children

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Adults play a critical role in preventing and controlling the effects of relational aggression (Beebout-Bladholm, 2010). Young children still look to adults for help, so this is a very important time for interventions to occur (Mishna et al., 2011). Ostrov et al. (2009) explained that the earlier the interventions occur, the greater the chance for improvement. Educators and parents must address this problem as early as preschool (O’Rourke, 2008). Morine (2009) stated that adults should teach conflict resolution sills to help children manage relationships. Anthony and Lindert (2010) explained that observing, connecting, guiding, and supporting children experiencing relational aggression may be useful for adults who are helping children navigate relational aggression. Additionally, educators should empower bystanders to intervene when they witness bullying behaviors. Children must know that it is important for them to help when their peers are being bullied (Swearer, Turner, Givens, & Pollack, 2008). When students stick together and alert adults about the problem or help the victimized child take appropriate action it can bring about global change within a school system. What is the government doing about relational aggression? In 1998, the United Stated Department of Education set fort an initiative to take action on school violence. Legislation was passed to provide funding through the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative. Legislators have put state laws in place in 45 states since 1998 to combat bullying (High, 2010). Only some of those laws address areas of relational aggression. There are numerous research-based programs developed to target physical aggression. Some of those programs may not be suitable for relational aggression (Ostrov 2009). 42 School-wide programs are available for children in elementary through high school. There

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