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Deterrence theory and bullying: An assessment of policies and practices aimed at deterring youth bullying

Volume 6, Issue 3, June 2022    |    PP. 120-138    |PDF (227 K)|    Pub. Date: May 3, 2022
DOI: 10.54647/sociology84789    14 Downloads     150 Views  

Author(s)
Karla Dhungana Sainju, Ontario Tech University, Canada

Abstract
Bullying can cause serious short and long-term social, psychological, physiological, and educational harm hindering positive youth development. Given the detrimental impacts, a range of legislative, policy, and programmatic efforts have been enacted to deter and address the problem of youth bullying. Deterrence theory suggests that sanctions or the threat of sanctions prevents delinquent behavior. Moreover, the theory posits that humans are rational actors who will consider the consequences of their behavior before engaging in it. Using a deterrence theory framework, this paper provides a synthesis of policies and programs enacted in the United States and Canada that are aimed at deterring bullying behavior including school anti-bullying policies and mandates, and bullying sanctions aimed at youth and parents. This is followed by a discussion on the effectiveness of these efforts and the paper ends with considerations of evidence-based approaches to advance anti-bullying practice and policy.

Keywords
Bullying prevention, Deterrence theory, Bullying sanctions, Anti-bullying policy

Cite this paper
Karla Dhungana Sainju, Deterrence theory and bullying: An assessment of policies and practices aimed at deterring youth bullying, SCIREA Journal of Sociology. Vol. 6 , No. 3 , 2022 , pp. 120 - 138 . https://doi.org/10.54647/sociology84789

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