Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination

Pediatricians can play vital role in bullying prevention :

September 27, 2018

Editor's note:The 2018 AAP National Conference & Exhibition will take place from Nov. 2-6 in Orlando.

When it comes to addressing bullying, Daniel J. Flannery, Ph.D., can sum up pediatricians’ role in two words: “You matter.”

“They see lots of kids every day,” he said. “They’re a gateway (with) the potential to address this issue before it becomes more serious for a young person.”

Dr. Flannery was a member of a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine panel that drafted the 2016 report Preventing Bullying Through Science, Policy, and Practice.

He will review the report, focusing on recommendations specific to health care professionals, during a seminar titled “Stop the Bullying: Evidence-Based Strategies (S1095)” from 2-3:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3 in room W315 of the convention center. He will be joined by Seth J. Scholer, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP, a member of the AAP Council on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention and professor of pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

For more than 20 years, Dr. Flannery has been researching youth violence prevention, including bullying. He now serves as director of the Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education, Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University.

He brought that experience to the National Academies panel, which was charged with examining risk factors for bullying, consequences and how to prevent it among youths in kindergarten through 12th grade.

“It’s chock full of stuff,” Dr. Flannery said of the resulting report. “Peeling back all the different things that we address is helpful to anybody interested in this issue.”

While bullying has been considered a rite of passage, research shows it can affect physical and mental health.

“The evidence suggests ignoring this and treating it as a normal, expectable thing that kids have to deal with is not the way to go,” Dr. Flannery said. “But it doesn’t mean that every kid who is being bullied or involved in bullying is going to be messed up for the rest of their lives, either.”

Pediatricians have an opportunity to identify patients who are being bullied, he said.

“See something, say something,” Dr. Flannery said. “If you think there is something going on and you ask, then you have an opportunity to intervene at an important point in time.”

Dr. Flannery also will discuss taking a public health approach to bullying and cyberbullying as well as resources for pediatricians.

“No pediatrician should be held with the sole responsibility of addressing what could be a complicated issue,” Dr. Flannery said.

For more coverage of the 2018 AAP National Conference & Exhibition visit and follow @AAPNews on Twitter and Facebook.

Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal