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Bindung und Migration
21st International Attachment Conference
Disordered Attachments in Digital Ages
September 16th - September 18th, 2022
Bindung und Migration

Espelage, Dorothy (Gainesville/Florida/USA)

Peer group influences on aggression, bullying, and prosocial behaviors during early to late adolescence.

" Peers are an integral aspect of adolescent development and therefore the influence of peer relationships serves as an important area of exploration when considering youth behaviors. In this paper, a series of cross-sectional and longitudinal social network analyses of friendship patterns among adolescents will be discussed..."


These studies have examined selection and influence effects on several forms of aggression. Results have documented that youth are more likely to select peers as friends with similar levels of bullying, homophobic name-calling, sexual harassment, and relational aggression and, in some instances, socialize one another to engage in aggression toward others. Also, these youth are also similar in their attitudes toward aggression and willingness to intervene to assist victims. Implications for intervention will be discussed.


Dorothy L. Espelage
, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology at the University of Florida.  She is the recipient of the APA Lifetime Achievement Award in Prevention Science and the 2016 APA Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in Public Policy, and is a Fellow of APS, APA, and AERA. 

She earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Indiana University in 1997.  Over the last 22 years, she has authored over 170 peer- reviewed articles, six edited books, and 70 chapters on bullying, homophobic teasing, sexual harassment, dating violence, and gang violence. Her research focuses on translating empirical findings into prevention and intervention programming and she has secured six and half million dollars of external funding. She advises members of Congress and Senate on bully prevention legislation.

She conducts regular webinars for CDC, NIH, and NIJ to disseminate research. She just completed a CDC-funded study that included a randomized clinical trial of a social emotional learning prevention program in 36 middle schools to reduce aggression. National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is funding her to track these kids to examine whether these effects remain as kids navigate challenges of high school. CDC is funding another RCT of this program in comparison to a gender-enhanced social-emotional program in 28 Illinois middle schools. 

She just received a 5-year large grant to prevent bullying and promote school safety in high schools from NIJ. Also, she is PI on a CDC-funded grant to evaluate a youth suicide prevention program on sexual violence outcomes in 24 Colorado high schools. She authored a 2011 White House Brief on bullying among LGBTQ youth and attended the White House Conference in 2011, and has been a consultant on the website and consultant to the National Anti-bullying Campaign, Health Resources and Services Administration  (HRSA) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). She has presented multiple times at the Federal Partnership to End Bullying Summit and Conference.

She is a consultant to the National Institutes of Health Pathways to Prevention Initiative to address bullying and youth suicide. Dr. Espelage has appeared on many television news and talk shows, including The Today Show; CNN; CBS Evening News; The Oprah Winfrey Show, Anderson, Anderson 360 and has been quoted in the national print press, including Time Magazine, USA Today, People, Boston Globe, and the Wall Street Journal.  Her dedicated team of undergraduate and graduate students are committed to the dissemination of the research through various mechanisms (