The Empowerment Initiative: Ending Bullying through Developmental, Neuroscience, & Translational Research


The Empowerment InitiativeEnding Bullying through Developmental, Neuroscience, & Translational Research


The Empowerment Initiative represents an expansion of the Target Bullying Research Project, which Dr. Susan Swearer initiated in 1998. The Target Bullying Research lab has supported studies examining bullying prevention and intervention among school-aged youth. Since its inception, the project's studies have analyzed bullying through the lens of both cross-sectional and longitudinal research designs. In exploring the relationship between bullying and mental health, we have examined:

  • the interactions among depression, anxiety and involvement in bullying
  • the links among aggression, anger and bullying
  • the effects of a cognitive-behavioral intervention on reducing bullying behaviors
  • the relationship between school climate and bullying behaviors
  • the development of a comprehensive survey to assess bullying / victimization / bystander behaviors

The Empowerment Initiative builds off the work conducted in the Target Bullying Research Lab and includes some of our current research and outreach foci in medical settings, on college campuses, and in workplaces. Some of the current research projects address:

  • the connections among body image, medical diagnoses and victimization
  • school-based participatory action research and its effects on bullying
  • bullying's association with hazing
  • the correlation between bullying and empathy
  • the influence of youth empowerment to reduce bullying among peers