The Social and Behavioral Sciences programs are designed for people with a passion for making a difference in the lives of others.
Whether you are on your way up the corporate ladder or just getting started, our business degree programs and certificates could help you prepare to take your business career to a higher level.
Whether you want to enter the field of criminal justice or need credentials to advance your career, Kaplan University's criminal justice degree programs are designed to help you achieve your goal.
Our degree programs and certificates could help prepare you to teach diverse learners a broad range of academic content and educational foundations.
Our comprehensive fire science programs offer the flexibility of online learning, ideal for individuals in the fire science and emergency management fields who may work inconsistent hours.
You could acquire real-world knowledge and practical skills and prepare for a career in the health care industry by earning a health sciences degree, diploma, or certificate.
Our programs in legal studies, paralegal studies, and environmental policy are designed to fit your educational goals.
Our nursing degree and certificate programs are taught by practicing professionals who are dedicated to helping you prepare for real-world challenges in nursing.
Kaplan University's IT programs are designed to prepare you with the knowledge and skills you need to start or advance your technology career.
Kaplan University offers over 180 degree and certificate programs all available to military, veterans, and spouses of active duty members. In addition, several programs have been developed to complement specific military occupations or programs established by the military.
The Kaplan University School of General Education courses support the academic, social, personal, and professional development of learners throughout their engagement with the University.
Open College at Kaplan University (OC@KU) offers individualized, affordable education that integrates technology and personalized service to help learners meet their career, academic, and personal goals.
Offering the flexibility of online education and support for military students.
Every day, talented individuals are proving it's never too late to think about the future.
Learn more about becoming an international student at US-based and accredited Kaplan University.
Learn about transferring your previously earned college credits to Kaplan University.
We have partnered with many employers and educational institutions to provide their employees and students with education opportunities.
Corporate and Academic Partners
Kaplan University is dedicated to the support, engagement, and involvement of our graduates.
Resources for current Kaplan University students.
We have 15 ground locations across the country. Explore our locations to see if we're in your neighborhood.
Learning Center Experience
Peg Christopher, PhD and Karen Watson, MS
year, millions of dollars are spent to enhance the public health and safety of
infants, children, and adolescents in the United States. These prevention
efforts play a critically important role in improving the
health and well-being of children, adolescents, and young adults, but don’t go
far enough in improving their optimal development, health, safety, and
well-being. For some children and adolescents in the United States, bullying
continues to be an ongoing problem that needs to be addressed in our schools
People 2020 includes a number of objectives for adolescents that can be
sabotaged by bullying. While this is especially true for those who are bullied,
witnessing bullying has a profound impact on those who see or hear this type of
victimization and perceive it as a normal component of their family, school, or
community environment. Because of this misperception, some go on to become
bullies themselves. Others do little to stop the bullying or to provide support
for the person who is being bullied.
are different types of bullying, ranging from physical and threatening
behaviors and cyberbullying, to subtle relational forms of bullying like verbal
harassment, exclusion, public humiliation, and sabotage of friendships or
achievements. There is a misconception that bullying is a normal part of
childhood and that being bullied can build character in a child. Research shows
that bullying experiences actually make children more vulnerable rather than
more resilient. Victims end up feeling and actually being disliked, rejected,
depressed, anxious, and lonely (Graham, 2010). The effects of bullying can
haunt a person for the rest of his or her life.
some children more likely to be bullied than others? In a study that examined
adolescent perceptions of bullying, the most common reasons for being targeted
by bullies were having a different appearance or behavior (Fresen, Jonsson
& Persson, 2007). Certain personality characteristics can make a child more
vulnerable to bullying such as shyness, situational factors (such as moving to
a new school), and delayed puberty. This is why bullying victims can often be
temporary victims rather than chronic victims (Graham, 2010).
the other hand, bullies can thrive. Research shows that bullies often have a
high status among their classmates and have many friends. They are often
considered popular and have high self-esteem. Research also shows that in
middle school, other students consider bullies to be “cool” and popular
(Graham, 2010). In spite of this, however, bullying should never be perceived
by parents, teachers, mental health professionals, and other health care
providers as normal because bullying behaviors can serve as a marker for more
serious mental health disorders associated with violent behavior (Nickel, et. al, 2006).
children reinforce and bully others in similar ways because they want to gain a
bully’s acceptance (Olthof & Goossens, 2008). By middle adolescence,
relational victimization becomes more common for boys and girls because
physical aggression is not socially acceptable. Relational victimization
inflicts psychological pain and is often easy to hide from others (Graham,
2010). Adolescents and others do not always perceive relational aggression as a
form of bullying and may be less likely to intervene when they see or hear
about someone being targeting for having a different appearance or behavior.
This is unfortunate because relational aggression and victimization among
adolescents reinforces norms of conformity in school environments where peer
norms can sometimes encourage inappropriate dress and underachievement.
children and adolescents become so affected by bullying that they feel their
only relief is to drop out of school completely or commit suicide. Suicidal
ideation is a very real risk for victims of bullying. Research shows that
victimized adolescents can fall into a pattern of social hopelessness because
of their tendency to place significant importance on social relationships and
the importance in being able to deal with those relationships. Social
hopelessness has been found to be significantly related to victimization and
suicidal ideation amongst adolescents (Bonanno & Hymel, 2010).
Research shows that social support can help buffer victims and protect them
from suicidal ideation. This social support can come from family and peers;
however, family support has a stronger impact (Bonanno & Hymel, 2010).
Research suggests that working with families can also lower cortisol secretions
and anger in the bullies themselves, thereby improving quality of life for the
bully and possibly eliminating some of the bullying behavior (Nickel et.al.,
2006).Many victims and
perpetrators of bullying don’t feel like they can talk to their parents about
what they are going through. This isolates the victims further and creates more
hopelessness. It also isolates the perpetrators of bullying from adults who
might be able to help them learn more adaptive coping skills for intolerance,
conflict resolution, anger management, and impulse control.
should keep communication lines open with their children about bullying. They
need to keep a stronger stance on their children’s Internet use and can work
with the school’s guidance counselors to educate students on the harmful
effects of cyberbullying (Dilmac & Aydogan, 2010). Research shows that
students’ acts of cyberbullying can be explained by parental attitudes,
suggesting that bullies have authoritarian parents and families that are more
aggressive in nature (Dilmac & Aydogan, 2010). Parents also need to think
about what they are teaching their children at home and look for ways to
partner with the schools, advocating for their children’s right not to be
bullied. Cyberbullied students are often unwilling to tell their parents about
it because they are worried that they will lose the privilege of using the
Internet. Parents may tell children not to interact with strangers or disclose
person information on the Internet, but neglect to discuss the risk of
cyberbullying when interacting electronically with friends and classmates
(Dilmac & Aydogan, 2010).
has demonstrated that short-term educational antibullying efforts in middle
school have not had a large impact on bullying behavior. Schools are complex
systems and what works in one context may not work in another due to factors
such as different organizational structures, student demographics, and staff
support (Graham, 2010). Another important factor in school antibullying efforts
is teacher involvement. Research shows that many teachers are reluctant to
fully embrace bullying interventions because they believe that parents are
responsible for developing antibullying attitudes and there is not enough
curriculum time and space for antibullying policies (Graham, 2010).
need to understand that victims and perpetrators of bullying have different
problems and needs. Interventions for bullies should involve strategies to
control their anger and resist their tendency to blame others for their
problems. Victims require interventions focused on developing more positive
self-views and not blaming themselves for the harassment. Other students need
to learn that a witness to bullying chooses, by his or her response, to either
support or oppose bullying behaviors (Graham, 2010).
trying to discipline bullying behavior, school administrators should focus on
four different facets of the problem:
moral orientations regarding bullying do impact on their responses to it. More
importantly, the perceived seriousness of the incident has a larger impact on
their response. What the teacher perceives as serious is not always consistent
with what the student perceives as serious (Ellis & Shute, 2007).
are clearly no easy solutions in dealing with the problem of bullying in
schools. Research has demonstrated that students in secondary schools can be
more resistant to antibullying efforts. This could have to do with
developmental factors of adolescence, whereby they may be less likely to
respond to ideas and rules introduced by teachers (Hunt, 2007).
we just need to start younger. As parents and as educators, we must catch
children at a younger age to educate and enforce antibullying efforts. Some
elementary schools are now initiating antibullying efforts before the pressures
of adolescence commence and when children can be more open to adult redirection
and advice. Antibullying efforts should take place in the home and the schools,
whereby both work as a team to let children know that they deserve to feel safe
and that bullying won’t be tolerated.
Dr. Peg Christopher
Peg Christopher is an associate professor at California University of
Pennsylvania in the Social Work Department. She has an extensive clinical
background in both child and family therapy. Her areas of specialization and
certification include crisis intervention, conflict resolution, mediation, and
critical incident stress debriefing. Dr. Christopher obtained all three of her
graduate degrees from the University of Pittsburgh, including a Master of
Social Work in 1977, a Master of Public Health in 1992, and a PhD in Social
Work in 1994.
Karen Watson, MS
Watson is an adjunct faculty member for Kaplan University. This is her 12th
term teaching for the Psychology Department in the College of Public Service. Her courses have included Contemporary
Issues of Psychology, History of Psychology, Introduction to Psychology, and
Child and Adolescent Psychology. Ms. Watson is a course lead for Introduction
to Psychology. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a
bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1992. She completed her Master of Science in
Psychology from California University of Pennsylvania in 1998. After working
clinically with children, adolescents, and families from 1997 to 2004, Karen
began teaching online for California University of Pennsylvania in 2006. From
2008 onward, Karen joined Kaplan University. She is a wife and mother and lives
in a suburb of Detroit.
KU Facebook Page
KU Twitter Page
KU YouTube Channel
KU Google+ Page
KU LinkedIn Page
KU Pinterest Page
KU Instagram Page
Registered User Login
Student Consumer Information
LEARNING AT KAPLAN UNIVERSITY