Emotional Intelligence and School-Based Bullying Prevention and Intervention

  • Dorothy L. EspelageEmail author
  • Matthew T. King
  • Cassandra L. Colbert
Part of the The Springer Series on Human Exceptionality book series (SSHE)


Bullying among all students continues to be a concern for students, parents, and educators, with harmful detrimental academic and psychological effects. With legislation mandating that schools address the phenomenon, school officials are faced with the decision of selecting a program that meets the unique needs for its students and teachers, while maximizing its potential to reduce bullying. School-based prevention and intervention efforts to reduce bullying are often predicated on theories that assume that bullying involvement stems from an interaction among individual characteristics of youth, parental factors, peer influences, school environment, and societal influences. In this chapter, we discuss the definition and prevalence of bullying and explore the different individual and contextual influences on bullying involvement according to the social-ecological model of bullying. Many of these influences are connected to the concepts of emotional intelligence (EI) and social-emotional learning (SEL). We review a number of school-based prevention programs that align with the constructs of EI and SEL and provide opportunities for youth to learn social-emotional skills that are associated with decreases in bullying and other forms of aggression. Successful elements of these programs include use of multimedia, classroom rules, teacher training, psycho-educational information for parents, and cooperative group work. These programs are evaluated in terms of effectiveness for bullying prevention and how they are consistent with EI and SEL approaches. Considerations for schools when selecting a program are discussed.


Bullying Social-ecological model Social and emotional learning Emotional intelligence Intervention Prevention School programs 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dorothy L. Espelage
    • 1
    Email author
  • Matthew T. King
    • 1
  • Cassandra L. Colbert
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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