Date of Award

2002

Level of Access

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Human Development

Advisor

Sandra L. Caron

Second Committee Member

Cynthia Erdley

Third Committee Member

Mary Madden

Abstract

Peer harassment is an omnipresent reality in our schools today. The literature reviewed for this paper examines harassment and victimization on several levels (e.g., individual behaviors of target and perpetrator, various forms of victimization, group processes, family dynamics, and structural characteristics of larger units such as the classroom and the school). The literature identifies a number of prevention and intervention strategies designed to address this issue in a school setting, with much of the emphasis on the classroom teacher or guidance department. One strategy not found in the current literature is storytelling in the form of primary narrative. This thesis investigates the use of "harassment tales" told by high school students to middle school students to create a context of confession, enabling the younger students to consider their own roles in harassment and victimization. The purpose of this study is to identify the challenges and possible applications of personal testimonials by high school students as a means of intervention in middle schools. This study involves students in an ongoing program, the Diversity Coalition at Camden Hills Regional High School in Rockport, Maine.

Share