What We Do

The Youth Violence Project has engaged in a series of bullying studies over the past 15 years. We help conduct a statewide survey of Virginia secondary schools as part of the Virginia School Safety Audit program. This work is undertaken in partnership with the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services and Department of Education.

In 2007 the survey focused on 9th grade students and teachers in approximately 300 Virginia high schools. This work is reported in the Virginia High School Safety Study. In 2011 the project expanded to become the Virginia Secondary School Climate Study, which includes surveys of students and teachers in grades 7-12.

We assisted the Albemarle/Charlottesville Safe Schools/Healthy Students Project in their annual school climate and bullying surveys. We helped them track progress in reducing bullying and reducing school climate each year at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. See the tabs for more information for each of these grade levels. Some of the substantive questions we addressed in this project were:

Can we improve school bullying prevention efforts through the use of peer reports of bully victims? See our video on Youtube to learn more.

  • How is school climate related to bullying behavior and involvement in high risk behavior such as fighting and substance use?
  • How can longitudinal data inform us about the course of bullying and victimization through middle school?
  • How can we improve the accuracy of school climate and bullying surveys through validity screening?

Over the course of all of these projects, we have continued to refine and develop the School Climate Bullying Survey which is available to schools and researchers. Note that we have renamed this survey the Authoritative School Climate Survey because of its conceptual grounding in authoritative school climate theory.

Sample Bullying Publications

Lacey, A. & Cornell, D.G. (2016). School administrator assessment of bullying and state-mandated testing.  Journal of School Violence, 15(2), 189-212.  doi.org/10.1080/15388220.2014.971362

Huang, F., Cornell, D., & Konold, T. (2015). Aggressive attitudes in middle schools: A factor structure and criterion-related validity study. Assessment, 22(4), 497-512.  doi: 10.1177/1073191114551016

Baly, M., Cornell, D., & Lovegrove, P., (2014). A longitudinal comparison of peer- and self-reports of bullying victimization across middle school.  Psychology in the Schools, 51, 217-214.  doi: 10.1002/pits.21747

Konold, T., Cornell, D., Huang, F., Meyer, P., Lacey, A., Nekvasil, E., Heilbrun, A., & Shukla, K. (2014). Multi-level multi-informant structure of the Authoritative School Climate Survey. School Psychology Quarterly. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/spq0000062

Cornell, D., Gregory, A., Huang, F., & Fan, X. (2013). Perceived prevalence of teasing and bullying predicts high school dropout rates. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105, 138-149.

Cornell, D., G., Lovegrove, P. J., & Baly, M. W. (2013, November 11). Invalid survey response patterns among middle school students. Psychological Assessment. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0034808

Lacey, A., & Cornell, D. (2013). The impact of bullying climate on schoolwide academic performance. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 29, 262-283.

Lovegrove, P., & Cornell, D. (2013, September). Patterns of bullying and victimization associated with other problem behaviors among high school students: A conditional latent class approach. Journal of Crime and Justice. Advance online publication DOI:10.1080/0735648X.2013.832475

Mehta, S., Cornell, D., Fan, X., & Gregory, A. (2013). Bullying climate and school engagement in ninth grade students.  Journal of School Health, 83, 45-52.

Related Lab

  • YVP
  • Research Lab

Youth Violence Project

The Virginia Youth Violence Project is a research group composed of faculty and graduate students in the UVA School of Education and Human Development. We conduct research on youth violence prevention and school safety and provide training and consultation on topics such as threat assessment, bullying prevention, and forensic psychology. Through our work, we have developed strong evidence in support of school threat assessment as a school violence prevention strategy and alternative to zero tolerance discipline.