NCA Anti-Bullying Resource Bank

Part of Christina S. Beck’s NCA Presidential Initiative, Enhancing Opportunities

The NCA Anti-Bullying Project strives to foster collaborations between Communication scholars and other stakeholders (such as policy makers, educators, the media, and the general public) in anti–social aggression efforts. This digital repository provides access to the valuable work that Communication scholars have already done to help others understand and stop social aggression. Intellectually, empirically, and pragmatically, the work of Communication scholars in interpersonal communication, group communication, organizational communication nonverbal communication, family communication, rhetoric, performance, health communication, etc. contributes rich insights and resources to broader conversations on the complex and multi-faceted issue of bullying.


A glare. An insult. The silent treatment. Bullying manifests itself in varied forms, but one underlying common denominator is communication. All actions (each glare, each insult, each failure to acknowledge someone in the hallway) communicate volumes, and Communication scholars bring valuable expertise and insights to conversations about this topic. Thus, as evidenced in this portion of NCA’s Anti-Bullying Digital Repository, Communication scholars contribute theoretically grounded, data-driven input to discussions about bullying, especially regarding how bullying gets socially constructed as acceptable (or not) and how participants can respond and reclaim agency and preferred identities.

Young girl


Although the word “bullying” might prompt images of schoolchildren, selected works in this portion of our digital resource explore the serious (and often silenced) incidence of social aggression in workplace settings. The research articles in this section reveal the communicative implications of workplace bullying, as well as communication-based insights for tackling such bullying and empowering employees to stand up against practices that hinder equitable, just, and respectful interaction and dialogue among all organizational members. Informed by diverse research traditions, these articles highlight the wealth of contributions that Communication scholars can offer through their practical and beneficial research and recommendations on bullying in workplace settings.

Boss bullying employee


From anonymous texts or comments on a message board to the more recent trend of public shaming on social media outlets such as Facebook or Twitter, online communication can result in devastating consequences for targets. In this section of NCA’s Anti-Bullying Digital Repository, we offer theoretically and empirically based research that describes cyberbullying problems and encourages awareness and activism. The relatively recent advent of the Internet and social media, coupled with its global yet interpersonal nature, affords a plethora of opportunities for impacting attitudes and actions, especially through the disturbing trend of cyberbullying. Communication scholars bring invaluable perspectives and research to conversations about this important issue.

Boy reading text messages


Simon and Garfunkel once sang about “The Sound of Silence.” For individuals who experience varying forms of social aggression, bystanders contribute to the haunting echoes of inaction, communicating a lack of concern about (and perhaps even silent support for) the behaviors of bullies. Works in this section of NCA’s Anti-Bullying Project Digital Resource highlight the consequentiality of communication (or lack thereof) with regard to individuals who observe social aggression but fail to intervene, including possible strategies for inspiring and empowering bystanders to make a positive difference through the courage of communicating.

Young woman and bystanders


Contributions to this Social Aggression, Harassment, and Stalking section underscore each of these activities as implicitly communicative. By engaging in these activities, individuals communicate volumes about their perceptions of self and others. Understanding how these activities get constructed and the meanings that emerge through them equips us to take steps toward altering behaviors.

Young woman followed by young man


Social aggression constitutes a multi-faceted, complicated set of issues, but communication certainly lies at the heart of how individuals bully, respond to bullying, and construct it as a societal problem that merits education and enlightenment. In this portion of the website, we offer examples of pedagogical resources that address various forms of bullying and related issues.


Although the NCA Anti-Bullying Digital Repository features work by Communication scholars, we also include these additional websites and videos as a means of sparking dialogue between Communication scholars and other agencies and stakeholders. Moreover, we believe that these resources could be valuable to members of the Communication discipline as they teach courses and situate their work on this topic in light of broader conversations about anti-bullying efforts.


About the NCA Anti-Bullying Task Force

The NCA Anti-Bullying Task Force was created by Christina S. Beck as part of her Presidential Initiative, “Enhancing Opportunities.”
The goals of the task force are to:
  1. Increase awareness, within and beyond the academy, of the definition and scope of bullying and the central role of communication in this societal problem.
  2. Increase awareness, within and beyond the academy, of Communication-based research, instructional resources, and other materials.
  3. Build research teams to address additional research questions related to this multi-faceted issue.
  4. Develop a teaching bank with additional materials that could be used for instruction in a variety of contexts (including performance and video-based resources)
  5. Position the Communication discipline as a key stakeholder in broader conversations, within and beyond the academy, about this multi-faceted issue.
Members of the task force include:
  • Keith Berry (University of South Florida), Co-Chair
  • Renee Cowan (Queens University of Charlotte), Co-Chair
  • Rukhsana Ahmed (University at Albany, State University of New York)
  • Garry Bailey (Abilene Christian University)
  • Adam Earnheardt (Youngstown State University)
  • Catherine Gillotti (Purdue University, Calumet)
  • Loraleigh Keashly (Wayne State University)
  • Carol Bishop Mills (University of Alabama)
  • Stacy Tye-Williams (Iowa State University)
  • Sally Vogl-Bauer (Blackhawk Technical College)
  • Jennifer Whalen (University of South Florida)