Melanie Sklar, Psy.D., is a 2021 graduate of the Psy.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee:

  • F. Alexander Blount, EdD, Committee Chair
  • Kate Evarts Rice, PsyD, Committee Member
  • Jeanna Lee, PhD, Committee Member


bullying, cyberbullying, victimization, primary care provider

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Bullying is a form of aggression characterized by repeated psychological or physical oppression, which negatively impacts children. More recently, the phenomenon of cyberbullying, or electronic bullying, has become prevalent. Despite efforts by schools to address forms of bullying, young people continue to be victimized. Primary care settings are well placed to address these issues with patients and their families to improve care and outcomes. Screenings and mental health referrals by physicians have been shown to reduce future involvement in bullying and increase access to treatment. When thinking about healthcare improvements in primary care settings, screening has been shown to be useful for addressing concerns that might not have otherwise come up. Prior to the current study, young adolescent patients were going to be screened for bullying during well-child visits and invited for follow-up. Due to the changes in primary care practice caused by the response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, well-child visits were canceled, requiring that the focus of the study be to explore physicians’ perspectives. The current study aimed to explore physicians’ attitudes and beliefs regarding bullying through a qualitative approach with the use of semi-structured individual interviews with primary care providers from one practice. Thematic analysis was conducted. The results yielded providers’ impressions and beliefs about screening for bullying, indicating the utility of screening as a successful tool to gather more information on adolescent victimization to help patients and families address these concerns. Implications, limitations, and future research ideas are also explored.


Melanie Sklar

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0001-9937-2709