Business & Society

Upcoming Blue Plate Research Event Examines School Bullying

Diana Meter to Discuss Findings During Salt Lake City Event, 'Instead' Podcast

By Tabitha Smiel |

For the first time since the series began, USU Blue Plate Research will host an in-person event from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, June 7, at Gallivan Hall in downtown Salt Lake City.

"Defenders, Bullies, and Victims: The Social Ecology of Adolescence" features Diana Meter and will explore the data and research findings behind bullying.

The event will feature a full presentation, live question-and-answer session, and a free catered lunch. Those interested in attending can reserve a seat by submitting an RSVP at

An assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Meter was featured on an episode of the Insteadpodcast to discuss her findings on school aggressors.

"I want to understand these processes and theories behind why people are aggressive toward others, why they bully others, and what we can do to stop it," Meter said.

Meter's research focuses not just on aggressors and victims, but on "defenders" that stand up for victims and serve a pro-social role in their peer group. During the podcast episode, Meter emphasized the importance of this role; research shows that students who have positive relationships in their childhood, such as having someone stand up for them, are more likely to have positive relationships in adulthood.

The research data seems to show an association between students that are victimized and those who tend to report lower school connectedness, and victimization can lead to behavioral concerns, such as acting out, depression and anxiety.

Meter also addressed the stigma that bullying builds character on the podcast. "Somebody may be able to learn skills and adapt to their situation, but at what cost?" Meter asked.

She concluded the Insteadepisode with a call to action, saying that if schools are having problems with aggression, "then we need to intervene and do something about it."

Blue Plate Research is sponsored by Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah and produced by the Utah State University Office of Research.

The series highlights the discoveries and research efforts at USU in the areas of health and well-being, with a focus on sharing easy-to-understand research with Utah health advocates, statewide stakeholders, and the public.

Follow USU’s Office of Research on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to get additional insights into upcoming Blue Plate Research events and other happenings around the world of research at Utah State.


Tabitha Smiel
Communications Assistant
Office of Research


Anna McEntire
Office of Research
Executive Director of Research Communications
(435) 797-7631


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