New research from Israel suggests a simple way to reduce intimidating behavior among adolescents.
Can music soothe the savage sixth grader? Perhaps, according to a first-of-its-kind study from Israel, which finds that gentle melodies may help deter schoolyard bullying.
“If the findings of this pilot study are replicated and can be generalized,” researchers Naomi Ziv and Einat Dolev write in the journal Children and Schools, “they point to a very simple, inexpensive method of reducing aggressive behavior.”
The three-week experiment featured 56 students—32 boys and 24 girls—at a local elementary school in the north of Israel. All were either 11 or 12 years old. For the first week, the researchers quietly observed the kids during their 20-minute mid-day recess. For three days of the second week, relaxing music from the CD The Spirit of Yoga was played on speakers throughout the recess. The numbers, such as “Horizon of Gold” and “Mother’s Wingspan,” were described as “world music with a strong Indian influence.” And for the third week, the music was turned off, and recess proceeded as before.
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