Eureka!

Early Childhood Friendship Projects

Illustration by Robert Wilder, BFA ’02

Bullying—both physical and social—can start in kids as young as 3. But early intervention can help. UB researchers have developed an eight-week program, easily integrated into existing preschool curricula, that introduces a social skill each week through a mini puppet show, and then follows up with positive reinforcement. In a recent study, the intervention worked so well that researchers gave it to the control group after the study ended. “It wasn’t ethical not to,” said Jamie Ostrov, associate professor of psychology and lead author of the study.