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Debra Pepler

Officer of the Order of Canada Distinguished Research Professor

Research Interests

Professor Debra Pepler’s research has changed the way we think about bullying, aggression and other forms of violence, especially among marginalized and alienated young people. Dr. Pepler has served on the Ontario Minister of Education’s Safe Schools Action Team since 2004. She serves on several advisory committees related to parenting, antisocial behaviour, and school violence. Professor Pepler was awarded a Network of Centres of Excellence: New Initiatives grant to establish PREVNet (Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network). Dr. Pepler has been tirelessly involved in community-based research and public policy development on pressing social issues related to children and youth. 

Dr. Pepler has been honoured for her research with being inducted into the Order of Canada, receiving the Contribution to Knowledge Award from the Psychology Foundation of Canada, the Educator of the Year Award from Phi Delta Kappa (Toronto), the University of Waterloo Arts in Academia Award, and the Canadian Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Contributions to Public or Community Service. Dr. Pepler was recently awarded the Canadian Psychological Award Donald O. Hebb Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology as a Science (2015).


Department: Psychology
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Published Manuscripts (Select Publications)

O’connell, P., Pepler, D., & Craig, W. (1999). Peer involvement in bullying: Insights and challenges for interventionJournal of adolescence22(4), 437-452.

Craig, W. M., Pepler, D., & Atlas, R. (2000). Observations of bullying in the playground and in the classroom. School psychology international, 21(1), 22-36.

Atlas, R. S., & Pepler, D. J. (1998). Observations of bullying in the classroom. The journal of educational research, 92(2), 86-99.

Craig, W. M., & Pepler, D. J. (1998). Observations of bullying and victimization in the school yard. Canadian journal of school psychology, 13(2), 41-59.

Pepler, D., Jiang, D., Craig, W., & Connolly, J. (2008). Developmental trajectories of bullying and associated factors. Child development, 79(2), 325-338.

Lynn Hawkins, D., Pepler, D. J., & Craig, W. M. (2001). Naturalistic observations of peer interventions in bullying. Social development, 10(4), 512-527.

Smith, P. K., Mahdavi, J., Carvalho, M., Fisher, S., Russell, S., & Tippett, N. (2008). Cyberbullying: Its nature and impact in secondary school pupils. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, 49(4), 376-385.

Williams, T., Connolly, J., Pepler, D., & Craig, W. (2005). Peer victimization, social support, and psychosocial adjustment of sexual minority adolescents. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 34(5), 471-482.

Pepler, D. J., Craig, W. M., Connolly, J. A., Yuile, A., McMaster, L., & Jiang, D. (2006). A developmental perspective on bullying. Aggressive Behavior: Official Journal of the International Society for Research on Aggression, 32(4), 376-384.

Pepler, D. J., & Craig, W. M. (1995). A peek behind the fence: Naturalistic observations of aggressive children with remote audiovisual recording. Developmental Psychology, 31(4), 548.