Edith Lando Professorship in Social and Emotional Learning (2018-2022)
Scarfe Office Block 2528


University of Illinois, Human Development, Department of Educational Psychology, 1982


Since she joined the Faculty of Education at UBC in 1993, Dr. Shelley Hymel has served in a number of administrative roles, including Associate Dean (OGPR, 2000-2002), ECPS Department Head (2006-2008), Deputy Head (2016-2017), Area Coordinator for both the HDLC (2004-2006) and SCPS (2010) program areas, and Co-Director of the Psychoeducational Research and Training Centre (1996-2000, 2003-2005).

Currently, Dr. Hymel holds the Edith Lando Professorship in Social-Emotional Learning (SEL, 2018-2022) through which she has co-established and currently oversees a Masters concentration in SEL and two Teacher Education cohorts in SEL and has created a unique online resource for educators, the SEL Resource Finder. She currently serves on the executive team of PREVNet, Canada’s national organization for “Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence.” She also serves on several research advisory boards, including UBCs Human Early Learning Partnership, Alberta’s Life Synergy for Youth program, Seattle’s Committee for Children, and Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation.

Dr. Shelley Hymel is co-founder of the international Bullying Research Network, linking 200 researchers from 17 countries. She publishes extensively on social development, peer relations, and school bullying, with over 100 refereed articles and chapters to date, and has co-edited special issues for both Merrill-Palmer Quarterly (1999, 2015) and American Psychologist (2015). She has worked directly with students experiencing social difficulties and collaborates with school districts that want to address the social side of education. She has long emphasized the importance of knowledge mobilization efforts, giving over 200 invited school/community presentations, and 14 keynote presentations for educators across Canada, and has co-edited three special issues on school bullying for the online magazine for parents and teachers,

Selected Publications:

Espelage, D. L. & Hymel, S. (forthcoming).  Preventing aggression and youth violence in schools. In Malti, T., & Rubin, K. (Eds.) Handbook of Child and Adolscent Aggression: Emergence, Development and Intervention.

Trach, J., Lee, M., & Hymel, S. (forthcoming). A Social-ecological approach to addressing emotional and behavioral problems in schools: Focusing on group processes and social dynamics.  Special issue of Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders.

Hymel, S., Starosta, L., Gill, R., Low, A.S. (in press). Challenges and opportunities in promoting mental well-being and addressing violence through schools.  In  P. Slee, G. Skrzypiec & C. Cefai (Eds.) Child and adolescent well being and violence prevention in schools. NY: Routledge.

Hymel, S., Low, A., Starosta, L., Gill, R. & Schonert-Reichl, K. (in press).  Promoting mental well-being through social-emotional learning in schools: Examples from British Columbia, Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health.

Konishi, C., Miyazaki, Y., Hymel, S., & Waterhouse, T. (in press).  Investigating associations between school climate and bullying in secondary schools: Multilevel contextual effects modeling School Psychology International.

Gadermann, A.M., Guhn, M., Schonert-Reichl, K.A., Hymel, S., Thomson, K., A  & Hertzman, C. (2016). Population-Based Study of Children’s Well-being and Health: The Relative Importance of Social Relationships, Health-related Activities, and Income. Journal of Happiness Studies, 17, 1847-1872.. doi:10.1007/s10902-015-9673-1

Darwich, L., McClure, R., & Hymel, S. (2016). Ethnic identity, discrimination, and school social adjustment among Canadian youth. Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology, 6 (2), 166-182.

Closson, L. M., & Hymel, S. (2016). Status Differences in Target-specific Prosocial Behavior and Aggression. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 45, 1836-1848.

Hymel, S., Darwich, L., & Groendal, R. (2015). “The child is the father to the man”: Laying the foundation for nonkilling in childhood. In R. Bachtijaragić & J. Pim (Eds.) Nonkilling Balkans (117-138). Honolulu and Sarajevo: Center for Global Nonkilling and University of Sarajevo.

Hymel, S., & Swearer, S.M. (2015). Four decades of research on school bullying: An introduction. American Psychologist, 70 (4), 300-310.

Swearer, S.M., & Hymel, S. (2015). Understanding the bullying dynamic: Moving toward a social-ecological diathesis-stress model. American Psychologist, 70 (4),344-353.

Hymel, S., McClure, R., Miller, M., Shumka, E., & Trach, J. (2015). Addressing School Bullying: Insights from Theories of Group Processes. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 37, 16-24.

Schonert-Reichl, K. A., Hanson-Peterson, J. L., & Hymel, S. (2015). Social and emotional learning and pre-service teacher education. In J. Durlak, R. Weissberg, C. Domitrovich, & T. Gullotta (Eds.), Handbook of social & emotional learning: Research and practice (pp. 406-421). NY: Guilford.

Hymel, S. & Bonanno, R. (2014). Moral disengagement processes in bullying. Theory into Practice. 53, 278-285.

Gini, G., Pozzoli, T., & Hymel, S. (2014). Moral disengagement among children and youth: A meta-analytic review of links to aggressive behavior. Aggressive Behavior, 40 (1), 56-68.

Vaillancourt, T., Hymel, S., & McDougall, P. (2013). The biological underpinnings of peer victimization: Understanding why and how the effects of bullying can last a lifetime. Theory to Practice, 52 (4), 241-248.

Bonanno, R.A. & Hymel, S. (2013). Cyber Bullying and Internalizing Difficulties: Above and Beyond the Impact of Traditional Forms of Bullying. Special issue, Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 42 (5), 685-697.

Hymel, S., & Darwich, L. (2013). Developmental Psychology Perspectives on Fairness. In J. P. Sarra (Ed.), An Exploration of Fairness: Interdisciplinary inquiries in Law, Science and the Humanities (pp. 333-344).

Schonert-Reichl, K. A., Guhn, M., Gadermann, A. M., Hymel, S., Sweiss, L., & Hertzman, C. (2012). Development and validation of the Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI): Assessing children’s well-being and assets across multiple contexts. Social Indicators Research, 14, 345-369

Darwich, L., Hymel, S. & Waterhouse, T. (2012). School Avoidance and Substance Use among Lesbian/Gay, Bisexual, and Questioning Youth: The Impact of Victimization and Adult Support. Journal of Educational Psychology, 104 (2),381-392.

Law, D., Shapka, J., Hymel, S., Olson, B., & Waterhouse, T. (2012). The Changing Face of Bullying: An Empirical Comparison Between Traditional and Internet Bullying and Victimization, Computers in Human Behavior, 28, 226-232.

Hymel, S., Closson, L.M., Caravita, S.C.S. & Vaillancourt, T. (2011). Social Status among Peers: From Sociometric Attraction to Peer Acceptance to Perceived Popularity. In P.K. Smith and C.H. Hart (Eds.), Handbook of Childhood Social Development (pp. 375-392), 2nd Edition. Wiley/Blackwell.

Vaillancourt, T., Trinh, V., McDougall, P., Duku, E., Cunningham, L., Cunningham, C., Reinhold, P., Hymel, S., & Short, K. (2010). Optimizing Population Screening of Bullying in School-Aged Children. Journal of School Violence, 9 (3), 233-250.

Bonanno, R. & Hymel , S. (2010). Beyond Hurt Feelings:  Investigating Why Some Victims of Bullying Are at Greater Risk for Suicidal Ideation. Invited article for a special issue on peer victimization, Merrill Palmer Quarterly, 56 (3), 420-440.

Swearer, S.M. , Espelage, D.L., Vaiillancourt, T., & Hymel, S. (2010). Challenges facing educators and researchers regarding school bullying: Linking research to educational practice. Educational Researcher, 39 (1), 38-47.

Hymel, S., Schonert-Reichl, K.A., Bonanno, R. A., Vaillancourt, T., & Rocke Henderson, N. (2010). Bullying and Morality: Understanding How Good Kids Can Behave Badly. In Jimerson, S., Swearer, S.M. & Espelage, D.L. (Eds). The Handbook of Bullying in Schools: An International Perspective (p. 101-118). New York: Routledge.

Trach, J. Hymel, S., Waterhouse, T., & Neale, K. (2010). Age Differences in Bystander Responses to School Bullying:  A Cross-Sectional Investigation. Canadian Journal of School Psychology, 25 (1),114-130.

Konishi, C. &  Hymel, S. (2009). Bullying and Stress in Early Adolescence: The Role of Coping and Social Support. Journal of Early Adolescence, 29, 333-356.

Vaillancourt, T., McDougall, P., Hymel, S., Krygsman, A., Miller, J., Stiver, K., and Davis, C. (2008). Bullying: Are researchers and children/youth talking about the same thing?  International Journal of Behavioral Development, 32 (6), 486-495.

Cavell, T.A. Hymel, S., Malcolm, K. T. & Seay, A. (2007).  Socialization and Interventions for Antisocial Youth. In J. Grusec & P. Hastings (Eds.), Handbook of Socialization (p. 42-67). New York: Guilford Press.

Hymel, S., Schonert-Reichl, K.A., & Miller, L.D. (2006). Reading, ‘Riting, ‘Rithmetic and Relationships: Considering the Social Side of Education. Exceptionality Education Canada, 16 (3), 149-192.

Vaillancourt, T. & Hymel, S. (2006).  Aggression and social status: The moderating roles of sex and peer-valued characteristics. Aggressive Behavior, 32(4), 396-408.

Hymel, S., Rocke-Henderson, N. & Bonanno, R.A. (2005). Moral disengagement: A framework for understanding bullying among adolescents. Journal of Social Sciences, 8, 1-11.

Vaillancourt, T., Hymel, S., & McDougall, P. (2003). Bullying is power: Implications for school-based intervention strategies. Special issue: Journal of Applied School Psychology, 19, 157-175.

Hymel, S., Vaillancourt, T., McDougall, P., & Renshaw, P. D. (2002). Acceptance and rejection by the peer group. In Smith, P. & Hart, C. (Eds.), Blackwell Handbook of Childhood Social Development (pp. 265-284). London: Blackwell Publishers.

McDougall, P., Hymel, S., Vaillancourt, T., & Mercer, L. (2001). The consequences of early childhood rejection.  In M. Leary (Ed.) Interpersonal Rejection (pp. 213-247). New York: Oxford University Press.

Research Projects:

My research addresses the interface of social and academic functioning, with the goal of understanding social developmental processes in order to support children and youth in school settings. Of primary interest is research to promote social and emotional learning (SEL) in children and youth.

To that end, my research is conducted through ongoing school-university partnerships and in collaboration with graduate students in our Social and Emotional Development and Education (SEED) research laboratory. The SEED lab involves approximately 15-20 graduate students who meet regularly throughout the academic year and who collaborate on research and knowledge translation/mobilization efforts related to social and emotional learning in schools.

Bullying Research Network (BRNET).
Established in 2004, the Bullying Research Network (BRNET) is an electronic network of prominent researchers, educators and authors from around the globe interested in addressing issues of bullying and victimization. Directed by Drs. Shelley Hymel (UBC) and Susan Swearer (University of Nebraska) and supported by the Nebraska Centre for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools, the primary goals of BRNet are to:

a) create a virtual clearing house for linking researchers around the world, facilitating the rapid exchange of information and ideas to enhance evidence-based prevention and intervention initiatives, and

b) facilitate the conduct of international and interdisciplinary research on bullying and aggression, with attention to links between basic and applied research.

As of 2013, BRNET includes over 180 members from 17 different countries, and has supported several different collaborative efforts. As of 2013, BRNET has entered into a partnership with the Journal of School Psychology (see Furlong, Nickerson, Smith, Swearer & Hymel, 2013, Journal of School Violence, 12, 230-237) Also, since 2011, BRNET has sponsored a series of annual “think tanks” on school bullying, each involving approximately 25-30 bullying research scholars from Canada, the US and around the world.

Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network (PREVNet, 2006-present)
I serve as part of the executive team for this knowledge mobilization effort funded by Canada’s National Centres of Excellence under the leadership of scientific directors, Dr. Wendy Craig at Queens University and Dr. Debra Pepler at York University. PREVNet’s mandate is to develop a national strategy to “promote relationships and eliminate violence” among Canadian children and youth by fostering partnerships between researchers and non-government organizations as well as local schools and community agencies with an initial focus on addressing problems of bullying and victimization. Through PREVNet we have developed a number of research collaborations with scholars across Canada and with non-government organizations who share the PREVNet mandate. PREVNet also supports an annual conference on bullying at which I present regularly, sponsors several meetings over the year to address issues in both research and practice, and engages graduate students extensively in their efforts, training the next generation of scholars interested in promoting positive social relations among children and youth.

Toward a Bullying-Free Community: Community-University Research Alliance (CURA- 2005-present)
Under the leadership of Dr. Tracy Vaillancourt (University of Ottawa/McMaster University), the Hamilton/MacMaster University/Mohawk College Research Alliance supports research collaborations with scholars across Canada. I have been part of the research oversight team for this project and a co-investigator since it began, evaluating developmental processes using an extensive and ongoing community sample for over a decade.

Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI, 2009-present)
Through a collaboration of the UBC Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP), the United Way of the Lower Mainland (UWLM), and the Vancouver School District (VSB), Drs. Clyde Hertzman and Kimberley Schonert-Reichl have spearheaded a major study of middle childhood for which we developed and pilot tested a new instrument, the MDI, for evaluation of well-being during the middle childhood years. The MDI-4, developed in 2010, is a self-report survey for grade 4 students; the MDI-7, developed in 2012, is a self-report survey for grade 7 students, both of which are being utilized in schools across Canada and internationally.

School Climate and Bullying Project (2008-present)
This initiative began as a SSHRC-funded research project (2008-2011) lead by Dr. David Smith, University of Ottawa, to evaluate the impact of changes in school climate on student reports of bullying and victimization. Conducted in collaboration with BC schools, intermediate students (grades 4-7) have participated in the study each spring, with up to 33 schools participating in any given year. Data collected in this study are not only used for research purposes, providing data for several student theses, but are also used to provide school staff with ongoing information on student perceptions of the social and academic climate of their schools and their experiences with bullying and victimization, in support of school-based efforts to create safe and caring learning environments.

Knowledge Translation Efforts

Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Online Resource
First launched in the fall of 2015, our team of graduate students have developed the SEL Resource Finder (, a one-stop, online clearing house for educators (preservice and inservice teachers, administrators, counselors, etc.) and all adults who work with children and youth, that provides links to information, programs, activities, lessons, videos, books, and assessment options for promoting social-emotional learning in children and youth. The site also includes a separate set of resources on promoting Mental Health and how educators can support the mental well-being of all students. Resources for working with refugee and immigrant students are also provided. – Special Issue on Bullying @ School and Online
This knowledge mobilization initiative has involved a unique, peer-reviewed set of three “special issues” of an online magazine for parents and teachers,, in which established scholars from around the world are invited to submit lay-reader friendly summaries of their published research on school bullying. Co-edited by myself and Dr. Susan Swearer (2008, 2009 and 2012) and Dr. Amanda Nickerson (2012), the special issue now includes over 60 articles on school bullying, which receives 75,000 views per month (4.5 million views in 5 years). The creation of Bullying @ School and Online has led to partnerships with the documentary, Bully, and the National Association of Elementary School Principals, as well as several media appearances.

Social-Emotional Learning Graduate Practicum (2005-2010, ongoing)
Master’s Concentration (2009, ongoing)
Funded by the Edith Lando Charitable Foundation, and the Edward D. and Anna Mitchell Family Foundation, and operated in partnership with local school districts, Dr. Kim Schonert-Reichl and I have developed a unique graduate practicum course as well as a specialized, course-based, Masters level “concentration” in Social and Emotional Learning within the Faculty of Education, provide training in school-based SEL approaches, translating the latest research in SEL into educational practice.

SEL Teacher Education Cohort (2009, ongoing)
Since 2009, we (Drs. Shelley Hymel and Kim Schonert-Reichl) have overseen two cohorts of the UBC Teacher Education program focusing on Social and Emotional Learning, one in Surrey/Langley and the other in Delta, BC. For these cohorts, we work directly with our Faculty Associates to promote SEL as a major focus in teacher education. With funds provided by the Edith Lando Charitable Foundation and the Edward and Anna Mitchell Foundation, we provide future teachers and their education mentors with additional workshops and activities for promoting SEL in their teaching, including an initial UBC Ropes Course program to build community and teach students about teaching through cooperative experiential learning, and full day workshops on SEL, Mindfulness, and Restitution Self-Discipline.

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Library Collection
Since 2005, with the support of funding from the Lando, Attias and Mitchell Foundations, we have been building a collection of SEL materials and resources, housed within the Faculty of Education’s Psychoeducational Research and Training Centre (PRTC) and made available to both graduate students and teacher education candidates as well as other instructors and faculty members. We are grateful to Dr. Bill McKee, PRTC Director, and his staff for their efforts to maintain this collection and make it available throughout the Faculty of Education.

Social Responsibility and Collaborative Learning Environments Group (SRCLE)
This is a collaboration of educators from five school districts in the lower mainland of BC and university faculty from both UBC and SFU who meet regularly (every 4-6 weeks) and who coordinate knowledge translation efforts with regard to social and emotional learning in schools, and organize a biennial, provincial conference on social and emotional learning, called ENCOMPASS.

Courses Taught:

EPSE 307/308 Human Development, Learning and Diversity
EPSE 501 Seminar in Human Development, Learning, and Culture
EPSE 505 Foundations in Human Development
EPSE 585 Social and Emotional Development in Education
EPSE 561 Graduate Practicum in Social-Emotional Learning
EPSE 584 Motivation in Education
EPSE 604 Advanced Topics in Human Development, Learning, and Culture