Dr. Yangjin Park, PhD ’22, Receives NYU Outstanding Dissertation Award
Dr. Yangjin Park, a 2022 graduate of NYU Silver’s PhD Program who is now an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Arlington, has received NYU’s 2023 Outstanding Dissertation Award in the Social Sciences category for “Multiple Risk Patterns and Bullying Perpetration and Victimization among Children.” A Research Assistant at NYU Silver’s Center on Violence and Recovery during his doctoral studies, Dr. Park is committed to reducing violence and trauma among vulnerable populations.
Dr. Park’s award-winning dissertation uses a person-centered approach to examine the complex, underlying risk factors that make some children more susceptible to bullying perpetration and victimization; explores the association between internalizing (e.g., anxiety, depression) and externalizing (e.g., conduct issues, impulsivity) behavior problems and bullying perpetration and victimization across risk groups; and evaluates whether family strength has a buffering effect. The three-paper dissertation is based on a secondary analysis of data on children aged six to ten from the 2019 National Survey of Children’s Health.
While prior research has established that multiple risk factors are associated with bullying perpetration and victimization, it has generally taken a cumulative risk approach, leading to one-size-fits-all interventions. By contrast, Dr. Park explored and disaggregated the underlying risk factors, providing insight into how they are experienced in children’s lives. He also found new evidence of a nuanced relationship between children’s internalizing and externalizing behaviors and bullying perpetration and victimization. He further discovered that while family-based interventions are effective for children at low risk of bullying perpetration and victimization and those whose risks are primarily within the family domain, they are less effective for children who are exposed to either individual and environmental risks or multiple risks. “Although many children end up experiencing bullying,” Dr. Park wrote, “the present study offers a clearer picture of the distinctive patterns of risks and the pathways that led children to this outcome, suggesting the need to consider different prevention and intervention efforts across these groups.”
Associate Professor and PhD Program Director Rohini Pahwa welcomed the news of Dr. Park’s prestigious honor. “Jin is a skilled quantitative and qualitative researcher committed to violence prevention among children and families. His rigorous, well-written scholarship on the pressing issue of child bullying has relevance for social workers, clinicians, teachers, and policymakers.”
Dr. Park expressed appreciation to NYU Silver’s PhD Program and his dissertation committee. “I am deeply grateful for the unwavering support, constructive feedback, and warm-hearted mentorship provided by my advisor, Dr. Kathrine Sullivan. My statistical methods mentor, Dr. James Jaccard, provided invaluable guidance and encouragement and I cannot thank him enough. I would also like to extend my gratitude to Dr. Marya Gwadz for her emotional and academic support throughout my doctoral program. I am grateful to Dr. Briana Barocas and my CVR family, for the intellectually challenging environment, support, and love over the past five years. Finally, I feel deeply honored to have been a part of the NYU Silver’s PhD program. I could not have made it through without my cohort mates, Cora, Laura, Lynden, Ning, Pa, and Sejung, and I thank Dr. Pahwa for this incredible opportunity.”