Debra Pepler OC is a Canadian psychologist known for her research and advocacy within the field of childhood aggression and bullying. She is currently a distinguished research professor at York University in Toronto, Ontario.[1][2][3]


Pepler completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at Queen's University in 1973, followed by a Master of Science degree at Dalhousie University in 1976.[1] In 1979, she was awarded her PhD from the University of Waterloo.[1] She has been a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at York University since 1988 and a senior associate scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto since 2001.[4]

Pepler is a nationally recognized expert in the field of childhood aggression, including bullying.[5] She has co-edited 12 books and published over 200 refereed journal articles, book chapters, and white papers.[6][7] In one major project, Pepler and colleagues recorded and analyzed video footage of children's interactions on the playground and in the classroom, observing their bullying experiences,[8][9] targets' coping styles,[10] and peers' responses.[11]

In 1997, she appeared on an episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show to discuss her work on bullying.[12]

In 2006, Pepler co-founded (with Wendy Craig, her first PhD student) Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network (PREVNet), a collaboration between researchers and community organizations dedicated to preventing childhood bullying and violence.[7][13]

In 2015, Pepler was awarded the Donald O. Hebb Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology as a Science, by the Canadian Psychological Association.[4] In 2019, she was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.[14]

Selected works


  1. ^ a b c "Debra J. Pepler". York University. Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  2. ^ "Pepler, Debra J." WorldCat Identities. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  3. ^ "Distinguished Research Professors". York University. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  4. ^ a b "York Professor Debra Pepler honoured for her contributions to psychology – YFile". 19 June 2015. Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  5. ^ "Bullying expert turns her eye to Halifax board". The Globe & Mail. 2013-04-18. Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  6. ^ "Debra Pepler - Google Scholar Citations". Retrieved 2019-11-20.
  7. ^ a b "York researchers are helping to change the way we think about bullying, aggression and violence". York University. 2017-01-09. Archived from the original on 2019-11-17. Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  8. ^ Pepler, Debra J.; Craig, Wendy M. (1995). "A peek behind the fence: Naturalistic observations of aggressive children with remote audiovisual recording". Developmental Psychology. 31 (4): 548–553. doi:10.1037/0012-1649.31.4.548.
  9. ^ Craig, Wendy M.; Pepler, Debra; Atlas, Rona (2000). "Observations of Bullying in the Playground and in the Classroom". School Psychology International. 21: 22–36. doi:10.1177/0143034300211002. S2CID 146140435.
  10. ^ Mahady Wilton, Melissa M.; Craig, Wendy M.; Pepler, Debra J. (2000). "Emotional Regulation and Display in Classroom Victims of Bullying: Characteristic Expressions of Affect, Coping Styles and Relevant Contextual Factors". Social Development. 9 (2): 226–245. doi:10.1111/1467-9507.00121.
  11. ^ O'Connell, Paul; Pepler, Debra; Craig, Wendy (1999). "Peer involvement in bullying: Insights and challenges for intervention". Journal of Adolescence. 22 (4): 437–452. doi:10.1006/jado.1999.0238. PMID 10469508.
  12. ^ "York University professor to appear today on Oprah to share expertise/advice on bullying with 20 million viewers". York University. 1997-11-14. Retrieved 2019-11-24.
  13. ^ "About PREVNet - Canada's authority on bullying". PREVNet. Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  14. ^ The Canadian Press. "Full list of new Order of Canada recipients". CBC. Retrieved 2019-12-31.