Social science researchers often do about half of the job. They identify a phenomenon, look at it and then leave it to others to decide how to respond.

That’s not true for Elizabeth Allan and Mary Madden, professors at the University of Maine who have launched a national effort to end hazing in education.

Allan and Madden published a study two years ago that took a deeper look at hazing in college that challenged some of the usual beliefs. Instead of just looking at sports teams and fraternities, the researchers studied all kind of organizations, including glee clubs, band and honor societies.

What they found was a pattern of hazing in all kinds of organizations. They found a range of practices designed to humiliate and degrade people, including forced excessive drinking, isolation, sleep depravation and sex acts.

The researchers now have published a “National Agenda for Hazing Prevention in Education,” offering high schools and colleges research-based advice on how to stop dangerous practices and replace them with effective team-building techniques.

Being part of a group is an important part of growing up for adolescents and young adults. Madden and Allan have been able to document ways in which that desire can be directed in dangerous ways.

Knowing that is good, but as the professors show, doing something about it is even better.