Education Bullying
by
James O'Higgins Norman, Keith Sullivan
  • LAST REVIEWED: 21 April 2021
  • LAST MODIFIED: 27 June 2017
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756810-0185

Introduction

Bullying is both a psychological and a sociological phenomenon that occurs among human beings who live, work, and study together. Although certain individuals are more likely to bully (psychological), the context in which they exist (sociological) can also contribute toward an environment in which bullying is more acceptable. Young people are rarely bullied because they are perceived to be the same as everyone else; they are often bullied because they stand out in their environment for being different in some way from their peers. This reality points to the need for schools to promote an understanding and appreciation for diversity among young people. Research shows that levels of bullying and other forms of discrimination decrease when young people are provided with an opportunity to reflect on difference as a positive aspect of life. The current geopolitical context challenges us more than ever before to promote inclusion and address discrimination as a form of bullying in our schools, workplaces, and wider society.

General Overview

Bullying as a form of human aggression occurs in organizations, workplaces, voluntary groups, universities, and particularly in schools (Lutgen-Sandvik, et al. 2016; Datta, et al. 2016; Lapidot-Lefler and Dolev-Cohen 2015; and McGuire 2013). Bullying is a problem that transcends social boundaries and can result in devastating psychological and emotional trauma, such as low self-esteem, poor academic performance, depression, and, in some cases, violence, and suicidal behavior (Smith 2014). There is no universally agreed definition for bullying. However, bullying is generally understood as a form of aggressive behavior characterized by three core elements: (1) it is aggressive behavior or intentional “harm doing,” (2) is carried out repeatedly and over time, and (3) occurs in an interpersonal relationship characterized by an imbalance of power. In addition, the bullying behavior often occurs without apparent provocation, and negative actions can be carried out by physical contact, words, intentional exclusion from a group, or other ways, such as making faces or mean gestures (Del Barrio, et al. 2008). When assessing behavior that might be considered to be bullying, it is important to evaluate the extent to which intent, repetition, and an imbalance of power exist; otherwise, no matter how conflictual or aggressive the encounter is, it may not be considered to be bullying. However, some researchers argue that a one-off event can also be considered to be bullying if there is a threat that it may be repeated (Gladden, et al. 2014). Hamarus and Kaikkonen 2008 argues, depending on which definition of bullying is used, only acts that conform to a particular definition are identified and labeled as bullying, thus excluding whole aspects of conflict and aggression that also may occur. The definition and related self-report questionnaire in the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (created by Dan Olweus in 2007) has been used extensively in international research. However, this approach has been critiqued from the point of view that it does not account for nuances in different cultural meanings and terminology associated with the concept of bullying. For example, Smith, et al. 2002 alludes to the fact that the term ijime is used in Japan as a bullying equivalent, but the term implies less of a focus on physical violence and a greater emphasis on social manipulation. This has implications for those who are being asked to create policies and procedures that include definitions of bullying. The core challenge here for organizations, workplaces, and schools is how to develop a workable definition that sufficiently covers various types of aggressive behavior. This article examines and outlines the phenomenon of bullying by exploring historical developments that have led to the current theoretical approach to the problem as it occurs in early-21st-century society. It considers both the psychological and sociological aspects of bullying while suggesting strategies for prevention and intervention in the educational and workplace settings.

  • Datta, Pooja, Dewey Cornell, and Francis Huang. 2016. Aggressive attitudes and prevalence of bullying bystander behavior in middle school. Psychology in the Schools 53.8: 804–816.

    DOI: 10.1002/pits.21944Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article explores the reinforcement of bullying behavior augmented by pro-aggressive attitudes and the role of bystander students. The findings suggest this can be counteracted by implementing anti-bullying programs that promote positive bystander intervention.

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  • Del Barrio, Christina, Elena Martín, Ignacio Montero, Héctor Gutiérrez, Ángela Barrios, and María José de Dios. 2008. Bullying and social exclusion in Spanish secondary schools: National trends from 1999 to 2006. International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology 8:657–677.

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    This paper reports on a national longitudinal study on bullying in schools in Spain.

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  • Gladden, R. M., A. M. Vivolo-Kantor, M. E. Hamburger, and C. D. Lumpkin. 2014. Bullying surveillance among youths: Uniform definitions for public health and recommended data elements, Version 1.0. Atlanta: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the United States Department of Education.

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    This report provides background on the problem of bullying, including what is known in the early 2010s about the public health burden of bullying and the need for a uniform definition of bullying.

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  • Hamarus, Päivi, and Pauli Kaikkonen. 2008. School bullying as a creator of pupil peer pressure. Educational Research 50.4: 333–345.

    DOI: 10.1080/00131880802499779Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article explores the phenomenon of school bullying within a social and cultural framework, which also provides a new way of understanding pupils’ social relationships.

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  • Lapidot-Lefler, Noam, and Michal Dolev-Cohen. 2015. Comparing cyberbullying and school bullying among school students: Prevalence, gender, and grade level differences. Social Psychology of Education 18.1: 1–16.

    DOI: 10.1007/s11218-014-9280-8Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article compares the phenomenon of cyberbullying and school bullying. The findings of the research are based on the study of 465 junior high and high school students in Israel and reveals that cyberbullying is less common than school bullying.

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  • Lutgen-Sandvik, Pamela, Jacqueline N. Hood, and Ryan P. Jacobson. 2016. The impact of positive organizational phenomena and workplace bullying on individual outcomes. Journal of Managerial Issues 28.1–2: 30–49.

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    This article examines in tandem positive organization scholarship (POS) and counterproductive workplace behavior (CWB) with two goals. The first looks at positive interpersonal work experiences; the second explores the effects of negative behavior, such as bullying, on positive organizational features.

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  • McGuire, Lian. 2013. Third-level student experiences of bullying in Ireland. In Bullying in Irish education. Edited by Mona O’Moore and Paul Stevens, 100–123. Cork, Ireland: Cork Univ. Press.

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    This chapter presents the first definitive study of bullying in higher education in Ireland. It explores the various types of bullying, where it can take place, and by whom, offering strategies for prevention and intervention.

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  • Olweus Bullying Prevention Program. Hazeldene Foundation.

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    This resource was developed by Dan Olweus in 2007 and has been used throughout the world as a form of bullying prevention and intervention in schools. It relies on a specific definition and a self-reporting questionnaire.

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  • Smith, Peter K. 2014. Understanding school bullying: Its nature and prevention strategies. London: SAGE.

    DOI: 10.4135/9781473906853Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    In chapter 5 of this book, Who is at risk, and what are the effects?, the author outlines who is at risk of being bullied and what the possible effects are on them.

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  • Smith, Peter K., Helen Cowie, Ragnar F. Olafsson, et al. 2002. Definitions of bullying: A comparison of terms used, and age and gender differences, in a fourteen-country international comparison. Child Development 73.4: 1119–1133.

    DOI: 10.1111/1467-8624.00461Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article explores how children understand the meaning of the English word “bullying” in fourteen different countries. Twenty-five cartoon stick-figures of social situations between peers were shown to eight- and fourteen-year-old students in order to investigate whether each country’s native terms equaled the English equivalent.

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Historical Perspective

According to Shaver 2013, definitions of bullying have evolved from the 18th to the 21st centuries. Originally, it concerned death, extreme abandonment, or a form of blackmail in children of school age, including bigger boys mistreating smaller ones. A more expanded conceptualization in the early 21st century includes, among others, cyberbullying, homophobic bullying, legal bullying, military bullying, parental bullying, prison bullying, school bullying, sexual bullying, institutional bullying, workplace bullying, and bullying of those with disabilities. The term “bullying” was first recognized in the United Kingdom when it was used in an article in The Times newspaper in 1862 about a soldier who had allegedly died as a result of bullying by others in the army. The newspaper reported that he had been subject to “systematic bullying” and had been the object of constant “vexations and attack.” However, despite the terrible outcome, the newspaper reflected a view that bullying was a part of human nature frequently found in a “school or a camp, or a barracks, or a ship’s crew” (The Times, 6 August 1862, p. 8). In the early 21st century, much of our understanding about bullying has been influenced by an evolving appreciation for expanded concepts of childhood and is related to bullying in schools. As early as the 18th century, bullying in schools was recognized as physical and verbal provocation. However, it was mostly perceived in terms of mischief and as a normal part of childhood behavior with little recognition of informed intent due to an understanding of diminished responsibility and immaturity in childhood (Koo 2007). This was illustrated by a reported case at King’s Boarding School in Cambridge in 1885 when a twelve-year-old boy died as a result of bullying behavior by older boys. Neither the school nor the boys involved were held accountable for the death due to an underlying assumption in wider society and among school authorities that this type of behavior was a common part of young boys’ lives causing misadventure and mischief but without intent or malice. Historians have observed that, although this type of behavior would be viewed differently in the early 21st century, bullying behaviors such as those recorded at King’s School were viewed as a normal part of growing up among children (Koo 2007, Heinemann 1972, and Swift 1997).

  • Heinemann, Peter-Paul. 1972. Mobbning: Gruppvåld bland barn och unxna. Stockholm: Natur och Kultar.

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    This book introduces the Swedish word mobbning, based on Heinemann’s ethological understanding of the word, to present a theory of bullying as a group act of aggressive behavior toward a weaker individual.

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  • Koo, Hyojin. 2007. A time line of the evolution of school bullying in differing social contexts. Asia Pacific Education Review 8.1: 107–116.

    DOI: 10.1007/BF03025837Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article looks at the evolution of school bullying, noting the transition from primarily physical harassment in the 18th to early 20th centuries to psychological threats in the early 21st century.

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  • Shaver, Susan. 2013. Bigotry and intolerance: The ultimate teen guide. School Library Journal 59.7: 115.

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    Susan Shaver reviews Kathlyn Gay’s book, Bigotry and Intolerance: The Ultimate Teen Guide (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2013), which explores the history of bigotry and intolerance and the reasons why people feel the need to mistreat one another, while offering practical advice to counter such behavior.

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  • Swift, Roger. 1997. Heroes or villains? The Irish, crime, and disorder in Victorian England. Albion: A Quarterly Journal Concerned with British Studies 29.3: 399–421.

    DOI: 10.2307/4051670Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article discusses the link between Irish immigration and crime and disorder in Victorian England and the lack of contemporary studies of Irish criminality in England during this era.

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  • What is bullying. (1862, August, 6). The Times, Col. F, p. 8.

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    An article in a London newspaper in which the word “bullying” was first reported and in which it reflected a view that bullying was a part of human nature frequently found in a “school or a camp, or a barracks, or a ship’s crew” (p. 8, col. F).

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Prevalence, Location, and Duration

Internationally bullying has received attention in research since Dan Olweus began to study this area in Norway (Olweus 1987). His research emerged out of a wider Scandinavian context in which a form of bullying behavior known as “mobbning” began to cause concern in wider society. However, in 1982, school officials in Norway began to take the problem of bullying seriously after the suicide of three young adolescents as a result of severe bullying by their peers. A nationwide study on bullying in schools found that 15 percent of students were involved in bullying (Olweus 1987). As a result, Olweus developed his innovative “bully/victim questionnaire” which has since been adapted for use in many other countries. Subsequent research over the past thirty years has repeated similar prevalence rates ranging from 6 percent to 20 percent depending on how the research was framed and which instruments are used to collect data. Cooke, et al. 2010 conducted a meta-analysis of research on bullying between 1999 and 2006, finding a prevalence rate of 20 percent of children who bullied and 23 percent who had been bullied, with just 8 percent who were described as bully/victim. Craig, et al. 2009 reported on rates of bullying from data gathered in forty countries finding that 10.7 percent had bullied others and 12.6 percent had been bullied, with only 3.6 percent to be bully/victims. Finally, Currie, et al. 2012 reported on studies from thirty-eight countries that identified 10.3 percent who bullied others and 11.3 percent who were bullied. Regarding gender and bullying behavior, researchers now realize that the type of bullying behavior examined has an impact on prevalence rates. For example, boys are more likely to engage in physical bullying behavior, whereas girls are more likely to rely on rumors and social exclusion (Besag 2006 and Wong, et al. 2008). Bullying among children is most likely to occur in unsupervised locations or places in which adult supervision is low, such as playgrounds, school corridors, toilets, and canteens (Bowen and Holcom 2010). Social media has now emerged as a new location where bullying can occur and this will be covered later on in this paper in the section entitled Cyberbullying. Research shows that most young people who are victims of cyberbullying are also victims of traditional bullying (Gleeson 2014). Studies show that about 50 percent of bullying reports last from a few days to a couple of weeks, but a significant amount of bullying may last for many months with a small amount lasting for years (Smith 2014).

  • Besag, Valerie. 2006. Understanding girls’ friendships, fights and feuds. Maidenhead, UK: Open Univ. Press.

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    This book examines the way in which girls form relationships and sustain them through feminized forms of communication.

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  • Bowen, Rhodri, and Duncan Holcom. 2010. A survey into the prevalence and incidence of school bullying in Wales. Cardiff, UK: Department for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills (DCELLS) (Wales).

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    In this report commissioned by the Welsh Assembly Government, the authors outline prevalence rates of bullying in schools in Wales as well as the types of bullying typically engaged in by boys and girls.

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  • Cooke, Clayton R., Kirk R. Williams, Nancy G. Guerra, and Tia E. Kim. 2010. Variability in the prevalence of bullying and victimization: A cross-national and methodological analysis. In Handbook of bullying in schools: An international perspective. Edited by Shane R. Jimerson, Susan M. Swearer, and Dorothy L. Espelage, 347–362. New York and London: Routledge.

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    Chapter 25 provides a meta-analysis of research on bullying between 1999 and 2006 from eighty-two studies undertaken in Europe, the United States, and other locations.

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  • Craig, Wendy, Yossi Harel-Fisch, Haya Fogel-Grinvald, et al. 2009. A cross-national profile of bullying and victimization among adolescents in 40 countries. International Journal of Public Health 54 (Suppl. 2): 216–224.

    DOI: 10.1007/s00038-009-5413-9Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The authors examine and analyze data from forty different countries on the prevalence of bullying.

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  • Currie, Candace, Zanotti, Cara, Morgan, Antony, et al., eds. 2012. Social determinants of health and well-being among young people: Health behaviour in school-aged (HBSC) children; International report from the 2009/2010 survey. Copenhagen: World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe.

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    The authors of this paper reported on bullying data in thirty-eight countries that showed only a slightly higher rate of bullying among boys in a minority of countries.

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  • Gleeson, Helen. 2014. The prevalence and impact of bullying linked to social media on the mental health suicidal behaviour of young people. Dublin, Ireland: National Office for Suicide Prevention.

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    This report was commissioned by the Government of Ireland’s Department of Education and Skills under the National Action Plan on Bullying. It outlined the complex connections between use of social media, bullying, and individual well-being.

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  • Olweus, Dan. 1987. Schoolyard bullying: Grounds for intervention. School Safety (Fall):4–11.

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    This article examines the nature of bullying in Norwegian elementary and junior high schools. Profiles of the makeup of the victims and bullies are presented, and the intervention program in effect at the time is detailed.

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  • Smith, Peter K. 2014. Understanding school bullying: Its nature and prevention strategies. London: SAGE.

    DOI: 10.4135/9781473906853Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This book brings together the cumulative knowledge acquired and the latest research findings on bullying with a global perspective allowing for cross-cultural analysis.

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  • Wong, Dennis S. W., David P. P. Lok, T. Wing Lo, and Stephen K. Ma. 2008. School bullying among Hong Kong Chinese primary school children. Youth & Society 40:35–54.

    DOI: 10.1177/0044118X07310134Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The authors outline their research findings that girls engage in different forms of bullying related to social constructions of femininity.

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Theoretical Bases for Understanding Bullying

Social-Ecological Theory

Within bullying research and practice, Urie Bronfenbrenner’s theory of human development (Bronfenbrenner 1977) is valuable in framing the complex interactions of individuals with the world around them in relation to bullying, including what causes it and what needs to be addressed for its effective prevention (Cross, et al. 2015). This theory recognizes that risks to individuals from bullying behaviors are not direct, linear outcomes of individual behaviors, but result instead from the multisystemic interactions between an individual and the environment in which they live (Espelage, et al. 2012). This bioecological approach contextualizes human, emotional, cognitive, and social development into five nested environmental systems surrounding the individual with bidirectional influences within and among the systems, all of which influence the individual’s relationship with the outside world. These factors are as follows: (1) the microsystem—the immediate environment surrounding the child, e.g., parents, siblings, peers, and school personnel who can influence and reinforce attitudes and behaviors; (2) the mesosystem—the interaction between a parent and a child’s school and teachers and the impact of their relationship, for good or ill, on the child; (3) the exosystem—the social/environmental settings that indirectly influence the individual, e.g., a parent’s experience at work that has an impact or influence on the child at home; (4) the macrosystem—the culture in which the individual lives and the larger societal values and identity they share; (5) the chronosystem—time-oriented events over an individual’s lifespan that affect development, e.g., deaths, divorce, or improving economy that provides greater opportunity for employment. Espelage 2014 is a review of bullying research that covers both the protective and risk factors in each of these five systems that can have an impact on the development of or protection against bullying behavior.

  • Bronfenbrenner, Urie. 1977. Toward an experimental ecology of human development. American Psychologist 32:513–531.

    DOI: 10.1037/0003-066X.32.7.513Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The author proposes a broader approach to research in human development that focuses on the progressive accommodation, throughout the lifespan, between the growing human organism and the changing environments in which it actually lives and grows.

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  • Cross, Donna, Amy Barnes, Alana Papageorgiou, et al. 2015. A social-ecological framework for understanding and reducing cyberbullying behaviours. Aggression and Violent Behaviour 23 (July–August): 109–117.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.avb.2015.05.016Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This paper uses a social–ecological conceptual framework to integrate theoretically and empirically derived risk and protective factors that potentially mediate adolescents’ cyberbullying perpetration, such as involvement in offline bullying perpetration, empathic responsiveness, and moral disengagement. This conceptual framework considers the mutual interaction of these factors at the levels of the individual, family, peers, and the community, and particularly via the online context.

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  • Espelage, Dorothy L. 2014. Ecological theory: Preventing youth bullying, aggression, and victimization. Theory into Practice 53:257–264.

    DOI: 10.1080/00405841.2014.947216Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    In this paper, the classic ecological theory in Bronfenbrenner 1977 is used as a framework to review the documented risk and protective factors associated with involvement in school-related bullying during childhood and adolescence.

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  • Espelage, Dorothy L., Mrinalini A. Rao, and Rhonda G. Craven. 2012. Theories of cyberbullying. In Principles of cyberbullying research: Definitions, measures, and methodology. Edited by Sheri Bauman, Donna Cross, and Jenny Walker, 49–67, 54. New York: Routledge.

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    The goal of chapter five is to review theories that have been empirically supported in the aggression, bullying, and general social development literature that might offer some promise for an understanding of cyberbullying.

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Mimetic Theory and Scapegoating

René Girard’s anthropology (Girard 1996) relates bullying to a process of imitation (mimesis) and desire among humans. The object of desire may be material or social status and include popularity and acceptance among one’s peers. Girard argued that our desire arises, not out of the nature of that which is desired, but out of our desire to imitate each other. He argues that if two individuals desire the same thing, this will soon spread exponentially. In addition, because the initial desire was raised through a desire to imitate another, the actual object of the desire is forgotten, and pure antagonism remains between those who share the same desire. This antagonism can only be released through violence and victimization of an individual who, for whatever reason, is identified as undermining the shared desire of the group. The purpose of this violence is to release the antagonism among the stronger members of the community without having to attack those whom they wish to imitate, as this in a sense would be to attack oneself (p. 11). The result is the “scapegoat effect” in which two or more people are reconciled at the expense of a third party who appears guilty or responsible for whatever disturbs or frightens the scapegoaters. They feel relieved of their tensions, and they coalesce into a more harmonious group. They now have a single purpose, which is to prevent the scapegoat from harming them by expelling and destroying that person (p. 12). The victim is perceived by the antagonists as being fully responsible for the troubles caused. The victim’s presence is therefore undesirable and so must be destroyed or driven away by the community (p. 15). Human beings replace their innate need for aggression and rivalry with each other by scapegoating a victim who is considered to be weak or marginal in the community. For example, in the school setting, young adolescent men who compete with each other for identity, power, and masculinity will, instead of attacking each other, attack those who are considered to be weak or easier to destroy, such as other males who do not appear to conform to heteronormativity. Similarly, Cheyne and Pomothy 2000 argues that bullying is also a form of play in which children and adolescents rehearse societal norms. For these theorists, the scapegoat is chosen to receive aggression because that person “is presented as having violated some norm of society or committed some crime that is perceived as a threat to the integrity of the group”(p. 4). Invariably, some form of disability or difference is identified as a focus in the scapegoat by the community that allows them to justify the violence addressed at the scapegoat. Girard 1996 relies on the example of a boarding school in which certain individuals (e.g., one who may have difficulty adapting; who comes from another country; who is an orphan, an only son, or poor; or who is even simply the most recent arrival) can be identified as a victim and scapegoated by the community.

Bullying Roles

The problem of bullying should not be seen simply as involving children who bully and children who are bullied (the “dyadic view”) but rather as involving a number of “actors” or roles across the social/school environment. In one study (Sutton and Smith 1999), peers were found to be present to witness 85 percent of bullying incidents at school. Some researchers have defined the roles that various actors play. In another study, Olweus 1978 described three different types of bully: the aggressive bully, the passive bully, and the bully-victim. Aggressive bullies are the most common type of bully. Those who fall into this category tend to be physically strong, impulsive, hot-tempered, belligerent, fearless, coercive, confident, and lacking in empathy for their victims. They have an aggressive personality and are motivated by power and the desire to dominate others. They are also likely to be overly critical of others, often perceiving others to be hostile when in fact they are not. Passive bullies, unlike the confident aggressive bullies, tend to be insecure. They are also much less popular than the aggressive bullies and often have low self-esteem, few likable qualities, and unhappy home lives. Passive bullies also appear to have difficulties concentrating and focusing their attention at work or in school, as well as violent outbursts or temper tantrums that lead to problems with their peers. Rather than initiating a bullying interaction, passive bullies tend to wait until one is already under way and then become enthusiastic participants. Bully-victims represent a small percentage of bullies who have been seriously bullied themselves. Bully-victims are often physically weaker than those who bully them but are almost always physically stronger than their own victims. They are easily aroused and sometimes provoke others who are clearly weaker than they are. Bully-victims are generally unpopular with their peers and are more likely than other types of bullies to be both anxious and depressed. In a later study, Olweus 1993 expanded his work and distinguished eight roles in the bullying process: (1) children who bully; (2) followers/henchmen actively engaging in the bullying process with the children who bully; (3) supporter, passive bully/bullies; (4) passive supporters, possible bullies; (5) disengaged onlooker, sometimes referred to as a “bystander”; (6) possible defender, those who are on the fence whether to become involved to support and defend those targeted by bullying behaviors; (7) defender of the child who is bullied; (8) children who are bullied, the one who is exposed. None of these roles should be understood to be static or to represent permanent characteristics of an individual’s personality. Children and adults can move in and out of these roles and can move across the bully-victim continuum over time.

Antecedent Factors

Family, individual, and organizational factors have been identified as contributing to bullying problems in schools and other organizations.

Family

The importance of parents in promoting a high level of social competence in children and young people as a means of developing healthy psychosocial adjustment has been widely reported in research (Bornstein, et al. 2010; Chen, et al. 2004; Segrin and Flora 2000; and Segrin, et al. 2016). Some styles of childrearing have been found to predict if children will grow up to engage in aggressive bullying behaviors. A lack of attention and warmth toward the child, together with modeling of aggressive behavior at home and poor supervision of the child, provide the perfect opportunity for aggressive and bullying behavior to occur Loeber and Stouthamer-Loeber 1986; Olweus 1993 (cited under Bullying Roles); Patterson, et al. 1989; and O’Moore 2010. Modeling of aggressive behavior may include use of physical and verbal aggression toward the child by parents or use of physical and verbal aggression by parents toward each other. Jaffe, et al. 1990 found a connection between children, particularly male children, who witnessed their mothers being assaulted by their fathers or other adult males, and elevated aggressive behaviors of all kinds in those children who witness violence by their father toward their mother.

  • Bornstein, Marc H., Chun-Shin Hahn, and O. Maurice Haynes. 2010. Social competence, externalizing, and internalizing behavioral adjustment from early childhood through early adolescence: Developmental cascades. Development and Psychopathology 22.4: 717–735.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0954579410000416Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article reviews a three-wave longitudinal design used with 117 children, seen at ages four, ten, and fourteen years, to examine developmental cascades, considering social competence and externalizing and internalizing behavioral adjustments among these ages.

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  • Chen, Xinyin, Yunfeng He, and Dan Li. 2004. Self-perceptions of social competence and self-worth in Chinese children: Relations with social and school performance. Social Development 13.4: 570–589.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9507.2004.00284.xSave Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article examines the relationship between self-perceptions of social competence and self-worth and social and school performance in a longitudinal study of Chinese children, highlighting the developmental outcomes of children’s self-perceptions of social competence and self-worth.

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  • DeBaryshe, and Elizabeth Ramsey. 1989. A developmental perspective on antisocial behavior. American Psychologist 44.2: 329–335.

    DOI: 10.1037/0003-066X.44.2.329Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article outlines a developmental model of antisocial behavior from early childhood through adolescence. Developmental sequences are marked in three steps: ineffective parenting, conduct-disordered behaviors leading to failings in school, and peer rejection, which in turn, increase the risks of depression and delinquent behavior.

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  • Jaffe, Peter G., Susan Kaye Wilson, and David A. Wolfe. 1990. Children of battered women. Newbury Park, CA: SAGE.

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    This book addresses the impact of family violence on children and the implications on childhood development. The authors discuss the developmental effects of violence on children and children’s views on violence. They also present a number of intervention strategies.

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  • Loeber, Rolf, and Magda Stouthamer-Loeber. 1986. Family factors as correlates and predictors of juvenile conduct problems and delinquency. Crime and Justice 7:29–149.

    DOI: 10.1086/449112Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article examines the correlation of family factors with juvenile conduct problems and delinquency. Socialization and background variables examined highlight that deficiencies in parenting skills can lead to childhood delinquency, with greater parental involvement encouraged to help reduce inappropriate conduct.

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  • O’Moore, Mona, 2010. Understanding School Bullying, A Guide for Parents and Teachers. Dublin: Veritas.

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    This book explores the phenomenon of bullying from the perspective of the bully, the victim and bystanders before going on to propose a whole-school approach to tackling bullying.

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  • Patterson, G. R., Barbara D. DeBaryshe, and Elizabeth Ramsey. 1989. A Developmental Perspective on Antisocial Behaviour. American Psychologist 44.2: 329–335.

    DOI: 10.1037/0003-066X.44.2.329Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article outlines a developmental model of antisocial behaviour from early childhood through adolescence. Developmental sequences are marked out in three steps: ineffective parenting, conduct-disordered behaviours leading to failings in school and peer rejection, in turn, increasing the risks of depression and delinquent behaviour.

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  • Segrin, Chris, and Jeanne Flora. 2000. Poor social skills are a vulnerability factor in the development of psychosocial problems. Human Communication Research 26.3: 489–514.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2958.2000.tb00766.xSave Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article examines the results of a two-wave panel study that examined a social skills deficit vulnerability model of psychosocial problems, highlighting that students with lower social skills were more likely to develop psychosocial problems.

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  • Segrin, Chris, Melissa McNelis, and Paulina Swiatkowski. 2016. Social skills, social support, and psychological distress: A test of the social skills deficit vulnerability model. Human Communication Research 42.1: 122–137.

    DOI: 10.1111/hcre.12070Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article examines the effects of poor social skills, which can minimize opportunities for seeking social support, to the development of psychological distress, based on the social skills deficit vulnerability model, which was tested in a two-wave longitudinal study of 211 young adults.

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Individual

The individual skills that contribute to the development of appropriate social behaviors in children and adults have preoccupied researchers for decades. Many studies have worked on the premise that involvement in bullying is related to certain risk factors, including a lack of certain social skills such as assertiveness which leads, in particular, to victimization (Nation, et al. 2008). Despite this, victims stand out more than others involved in bullying in their capacity for prosocial thoughts and actions, which could be connected with their perception of social efficacy, which is also more positive than that of bullies or bully-victims. Although initial research on bullies indicated they had social deficits similar to those of victims, various subsequent studies have found that the majority of bullies are socially intelligent and do not usually present deficits in the cognitive processing of social information. In fact, social deficiency actually only corresponds to the reactive aggression of bully-victims who represent about 1 to 12 percent of victims (Spriggs, et al. 2007). Many bullies appear to show sophisticated abilities, which they use to achieve their objectives. From this perspective, various authors point out that aggressive and dominant behavior leads to social benefits such as acceptance and popularity, which motivate bullies to continue to bully others and to be reluctant to cease their behavior (Hymel and Swearer 2015). On the other hand, victims of school bullying appear to report lower levels of social acceptance compared with bullies and bystanders (Cerezo, et al. 2014; MacEvoy and Leff 2012; and Wang, et al. 2012). On an emotional level, some shortcomings have been attributed to those involved in the bullying dynamic. For example, victims are described as having difficulties with emotional acknowledgment, expression, and understanding (Elipe, et al. 2012; and Garner and Hinton 2010), whereas bullies seem to experience problems linked to the regulation of emotions (Garner and Hinton 2010 and Pellegrini, et al. 1999). Other individual factors also need to be considered when trying to understand why an individual might engage in or be the victim of bullying behavior. These include gender identity, age, disability, ethnic identity, sexual orientation, and religious orientation, among others. Research has shown that a lack of tolerance for individual differences can result in bullying behavior, and this needs to be considered when planning bullying prevention and intervention programs (Smith 2014).

  • Cerezo, Fuensanta, Consuelo Sánchez, Cecilia Ruiz, and Julián-Jesús Arense. 2014. Roles en bullying de adolescentes y preadolescentes, y su relación con el clima social y los estilos educativos parentales. Revista de Psicodidáctica 20.1: 139–155.

    DOI: 10.1387/RevPsicodidact.11097Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    English title: “Adolescents and Preadolescents’ Roles on Bullying, and Its Relation with Social Climate and Parenting Styles.” This article, based on a sample of 847 primary and secondary school pupils in Spain, examines the relationship among bullying with family and school contexts and the differences this has on the roles in bullying.

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  • Elipe, Paz, Rosario Ortega-Ruiz, Simon C. Hunter, and Rosario Del Rey. 2012. Inteligencia emocional percibida e implicación en diversos tipos de acoso escolar. Psicología Conductual 20.1: 169–181.

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    English title: “Perceived Emotional Intelligence and Involvement in Several Kinds of Bullying.” This article examines the relationship between perceived emotional intelligence (PEI) and various forms of bullying among 5,759 adolescents in Spain. The study focused on cyberbullying via the use of information and communication technologies. The results highlight that PEI is applicable in traditional bullying, but not in cyberbullying.

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  • Garner, Pamela W., and Tiffany Stowe Hinton. 2010. Emotional display rules and emotion self-regulation: Associations with bullying and victimization in community-based after school programs. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology 20.6: 480–496.

    DOI: 10.1002/casp.1057Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article examines the association between emotional competence and bullying and victimization among children who attend after-school programs. Children’s knowledge of anger and sadness, emotional self-regulation, and bullying experiences were assessed.

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  • Hymel, Shelley, and Susan M. Swearer. 2015. Four decades of research on school bullying. American Psychologist 70.4: 293–299.

    DOI: 10.1037/a0038928Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This paper provides an introductory overview of findings from forty years of research on bullying among school-aged children and youth. Research on definitional and assessment issues in studying bullying and victimization is reviewed, and data on prevalence rates, stability, and forms of bullying behavior are summarized.

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  • MacEvoy, Julie Paquette, and Stephen S. Leff. 2012. Children’s sympathy for peers who are the targets of peer aggression. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 40.7: 1137–1148.

    DOI: 10.1007/s10802-012-9636-5Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article examines children’s concerns for their peers who are targets of peer aggression among urban African American children. Study 1 led to the creation of the fifteen-item Peer Sympathy Scale (PSS), which was then utilized in Study 2.

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  • Nation, Maury, Alessio Vieno, Douglas D. Perkins, and Massimo Santinello. 2008. Bullying in school and adolescent sense of empowerment: An analysis of relationships with parents, friends, and teachers. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology 18.3: 211–232.

    DOI: 10.1002/casp.921Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article explores the development of bullying and victimization in secondary schools in Italy, which can be affected by the young people’s sense of interpersonal empowerment in their relations with parents, friends, and teachers.

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  • Pellegrini, Anthony D., Maria Bartini, and Fred Brooks. 1999. School bullies, victims, and aggressive victims: Factors relating to group affiliation and victimization in early adolescence. Journal of Educational Psychology 91.2: 216–224.

    DOI: 10.1037/0022-0663.91.2.216Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article examines school bullying, victimization, and aggressive victimization in early adolescent children, highlighting the role of emotions, friends, and peer popularity in positively or negatively enhancing bullying behavior.

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  • Smith, Peter K. 2014. Understanding school bullying: Its nature and prevention strategies. London: SAGE.

    DOI: 10.4135/9781473906853Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    In chapter 4, entitled Basic knowledge about school bullying and cyber bullying, the author examines individual differences that can result in bullying behavior in schools.

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  • Spriggs, A. L., R. J. Iannotti, T. R. Nansel, and D. L. Haynie. 2007. Adolescent bullying involvement and perceived family, peer and school relations: Commonalities and differences across race/ethnicity. Journal of Adolescent Health 41:283–293.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2007.04.009Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study examined associations between bullying and family, peer, and school relations for white, black, and Hispanic adolescents.

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  • Wang, Hui, Xiaolan Zhou, Ciyong Lu, et al. 2012. Adolescent bullying involvement and psychosocial aspects of family and school life: A cross-sectional study from Guangdong Province in China. PloS One 7.7: 1–10.

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    This article examines school bullying in China based on a survey of 8,342 adolescents. The students were assessed on their involvement in bullying and the association with family and school factors, as well as the psychosocial adjustments. The results highlighted that bullying is common among Chinese teenagers.

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Organizational

An organizational climate refers to the “inner workings” of an organization, such as a school or workplace, and includes such factors as the social organization, the system of social relations between and among employers and employees or teachers and students, and the cultural system of norms and values in the organization or school (Payne and Gottfredson 2004 and O’Higgins Norman, et al. 2010). The social context and overall climate in an organization such as a school or workplace have been shown to play a significant role in the frequency and severity of bullying behaviors. Although school administrators, faculty, and staff cannot determine individual and family factors that may create children who are inclined to engage in bullying behaviors, schools can address and reduce problems of bullying and harassment by maintaining appropriate supervision, intervening, and creating a warm, supportive, and proactive climate in a school environment (O’Moore 2010). Proper supervision of children has been found to be extremely important. Just as poor adult supervision of children in their home environments is related to the development of aggressive behavior problems in some children, poor levels of adult supervision in the school environment, particularly within primarily unstructured areas in the playground, toilets, and hallways also relate to behavior problem in some students. It is also important that adults make appropriate interventions when they observe or become aware of inappropriate aggressive behaviors by students. Ongoing in-service training for staff is needed to provide faculty, administration, and staff with the tools to address students’ aggressive behaviors and to provide increased skills regarding student supervision and intervention. In addition, curricula inclusion and administrative policies and support should be continually updated to maintain a proactive stand to address aggressive bullying behaviors before they occur. Also, some studies have found that bullying incidents are less likely to occur in those schools in which teachers discuss bullying with their students, in which teachers are aware of and recognize aggressive behaviors, in which students receive education about diversity and inclusion, and in which teachers actually intervene and stop bullying episodes (O’Higgins Norman 2008). In relation to workplace bullying, studies point to the relationship between hierarchical cultures in organizations and the prevalence of bullying behavior (Acar, et al. 2014; and D’Cruz and Rayner 2013). Bullying in the workplace can take many forms, including aggressive behavior by managers or colleagues, repeated verbal harassment, abusive language and insults, persistent unfair criticism, teasing, and the delegation of duties in an inequitable manner. Regardless of the methods used, research has demonstrated a significant link between bullying experiences and the development of mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression. Workplace bullying may even be a precursor to suicidal ideation. Similar to that in school environments, appropriate supervision of staff in the workplace and related policies and procedures can create an organizational environment in which bullying is not tolerated or allowed to develop (O’Higgins Norman and Kiernan 2015).

  • D’Cruz, Premilla, and Charlotte Rayner. 2013. Bullying in the Indian workplace. Economic and Industrial Democracy 34.4: 597–619.

    DOI: 10.1177/0143831X12452672Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article reports on an empirical enquiry undertaken in India’s ITES-BPO (offshoring-outsourcing) sector to ascertain the presence of workplace bullying, the influence of sociocultural factors, the nature of bullying categories, and the availability and use of extra-organizational redressal options. Key informant data, gathered through unstructured interviews with lawyers/legal activists, labor commissioners, and trade unionists/labor activists was thematically analyzed.

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  • Pınar Acar, Mithat Kıyak, and Burcu Sine. 2014. The relationship between organizational culture and mobbing: An application on construction companies. Journal of Workplace Behavioral Health 29.4: 281–298.

    DOI: 10.1080/15555240.2014.956929Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study focuses on the relationship between the concepts of mobbing and organizational culture in construction companies. Analyses of results revealed that there is a negative relationship between organizational culture and mobbing and that both dimensions of organizational culture affect the mobbing dimensions.

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  • O’Higgins Norman, James. 2008. Homophobic bullying in Irish secondary education. Bethesda, MD: Academica.

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    This book explores homophobic bullying in Irish secondary schools and the need for schools to foster a whole-school approach that respects diversity and values equality, creating an anti-homophobic bullying environment.

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  • O’Higgins Norman, James, Michael Goldrick, and Kathy Harrison. 2010. Addressing homophobic bullying in second-level schools. Dublin, Ireland: Equality Authority.

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    This report addresses ways in which second-level schools in Ireland can develop and promote positive responses to homophobic bullying. Drawing on international studies, the report provides anti-homophobic bullying initiatives based on a whole-school approach.

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  • O’Higgins Norman, James, and Geraldine Kiernan. 2015. Bullying in the workplace. Dublin: Dublin City Univ.

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    This report, conducted by the National Anti-Bullying Research and Resource Centre (ABC) in Dublin City University, focuses on the outcomes of work-related cases taken to the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) under the Unfair Dismissals Acts (1977–2007), whereby bullying is cited by claimants. The research highlights the need for employers to have proper policies and procedures, which would likely decrease the numbers of EAT cases.

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  • O’Moore, Mona. 2010. Understanding school bullying: A guide for Parents and Teachers. Dublin: Veritas.

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    This book explores the phenomenon of bullying from the perspective of the bully, the victim and bystanders before going on to propose a whole-school approach to tackling bullying.

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  • Payne, Allison A., and Denise C. Gottfredson. 2004. Schools and bullying: School factors related to bullying and school-based bullying interventions. In Bullying: Implications for the classroom. Edited by Cheryl E. Sanders and Gary D. Phye, 159–174. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

    DOI: 10.1016/B978-012617955-2/50013-8Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Chapter seven looks at the school factors that relate to bullying, focusing on predictors such as a school’s location, size, social organization, and values. It concludes with a presentation of research on bullying interventions.

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Cyberbullying

Research on technology-enabled bullying continues to evolve. Reported experiences of being bullied through the medium of communications technologies has led to the term “cyberbullying” being coined by researchers (Willard 2007 and Hinduja and Patchin 2009. Of the limited studies on this issue, many relate to the United States (Patchin and Hinduja 2015), with only emerging data from the United Kingdom and European Union (Smith, et al. 2006; O’Moore 2014; and Ging and O’Higgins Norman 2016). One study in the United Kingdom found that 22 percent of young people have experienced some form of cyberbullying (Smith, et al. 2006), whereas the EU Kids Online survey reported rates between 3 percent and 6 percent (2011). Direct cyberbullying involves repeatedly sending offensive messages. Researchers highlight that, in the physical world, adolescents can experience two types of bullying: overt and relational (Prinstein, et al. 2001; Sullivan, et al. 2006; and Dempsey, et al. 2009). Overt bullying involves physically aggressive behaviors, whereas relational bullying involves an intentional manipulation of harm to a victim’s social status or relationships and involves behaviors such as social exclusion, spreading rumors, instigating interpersonal peer conflicts, and divulging personal information (Dempsey, et al. 2009). Although communications technologies can be used for both overt and relational types of bullying, it is clear that it is within the realm of relational bullying that this medium comes into its own. There are a number of important distinctions between cyberbullying and traditional forms of bullying. (1) Traditional forms of bullying are usually direct and bullies are visible, whereas cyberbullying can be anonymous and bullies in cyberspace do not have to be physically stronger or bigger than their victims. (2) Traditional bullying occurs within the scope of time and space, whereas cyberbullying can happen at anytime and anywhere, including in private spaces such as the home. (3) Cyberbullying can spread exponentially faster than traditional forms of bullying. (4) The currency or tools of cyberbullying can be preserved easily, such as saving messages on a phone. (5) Many young people who bully can have poor relationships with adults, such teachers; however, it has also been found that cyberbullies can have positive relationship with their teachers (Ybarra and Mitchell 2004). (6) Traditional bullying commonly occurs on school property; cyberbullying frequently occurs outside school property. (7) Cyberbullying can provide a layer of protection not traditionally enjoyed by bullies. The self-doubt and paranoia resulting from being bullied through virtual communications can be debilitating and can manifest in poor grades, emotional spirals, poor self-esteem, repeated school absences, depression, and in some cases suicide.

  • Aftab, Parry. What methods work with the different kinds of cyberbullies?.

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    Aftab identifies four different types of cyberbullies, describing them in relation to the motives of each, with the hope that understanding their actions can lead to greater success in combating such behavior.

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  • Cross, Donna, Therese Shaw, Lydia Hearn, et al. 2009. Australian covert bullying prevalence study. Perth, Australia: Child Health Promotion Research Centre, Edith Cowan Univ.

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    This report, by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, looks at the recent phenomenon of “covert bullying,” which is prevalent through the use of information and communications technology (ICT). Examined are the various types of covert bullying, effects, and places where it occurs.

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  • Dempsey, Allison G., Michael L. Sulkowski, Rebecca Nichols, and Eric A. Storch. 2009. Differences between peer victimization in cyber and physical settings and associated psychosocial adjustment in early adolescence. Psychology in the Schools 46.10: 962–972.

    DOI: 10.1002/pits.20437Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article examines the differences in frequencies of cyber victimization with relational and overt victimization using factor analysis techniques among middle school children. The results show that cyber victimization is a separate latent factor and that small levels of social anxiety are associated with cyber victimization.

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  • Ging, Debbie, and James O’Higgins Norman. 2016. Cyberbullying, conflict management or just messing? Teenage girls’ understandings and experiences of gender, friendship, and conflict on Facebook in an Irish second-level school. Feminist Media Studies 16.5: 805–821.

    DOI: 10.1080/14680777.2015.1137959Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article focuses on a study of teenage girls in an Irish single-sex secondary school, highlighting the role of gender in online aggression. The results show the girls’ understanding of online friendships, conflicts, and bullying.

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  • Goodstein, Anastasia. 2007. Totally wired: What teens and tweens are really doing online. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin.

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    This book looks in depth at online adolescent behavior and the workings of social networking websites. Presents practical guidelines for parents and teachers to help encourage Internet safety.

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  • Hinduja, Sameer, and Justin W. Patchin. 2009. Bullying beyond the schoolyard. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

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    This book explores the characteristics and nature of cyberbullying. It provides information that helps identify inappropriate online behavior and recent legal rulings, while offering guidelines for schools and families and anti-cyberbullying strategies.

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  • O’Moore, Mona. 2014. Understanding cyberbullying. Dublin, Ireland: Veritas.

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    This book deals with the issue of cyberbullying in its various forms. The characteristics and law surrounding cyberbullying are looked at in detail and effective strategies are offered to help lessen and prevent cyberbullying attacks.

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  • Patchin, Justin W., and Sameer Hinduja. 2015. Measuring cyberbullying: Implications for research. Aggression and Violent Behavior 23:69–74.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.avb.2015.05.013Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article clarifies the characteristics of cyberbullying by distinguishing it from online peer-to-peer interactions and presenting a cyberbullying scale to measure it correctly and analyze it for further studies.

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  • Prinstein, Mitchell J., Julie Boergers, and Eric M. Vernberg. 2001. Overt and relational aggression in adolescents: Social-psychological adjustment of aggressors and victims. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology 30.4: 479–491.

    DOI: 10.1207/S15374424JCCP3004_05Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article involves a comparative study between relational and overt forms of aggression and victimization and adolescent symptoms of depression and self-esteem issues. The results highlight that victimization and peer aggression are associated with concurrent social-psychological adjustment and that victims of multiple forms of aggression are more likely to have greater adjustment issues.

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  • Shariff, Shaheen. 2008. Cyber-bullying: Issues and solutions for the school, the classroom and the home. London: Routledge.

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    This book examines the issue of cyberbullying, offering guidelines for schools in order to lessen and prevent cyberbullying attacks. It provides information on how schools can work with parents, police, and the local community to build a support system for all involved.

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  • Skye, Jared. 2008. Cyber bullying statistics.

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    This web page presents a number of important statistics on cyberbullying. It offers statistics relating to the number of children who experience cyberbullying, targeted victims, the health effects, and the likelihood of experiencing cyberbullying when using social networking sites.

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  • Smith, Peter, Jess Mahdavi, Manuel Carvalho, and Neil Tippett. 2006. An investigation into cyberbullying, its forms, awareness and impact, and the relationship between age and gender in cyberbullying. London: Univ. of London.

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    This report looks at the nature of school bullying in London. Ninety-two students, ages eleven to sixteen, returned a questionnaire that examined the incidences of cyberbullying, age and gender differences, and the impact of the different forms of cyberbullying.

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  • Sullivan, Terri N., Albert D. Farrell, and Wendy Kliewer. 2006. Peer victimization in early adolescence: Association between physical and relational victimization and drug use, aggression, and delinquent behaviors among urban middle school students. Development and Psychopathology 18.1: 119–137.

    DOI: 10.1017/S095457940606007XSave Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article examines the association between physical and relational victimization and externalizing behaviors, such as drug and alcohol usage, among 276 African American eighth-graders.

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  • Willard, Nancy. 2007. Cyberbullying and cyberthreats: Responding to the challenge of online social aggression, threats, and distress. Champaign: IL: Research Press.

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    This book explores the nature of online bullying and provides schools with prevention and intervention strategies to deal with cyberbullying and cyberthreats.

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  • Ybarra, Michele L., and Kimberly J. Mitchell. 2004. Youth engaging in online harassment: Associations with caregiver–child relationships, Internet use, and personal characteristics. Journal of Adolescence 27.3: 319–336.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2004.03.007Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article examines the psychosocial characteristics of young people engaging in Internet harassment in the United States. The results show that online aggressors were likely to face psychosocial challenges, ranging from poor parent–child relationships to various forms of delinquency.

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Gender and Identity-Based Bullying

Bullying takes place within a context that is characterized by societal norms, human emotions, power relations, and many other external influences. Earlier studies on bullying relied on definitions that were based on the work of Dan Olweus. In essence, these earlier researchers understood bullying mostly in terms of psychologically abnormal behavior. This has sometimes led to a tendency on the part of researchers, policymakers, employers, teachers, and parents to over-pathologize those who bully and those who are bullied (Kumpulainen 2008 and Pollastri, et al. 2009). Such a focus on bullying behavior ignores the reality that a significant amount of bullying occurs because of a lack of tolerance for diversity and, as such, constitutes a form of discrimination. Research on initiatives to address bullying in schools and workplaces have shown that several schools and employers are now rolling out innovative anti-discrimination initiatives aimed at eliminating bullying (O’Higgins Norman, et al. 2010 [cited under Antecedent Factors: Organizational]; Ritzman 2016; and Lutgen-Sandvik, et al. 2016). The most successful initiatives focused on diversity education and were supported by leadership in schools and employers in the workplace. Although leadership positions obviously include management, they also include other staff in schools, such as chaplains, guidance counselors, and year-heads; government and inspectorates in external agencies; and senior and middle management in the workplace, as well as union officials. Research on gender and bullying focuses heavily on a boy–girl dichotomy. Boys are found to engage more in direct (overt) aggression, and girls are more likely to be involved in indirect aggression (Lagerspetz, et al. 1988), sometimes also referred to as relational or social aggression (Crick and Grotpeter 1995). These gender-differentiated, psychological models of universal girl development decontextualize girls’ experiences from the wider society and thereby evade the more complex issues informing girl bullying (Hadley 2003). Thus, although observations of gender-differentiated bullying are both valid and useful, it is crucial that the causes of difference are neither overlooked nor taken for granted as biologically determined (Ringrose 2006). Similarly, homophobic bullying can support heteronormative culture and marginalize other forms of sexuality. A succession of international studies have linked high levels of mental health problems with lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) youth who have been subjected to bullying behavior. (Telljohann and Price 1993; Massachusetts Governor’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth 1993; Garofalo, et al. 1998; McNamee 2006; and O’Higgins Norman 2008 [cited under Antecedent Factors: Organizational]).

  • Crick, Nicki R., and Jennifer K. Grotpeter. 1995. Relational aggression, gender, and social-psychological adjustment. Child Development 66.3: 710–722.

    DOI: 10.2307/1131945Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article examines various forms of childhood aggression and its relation to gender. Relational aggression, overt aggression, and social-psychological adjustment were assessed. The findings highlight that girls are more relationally aggressive than boys, which can lead to adjustment issues.

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  • Garofalo, Robert, R. C. Wolf, Shari Kessel, Judith Palfrey, and R. H. DuRant. 1998. The association between health risk behaviors and sexual orientation among a school-based sample of adolescents. Pediatrics 101.5: 895–902.

    DOI: 10.1542/peds.101.5.895Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article examines the association between sexual orientation and health risks and problem behaviors among 4,159 American adolescents. A total of 104 students self-identified as gay, lesbian, or bisexual (GLB), with the results of the study highlighting that GLB youths faced greater health and sexual behavior risks.

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  • Hadley, Martha. 2003. Relational, indirect, adaptive, or just mean: Recent work on aggression in adolescent girls—Part I. Studies in Gender and Sexuality 4.4: 367–394.

    DOI: 10.1080/15240650409349235Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article is the first of a two-part series that examines the various forms of aggression associated with adolescent girls and explores the assumptions associated with aggression and gender.

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  • Kumpulainen, Kirsti. 2008. Psychiatric conditions associated with bullying. International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health 20.2: 121–132.

    DOI: 10.1515/IJAMH.2008.20.2.121Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article links the effects of bullying with psychiatric symptoms and disorders, both at the time it takes place and later in adulthood. The study highlights the risks of psychiatric issues that both victims and bullies may face as a result of bullying.

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  • Lagerspetz, Kirsti M. J., Kaj Björkqvist, and Tarja Peltonen. 1988. Is indirect aggression typical of females? Gender differences in aggressiveness in 11- to 12-year-old children. Aggressive Behavior 14.6: 403–414.

    DOI: 10.1002/1098-2337(1988)14:6<403::AID-AB2480140602>3.0.CO;2-DSave Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article explores gender differences in relation to aggressive behavior among 167 eleven- to twelve-year-olds. The findings show that girls use greater means of indirect aggression, in comparison to boys who are more direct.

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  • Lutgen-Sandvik, Pamela, Jacqueline N. Hood, and Ryan P. Jacobson. 2016. The impact of positive organizational phenomena and workplace bullying on individual outcomes. Journal of Managerial Issues 28.1–2: 30–49.

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    This article found that the prevalence of workplace bullying behavior was found to be positively related to turnover intentions and higher stress and negatively related to mental health.

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  • Massachusetts Governor’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth. 1993. Making schools safe for gay and lesbian youth. Boston: Governor’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth.

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    This report focuses on the problems that gay and lesbian youths face in Massachusetts schools. The report first examines the problems that young people face in school and their home life. It then offers recommendations to schools, families, and state agencies for making schools safer for gay and lesbian youth.

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  • McNamee, Helen. 2006. Out on your own: An examination of the mental health of young same-sex attracted men. Belfast, Northern Ireland: Rainbow Project.

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    This report looks at the mental health needs of same-sex attracted men in Northern Ireland. It examines the societal attitudes and values that have had a negative impact on their mental health and stresses the need for all sectors to promote inclusivity of GLB people.

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  • Pollastri, Alisha R., Esteban V. Cardemil, and Ellen H. O’Donnell. 2009. Self-esteem in pure bullies and bully/victims: A longitudinal analysis. Journal of Interpersonal Violence 25.8: 1489–1502.

    DOI: 10.1177/0886260509354579Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article examines the difference in self-esteem levels among pure bullies, pure victims, bully/victims, and non-involved children in a longitudinal study of 307 middle school students. The results highlight the necessity of distinction between the groups and the differences in self-esteem levels by sex.

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  • Ringrose, Jessica. 2006. A new universal mean girl: Examining the discursive construction and social regulation of a new feminine pathology. Feminism and Psychology 16.4: 405–424.

    DOI: 10.1177/0959353506068747Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article explores the debate on girls as indirectly and relationally aggressive. The origins of the term “mean girls” is examined based on developmental psychology, which explores the origins, context, construction, and means of regulating what is considered appropriate girlhood behavior.

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  • Ritzman, Matthew E. 2016. A phenomenon we can’t ignore: Performance improvement interventions to address workplace bullying. Performance Improvement 55.1: 14–22.

    DOI: 10.1002/pfi.21545Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article explores the effects of workplace bullying and its impact on individual and organizational performances and the role of human resource professionals in addressing and reducing such bullying through anti-bullying and intervention policies.

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  • Telljohann, Susan K., and James H. Price. 1993. A qualitative examination of adolescent homosexuals’ life experiences: Ramifications for school personnel. Journal of Homosexuality 26.1: 41–56.

    DOI: 10.1300/J082v26n01_04Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article highlights the results of a questionnaire given to 120 homosexual youths, which recorded the age at which they were aware of their sexual orientation, family responses, and school support. This information is addressed so that school personnel can reduce the challenges that homosexual youths face.

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Role of Leadership in Prevention and Intervention

More than one study has shown that an approach across all schools and workplaces is the most successful way to promote bullying prevention and intervention in schools and workplaces (Salmivalli 1999; Smith, et al. 2004; O’Higgins Norman 2008; Fox and Beane 2009; and O’Moore 2010 [cited under Antecedent Factors: Family]; Sullivan, et al. 2006 [cited under Cyberbullying]; Ttofi and Farrington 2011; and Ritzman 2016 [cited under Gender and Identity-Based Bullying]). This kind of approach will be more successful than interventions that focus only on individual behavior. A wider approach will create an organizational culture in which bullying is not tolerated, making it harder for individuals to act in a way that does not comply with the values and assumptions of the organization. Research has shown that leadership style is critical to resolving bullying successfully within a wider approach in schools and workplaces (Meyer 2008; O’Higgins Norman, et al. 2010; and O’Moore 2010). Furthermore, it is argued that the skills and attitudes of individual school principals or work managers are central to resolving bullying successfully. In turn, this may depend on the type of leadership model each individual adopts. As Day, et al. 2001 concluded from their research, “. . . effective leadership is defined and driven by individual value systems” (p. 32). If a school principal or work manager does not recognize bullying as an issue worth addressing, that individual’s personal values can have an impact on the extent to which a school or workplace is ready to prevent and address bullying. Brennan and Mac Ruairc 2011 argues that demonstrating social awareness about what feelings to show in what circumstances is an essential leadership skill. Ttofi and Farrington 2011 and Bradshaw 2015 argue that the leader or manager must develop a collaborative group approach to bullying prevention and intervention. This is reflected in higher success rates of multilayered approaches to bullying prevention and intervention. Although anti-bullying methods relying on data collection, conflict management programs, anti-bullying policies and procedures, and well-known evidence-based programs (such as the well known Finish programme called KiVa and the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program in schools or the Best Places to Work Program in workplaces) provide a sound basis for bullying prevention and intervention, these can only be as successful as the leader who implements them. Failure to work in a collaborative manner within the entire school or workplace will limit the success of any initiative to address bullying.

  • Bradshaw, Catherine P. 2015. Translating research to practice in bullying prevention. American Psychologist 70.4: 322–332.

    DOI: 10.1037/a0039114Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This paper synthesizes findings from a series of studies and meta-analyses examining the efficacy of bullying prevention programs. It considers some methodological issues encountered when testing the efficacy and effectiveness of bullying prevention and intervention approaches. It also identifies several areas requiring additional research in order to increase the effectiveness of bullying prevention efforts in real-world settings.

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  • Brennan, Jarlath, and Gerry Mac Ruairc. 2011. Taking it personally: Examining patterns of emotional practice in leading primary schools in the Republic of Ireland. International Journal of Leadership in Education 14.2: 129–150.

    DOI: 10.1080/13603124.2010.536261Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article explores the emotional practice of school leadership in primary schools in the Republic of Ireland. The study highlights the need for leadership development programs that will encourage principals to account for their own emotions, as well as the emotions of others, when engaging in emotional practice.

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  • Day, Christopher, Alma Harris, and Mark Hadfield. 2001. Grounding knowledge of schools in stakeholder realities: A multi-perspective study of effective school leaders. School Leadership & Management 21.1: 19–42.

    DOI: 10.1080/13632430120033027Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article outlines a new model of leadership in schools based on empirical research, presenting the multi-perspective methodology that accounts for the involvement of all the stakeholders in a school community in comparison to the existing system that was primarily facilitated by the principal.

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  • Fox, Debbie, and Allan L. Beane. 2009. Good-bye bully machine. Minneapolis: Free Spirit.

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    This book allows children to learn about bullying and how it works by comparing it to a mean machine, called the “Bully Machine.” Through this analogy, the children learn about the various roles in the bullying process and how they can stop it.

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  • Meyer, Elizabeth. 2008. Gendered harassment in secondary schools: Understanding teachers’ (non)interventions. Gender and Education 20.6: 555–570.

    DOI: 10.1080/09540250802213115Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article, based on interviews with six teachers in a Canadian secondary school, addresses how teachers respond to gendered harassment of students. The research highlights that teachers are faced with a number of internal and external factors that either act as barriers or motivators for intervention.

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  • O’Higgins Norman, James. 2008. Homophobic bullying in Irish secondary education. Bethesda, MD: Academica.

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    This book examines homophobic bullying in Irish secondary schools and reports on initiatives to address the problem. It finds that initiatives rooted in a whole-school approach are most successful.

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  • O’Higgins Norman, James, Michael Goldrick, and Kathy Harrison. 2010. Addressing homophobic bullying in second-level schools. Dublin, Ireland: Equality Authority.

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    This report presents six case studies in which schools were implementing initiatives to address homophobic bullying. The report presents a review of the data from the schools and concludes that a whole-school approach is best suited to tackling the problem.

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  • Salmivalli, Christina. 1999. Participant role approach to school bullying: Implications for interventions. Journal of Adolescence 22.4: 453–459.

    DOI: 10.1006/jado.1999.0239Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article discusses the participant role approach to bullying in schools by exploring bullying as a group phenomenon that leads to many individuals enabling the process. This approach looks at how students can refocus their attention within the group to stop the bullying.

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  • Smith, J. David, Barry H. Schneider, Peter K. Smith, and Katerina Ananiadou. 2004. The effectiveness of whole school anti-bullying program: A synthesis of evaluation research. School Psychology Review 33.4: 547–560.

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    This article examines whole-school anti-bullying programs. A summary of the existing research on the approach is given, highlighting its overall effectiveness and shortfalls, showing that monitored programs were more effective.

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  • Ttofi, Maria M., and David P. Farrington. 2011. Effectiveness of school-based programs to reduce bullying: A systematic and meta-analytic review. Journal of Experimental Criminology 7:27–56.

    DOI: 10.1007/s11292-010-9109-1Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article presents a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effectiveness of anti-bullying programs in schools. It highlights the success of programs that have focused on changing group behavior rather than individual behavior.

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