Evidence Based Guideline



Screening, Assessment and
Treatment For Bullies and their Victims

This course meets the qualifications for 5 hours of continuing education

"Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me."


Learning Objectives

In this 5 unit course clinicians will:

Receive a consistent and comprehensive base of information regarding the nature and impact of bullying.

Be introduced to the concept that bullying shares the same dynamics as sexual harassment, spouse abuse, or racism.

Learn current evidenced-based guidelines for intervening with bullies and their victims.

Be exposed to how pervasive bullying is, in schools, cyberspace, the workplace, and the military.

Be exposed to ten strategies that represent “best practice” in bullying
prevention and intervention.



Annaliese came to  her therapy appointment. After a bit of chatting, she looked down; her eyes filled with tears.

"You know, I wasn't gonna say anything, and I really, really don't want my mom to know, but something happened today at school."

I waited, holding my breathe. It had been hard to get Annaliese to talk about anything meaningful; I think I learned more make-up and hair tips from her than I would have had I gone to beauty school.

She looked at me; her lip was quivering.

"Kerry came up to me after social studies. She said there was a new club."

I sat silently.

"It's the 'I Hate Annaliese Club.'"

Annaliese laughed, shrugging her shoulders. "I don't care! Not one bit! I don't like any of 'em, anyway."

She paused. "I know at least five girls who are in it, and I don't care one bit."

She could see the pain that she refused to acknowledge in my eyes. We talked about how it felt, and I asked her what she was going to do about it.

"I really want the principal to know, but I don't want to be a tattle-tale. And I really, really don't want the girls to know I turned them in. And I'm definitely leaving my mom out of it."

I asked her how I could help, and she was relieved when I offered to call the principal. She told me the names of the girls in the club.

The next day, I phoned Ms. Melini, and told her, "There's something I'd like you to know about, but I can't reveal the source of my information. There is a new club, the 'I Hate Annaliese Club.' " Ms. Melini was wonderful, wanting to know if I knew who was in it (she wasn't surprised when I gave her the girls' names), asking only if it was online. I said I  didn't know. There have been deeply distressing (and in some cases, deadly) incidents of cyber-bullying. I know the girl who was the victim of the "Olivia Haters" MySpace website, who prompted the generous response from people all over the country: Letters to Olivia.

June 01, 2007
Olivia’s Letters

by Andy Carvin, 3:03PM

News coverage about a middle school student victimized by online and offline bullying has prompted a grassroots solidarity campaign. She’s received over 1,400 letters of support so far, and it’s serving as a teachable moment that no school should ignore.

Olivia Gardner was just a sixth grader when the bullying began two years ago. Previously diagnosed with epilepsy, Olivia was tormented by her peers because of the disease. In school, they’d call her “retard.” Online, they created an “Olivia Haters” page on MySpace and would use it to make fun of her. The school district eventually got involved, bringing in the families of the kids who were involved in the bullying, as well as holding a series of student assemblies on the problem. But it was too little, too late for Olivia, who soon transferred to another school.

The tormenting didn’t end there; Olivia would soon attend two other schools, unable to get away from the bullying. According to Olivia’s mother Kathleen, the two of them were approached by a student at one of the schools, who asked for their help regarding an allegedly abusive parent. After authorities got involved, the girl changed her story, and suddenly, Olivia was accused of trying to ruin her family. Her mother says that the bullying escalated, including phone calls, email and even an anti-Olivia bracelet campaign. Now 14 years old, Olivia is being homeschooled by Kathleen.

Olivia’s sad, yet all-too-common story might have ended there if it hadn’t been for Emily and Sarah Buder, a pair of teenaged sisters who heard about Olivia’s plight. They began organizing a letter-writing campaign among their friends in Marin County, CA, encouraging them to show their support for Olivia with words of hope or bullying stories of their own. As teachers became aware of the campaign, they started talking openly about bullying during class time. Eventually, the letters attracted the attention of Patti Agastston of the National Bullying Prevention Association, who’s helped them make “Olivia’s Letters” a national campaign.

“‘Olivia’s Letters’ is a perfect example of the power of the bystanders to make a difference when children are bullied,” Agatston told the Marin Independent Journal.

And it appears to be catching on. The Buder sisters have been contacted by other students around the country asking how to start their own campaigns. They’ve drawn the attention of media outlets around the country. And they’ve overwhelmed Olivia and her mother with the wave support that’s been generated for her.

“I think it’s amazing that everything is going together like this,” Olivia said. “Sometimes I just follow the advice that people have for me and it brings my mood up.”

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Olivia has received over 1,400 letters of support. Next week, she and her mom will be interviewed on the Today Show with the Buder sisters.

“Here is a really good ‘teachable moment’ story,” says online safety expert Nancy Willard, who wrote about it on the WWWEDU discussion group. “One of the best ways to prevent cyberbullying is to empower the bystanders. Teens really do have the ability to make a difference. You can use this story in your class for a discussion about how your students can respond proactively to address this concern. Please make time for this. It is important.”

Nancy is absolutely right. The news coverage around Olivia’s letters has created yet another opportunity for teachers to discuss bullying with their students and get them involved in a constructive way. The challenge, of course, is scaling this enormous goodwill so that it benefits the countless other kids who have also been bullied. -andy








Bullying is aggressive behavior that is intended to cause harm or distress, occurs repeatedly over time, and occurs in a relationship in which there is an imbalance of power or strength. Bullying can take many forms, including physical violence, teasing and name-calling, intimidation, and social exclusion. It can be related to hostile acts perpetrated against racial and ethnic minorities, gay, lesbian, and bi-sexual youth, and persons with disabilities.

Ninety percent of 4th through 8th graders report being victims of some form of bullying. Boys are typically more physically aggressive (physical bullying), whereas girls rely more on social exclusion, teasing, and cliques (verbal or emotional bullying). Bullying can also take the form of cyber communication, e.g., via email (cyber bullying). It is estimated that one in four boys who bully will have a criminal record by age 30.


Children who regularly bully their peers tend to be impulsive, easily frustrated, dominant in personality, have difficulty conforming to rules, view violence positively and are more likely to have friends who are also bullies. Boys who bully are usually physically stronger than their peers.

Moreover, several risk factors have been associated with bullying, including individual, family, peer, school, and community factors. With respect to family factors, children are more likely to bully if there is a lack of warmth and parent involvement, lack of parental supervision, and harsh corporal discipline. Some research suggests a link between bullying behavior and child maltreatment. Also, schools that lack adequate adult supervision tend to have more instances of bullying.


Children who are bullied are often cautious, sensitive, insecure, socially isolated, and have difficulty asserting themselves among their peers. Boys who are bullied tend to be physically weaker than their peers. Children who have been victims of child abuse (neglect, physical, or sexual abuse) or who have disabilities are also more likely to be bullied by their peers.


Bullying exerts long-term and short-term psychological effects on both bullies and their victims. Bullying behavior has been linked to other forms of antisocial behavior, such as vandalism, shoplifting, skipping and dropping out of school, fighting, and the use of drugs and alcohol.

Victims of bullying experience loneliness and often suffer humiliation, insecurity, loss of self-esteem, and thoughts of suicide. Furthermore, bullying can interfere with a student's engagement and learning in school. The impact of frequent bullying often accompanies these victims into adulthood.


The most effective prevention strategies are very comprehensive in nature, involving the entire school as a community to change the climate of the school and norms for behavior. It is crucial that parents, educators, administrators, health care professionals, and researchers work together to reduce bullying.

Prevention strategies should span from kindergarten through high school and involve educating the school community about bullies and their victims, as well as implementing school policies that set clear behavioral expectations. As of 2003, at least 15 states have passed laws addressing bullying in schools, which often include directives requiring or encouraging prevention program development, school employee training, and systematic reporting and disciplinary practices.

Strategies proven effective include having a consistent open dialogue about bullying and its consequences via classroom discussions, writing workshops, role plays, and parent-teacher meetings. Immediate intervention by school staff when bullying occurs has also shown to be successful. This involves the provision of adequate adult supervision in at-risk situations (e.g., hallways during class transitions and playgrounds) with strict enforcement of negative consequences in front of student bystanders to demonstrate that bullying behavior is not acceptable.

Parents must also be involved in their children's lives and intervene in a supportive and empathetic nature if they believe their child or another child is being bullied. To help prevent bullying, parents should enforce clear and concise behavioral guidelines and reward children for positive, inclusive behavior. Furthermore, parents should seek assistance from the school's principal, teachers, and counselors if concerns regarding their child's or another child's behavior arises.


*Support for research that will lead to a better understanding of bullying and victimization, as well as promote the development and evaluation of bullying prevention and intervention programs.

*Implementation and dissemination of comprehensive, research-based bullying prevention and intervention programs within schools and communities.

*Training for all school personnel (e.g., teachers, cafeteria workers, school-bus drivers, and maintenance workers) on bullying and bullying prevention.

For additional information, please contact Annie Toro, J.D., in APA's Public Policy Office at (202) 336'6068 or at Annie Toro.



New research from the Secret Service and the U.S. Department of Education on 37 school shootings, including Columbine, found that almost three-quarters of student shooters felt bullied, threatened, attacked or injured by others. In fact, several shooters reported experiencing long-term and severe bullying and harassment from their peers.

Dan Olweus, PhD, Bullying at school: What we know and what we can do

In his 1993 book, Bullying at school: What we know and what we can do, Dr. Olweus identifies characteristics of students who are most likely to be bullies and those that are most likely to be victims of bullying. Bullies tend to exhibit the following characteristics:

* They have a strong need to dominate and subdue other students and to get their own way
* Are impulsive and are easily angered
* Are often defiant and aggressive toward adults, including parents and teachers
* Show little empathy toward students who are victimized
* If they are boys, they are physically stronger than boys in general

The typical passive or submissive victims, according to Olweus' research, generally have some of the following characteristics:

* Are cautious, sensitive, quiet, withdrawn and shy
* Are often anxious, insecure, unhappy and have low self-esteem
* Are depressed and engage in suicidal ideation much more often than their peers
* Often do not have a single good friend and relate better to adults than to peers
* If they are boys, they may be physically weaker than their peers



Cyber-Bullies in the Spotlight

Oh, the many promises and horrors offered by the World Wide Web. Easy access free forums allow for far greater degrees of cultural discourse than ever before. Citizens of disparate backgrounds, locations and persuasions can comment, argue and find common ground on presidential candidates, sports teams, technologies and celebrities major and minor. On a far more unfortunate note: anonymous users can harass innocent web surfers of all ages. While statistics vary, all agree that a disturbing number of kids encounter offensive, malicious or outright illegal online content at the hands of others. This trend is hardly limited to predatorial internet bogeymen seeking some sort of perverse interaction with those too young to know better: one of the more curious and potentially disruptive behaviors spawned by the online revolution is an expansion of powers held by the common bully, and some states have begun to consider legislation to punish those whose egregious behavior flirts with the limits of the law.

The very public nature of social networking sites and similar pages allowing users to share personal information makes them perfect fodder for individuals seeking sadistic pleasure via digital harassment. No longer limited to the playground, bullying behaviors can include leaving insulting or threatening comments on one's personal page, blog or community message board and sending angry text or instant messages and distributing contact information to other "enemies." The anonymity afforded by the web often leaves victims unable to respond to their tormentors or uncover their identities.

The results of two recent studies would seem on first glance to contradict each other, finding that 1/3 and, alternately, 1/10 of internet users aged 10 to 15 or 17 encountered some form of online harassment over the previous year. The difference between the definitions of "harassment" offered by these studies must be noted: the first described it as any time a user felt embarrassed, worried or threatened by online postings or internet messages. The second, less damning survey asked subjects whether someone had made rude or insulting comments or spread rumors about them in particular. The 10% study seems to better define the concept of cyber-bullying, delineating merely offensive material from malicious personal attacks. Still, there's no question that the trend is on the upswing, as the number of subjects reporting incidents of cyber-bullying was considerably higher than in previous studies. And a behavior affecting 1 in 10 American kids can hardly be dismissed as insignificant.

So most examples of "cyber-bullying" are relatively mild and should probably receive their own unique classification, but the bully's potential ability to wreak far greater damage is considerable. And the practice is hardly limited to immature, anonymous name-calling of the type perpetrated by networking teens or voracious partisans. Perhaps the most heinous, widely publicized case of cyber-harassment was, in fact, perpetrated by an adult in cooperation with her child (cyber-harassment differs from bullying only in that it is not solely perpetrated by a minor). Megan Meier, a 13 year-old middle schooler who'd experienced problems with low self-esteem and depression, committed suicide after an online crush called her friendship into question, suggesting that the world "would be a better place" without her. The boy who left this message was, in fact, a fictional profile created by the mother of one of Meier's friends. The girl in question was offended by Meier's decision to end their friendship. While the act was mean-spirited and selfish, the perpetrators cannot have imagined the horrible consequences it would provoke. Still, many have called for them to be punished, and the town passed a subsequent ordinance making online harassment punishable by fines and brief jail time.

One reason this case has provoked such an outcry among kids, parents and bloggers around the world is that it remains a solitary and almost unbelievable incident. The fact that it happened at all leads to obvious speculation about other potential offenses and exactly how the online "community" can minimize the risk of future tragedies. Unfortunately, most teens do not report such incidents for fear of increased parental oversight or loss of their online privileges. Parents should, obviously, talk to their kids about the risks and benefits of the web, encouraging them to be both safe and candid. But most teens are more web-savvy than their elders, able to distinguish real threats from bad behavior and avoid both by making their profiles private and staying away from suspect websites. One can only hope that tragedies like the Meier incident will remain extremely rare cautionary tales warning against the terrible possibilities allowed by misuse of the web.


ERIC Identifier: ED459405
Publication Date: 2001-11-00
Author: Coy, Doris Rhea
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on Counseling and Student Services Greensboro NC.
Bullying. ERIC/CASS Digest.

According to some estimates, 160,000 children skip school each day because of intimidation by their peers. The National Center for Educational Statistics reports that 77 percent of middle and high school students in small mid-western towns have been bullied. And a newly released study from the National Institutes of Health published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reveals that almost a third of 6th to 10th graders -- 5.7 million children nationwide -- have experienced some kind of bullying (Nansel et al., 2001). Bullying has been a persistent problem that, with the heightened attention to school violence, has only recently been recognized as a pervasive issue needing immediate focus.
Bullying has been defined in many ways. It can be defined as a specific type of aggression in which (1) the behavior is intended to harm or disturb, (2) the behavior occurs repeatedly over time, and (3) there is an imbalance of power, with a more powerful person or group attacking a less powerful one (Mayo Clinic, 2001). Delwyn Tattum and Eva Tattum (1992) proposed the following definition: "Bullying" is the willful, conscious desire to hurt another and put him/her under stress." Dan Olweus, noted bullying researcher, defines bullying as exposing a person repeatedly, and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more students (Olweus, 1993). These definitions all convey the message that bullying is something that someone repeatedly does or says to gain power and dominance over another, including any action or implied action, such as threats, intended to cause fear and distress. The behavior has to be repeated on more than one occasion and the definition must include evidence that those involved intended or felt fear.

Bullying can take the form of name calling, put-downs, saying or writing inappropriate things about a person, deliberately excluding individuals from activities, not talking to a person, threatening a person with bodily harm, taking or damaging a person's things, hitting or kicking a person, making a person do things he/she does not want to do, taunting, teasing and coercion. Bullying can be physical, verbal, psychological, or a combination of these three.
Two types of bullies are addressed in the literature: aggressive bullies and passive bullies. An aggressive bully is seen as an individual who is belligerent, fearless, coercive, confident, tough, and impulsive. This type of behavior typically comes from individuals who have a low tolerance for frustration coupled with a stronger inclination toward violence than that of children in general.

Passive bullies are also referred to as anxious bullies. They rarely provoke others or take the initiative in a bullying incident. Passive bullies are usually associated with aggressive bullies and, hence, often take the less-aggressive role. As groups, the aggressive bully will instigate the bullying situation while the passive bully supports his/her behavior and/or begins to actively participate once the bullying begins. The passive bully aligns with the more powerful and, relatively speaking, more popular, action-oriented aggressive bully, earning the passive bully the descriptors of "camp follower" and "hanger-on."
Some researchers have suggested that twice as many children are bullied in the school environment than in any other location. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, "bullying appears to take place more in middle or junior high schools than in high schools" (Nolin et al., 1995).

It has been suggested that bullying could be greatly reduced if teachers provided better supervision of students during free play, recess, the noon hour, or on the school bus. Teachers also need to be present in the hallway during class changes and during restroom breaks. Many schools have failed to address the problem and many ignore bullying when it is observed. Not only are students bullies but teachers have also been identified as bullies. Many teachers see bullying as a normal, natural part of growing up and are therefore indifferent when they see it occur.
Ethnic minority children are at risk for racial bullying. Rather than being a part of the student body as a whole, they often cluster together in smaller groups similar to their own culture. Name calling is one of the common techniques utilized in racial bullying. Individual taunts, such as fatty, carrot top, and four-eyes, are directed toward the child but taunts are also directed to his/her family as well as his/her ethnic group. Racial bullying often begins in the preschool years and is transmitted intentionally from parents to children. The community attitude exerts a pervasive influence and may knowingly, or unknowingly, exhibit racist tendencies. Communities that address the problem up front are more likely to create an atmosphere where people of all ethnic and minority groups feel welcome.
Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual behavior that interferes with an individual's life. It can be viewed as unwelcome sexual advances, a demand for sexual favors, touching in a sexual way or accusations of homosexuality and lesbianism.

Schools are currently responsible for protecting students from harassment based on sex. The U.S. Office for Civil Rights publishes the legal principles "requiring educational institutions that receive federal funds to take steps reasonably calculated to stop harassment when it occurs and prevent recurrence" (Office for Civil Rights, 2001).
The literature addresses three areas as to the possible reasons a child becomes a bully: child rearing influences, characteristics of the child and factors of the environment (Ahmad & Smith, 1994; Batsche & Knoff, 1994; Smith & Sharp, 1994).

Child Rearing Influences

The child may not have received warmth and caring from the mother: there may have been a failure to bond with the parents or the child may not have felt loved. Many parents fail to set limits for their children's behavior and the parents may have used assertive disciplinary methods where control and coercion were a part of the discipline. There are also indications that inconsistent discipline on the part of the parents can produce a bully. If a parent exhibits aggressive behavior and if the child is encouraged to assert him/herself in socially unacceptable ways, the child may become a bully.

Characteristics of the Child

There are no distinct characteristics of a child who bullies. Boys tend to be more aggressive and more overactive and hyperactive than girls.

The following characteristics are associated with predicting children with a high level of difficult behaviors:

* difficulties adapting to new situations;

* irregular eating and sleeping habits;

* negative moods, strong moods; and

* unpredictable behavior.

Factors of the Environment

American homes and schools do not provide negative consequences for bullies and society sees bullying as transient or inconsequential. In fact, on television and in movies bullies often go unchecked and are sometimes rewarded. For boys, bullying is seen as "standing up for himself" or as "all boy." In the school environment, bullying is often unnoticed or ignored and supervision in the schools are many times inadequate. Crowded conditions, such as on school playgrounds, encourage bullying. Bystanders who admire the exploits of bullies serve as models for others.
Schools that wish to address this problem have a variety of avenues to pursue. The school can introduce a code of conduct which is a whole-school disciplinary policy with a clearly spelled out set of rules and regulations that should make it possible for all school personnel to work together safely and productively. It should state clearly, with examples, what is good and bad behavior along with respective rewards and sanctions.

The school needs to establish a whole-school approach to bullying by establishing an awareness of the bullying problem. The school needs to evaluate how friendly it is toward bullying. Awareness of bullying both within and outside of the school can help reduce the act. Also, increased school safety features, such as video monitoring, can provide more protection to students.

Students should be encouraged to report incidents of bullying by promising the students anonymity. The school should develop a student watch program by training student volunteers to patrol and report instances of bullying. In the classroom teachers may use stories and drama to increase awareness of bullying and bully courts can be set up for addressing bullying issues. The school should provide training for students in problem-solving approaches, which include conflict resolution training, conflict management and quality circles. All of these can be positive ways of addressing inappropriate behavior. These activities make the school safer and let students know that bullying is a violation of children's rights.
A number of intervention programs are available for schools to utilize. The development of a whole-school bullying policy might be one of the first steps in addressing the problem. Improvement of the school environment by having the playground, corridors, and restrooms supervised by teaching personnel might be another priority. To further address the problem, empower students by offering training in conflict resolution programs, peer help and assertiveness training.
Bullying is a destructive social problem that needs attention. Schools have the responsibility to create safe places for students where they can grow without fear. Greater awareness of the issue and a community-wide focus on prevention can begin to secure that our schools are safer environments.
ERIC/CASS Virtual Library on Bullying in Schools. ERIC Clearinghouse on Counseling & Student Services (ERIC/CASS) http://ericcass.uncg.edu/virtuallib/bullying/bullyingbook.html

ERIC Parent Brochure: What Should Parents and Teachers Know About Bullying? This brochure characterizes bullies and their victims, offers advice on how schools and parents can prevent bullying and intervene when it becomes a problem, and suggests sources for further information. http://www.eric.ed.gov/resources/parent/bullying.html

ERIC Digest: Bullying in Schools (1997) http://www.ed.gov/databases/ERIC_Digests/ed407154.html

ERIC Digest: Easing the Teasing: How Parents Can Help Their Children (1999) http://www.ed.gov/databases/ERIC_Digests/ed431555.html
Ahmad, Y., & Smith, P. K. (1994). Bullying in schools and the issues of sex differences. In John Archer (Ed), Male violence. London: Routledge.

Askew, S. (1989). Aggressive behavior in boys: To what extent is it institutionalized? In D. P. Tattum & D. A. Lane (Eds.), Bullying in schools (pp. 59-71). Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent: Trentham Books.

Batsche, G. M., & Knoff, H. M. (1994). Bullies and their victims: Understanding a pervasive problem in the schools. School Psychology Review 23(2), 165-74.

Mayo Clinic. (2001). "Headline Watch: One-third of U.S. kids affected by bullying." Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). http://www.mayoclinic.com/findinformation/conditioncenters/invo ke.cfm?objectid=09C423AB-1A81-448D-B9730315E83291E4

Nansel, T.R., Overpeck, M., Pilla, R.S., Ruan, W.J., Simons-Morton, S., & Scheidt, S. (2001). Bully behaviors among US youth: Prevalence and association with psychosocial adjustment. Journal of the American Medical Association, 285, 2094-2100.

Nolin, M. J., Davies, E., & Chandler, K. (1995). Student victimization at school: Statistics in brief. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics. ED 388 439.

Office for Civil Rights. (2001). "Resources for Addressing Sexual Harassment." U.S. Department of Education. http://www.ed.gov/offices/OCR/sexharassresources.html

Olweus, D. (1993). Bullying at school: What we know and what we can do. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell. ED 384 437.

Smith, P. K., & Sharp, S. (Eds.). (1994). School bullying: insights and perspectives. London: Routledge. ED 387 223.

Tattum, D and Tattum, E. (1992) Social Education and Personal Development. London,: David Fulton.



Bullying Warning Signs

The following may be signs that a child is being bullied:

* Avoiding certain situations, people, or places, such as pretending to be sick so that he or she does not have to go to school
* Changes in behavior, such as being withdrawn and passive, being overly active and aggressive, or being self-destructive
* Frequent crying or feeling sad
* Signs of low self-esteem
* Being unwilling to speak or showing signs of fear when asked about certain situations, people, or places
* Signs of injuries
* Suddenly receiving lower grades or showing signs of learning problems
* Recurrent unexplained physical symptoms such as stomach pains and fatigue

So, what is bullying?

Bullying Facts and Statistics

Almost 30% of youth in the United States (or over 5.7 million) are estimated to be involved in bullying as either a bully, a target of bullying, or both. In a recent national survey of students in grades 6-10, 13% reported bullying others, 11% reported being the target of bullies, and another 6% said that they bullied others and were bullied themselves.[1]

Male vs. Female
Bullying takes on different forms in male and female youth. While both male and female youth say that others bully them by making fun of the way they look or talk, males are more likely to report being hit, slapped, or pushed. Female youth are more likely than males to report being the targets of rumors and sexual comments.[2] While male youth target both boys and girls, female youth most often bully other girls, using more subtle and indirect forms of aggression than boys. For example, instead of physically harming others, they are more likely to spread gossip or encourage others to reject or exclude another girl.[3]

Risk Factors for Bullying Behavior
While many people believe that bullies act tough in order to hide feelings of insecurity and self-loathing, in fact, bullies tend to be confident, with high self-esteem.[4], [5] They are generally physically aggressive, with pro-violence attitudes, and are typically hot-tempered, easily angered, and impulsive, with a low tolerance for frustration. Bullies have a strong need to dominate others and usually have little empathy for their targets. Male bullies are often physically bigger and stronger than their peers.[6] Bullies tend to get in trouble more often, and to dislike and do more poorly in school, than teens who do not bully others. They are also more likely to fight, drink and smoke than their peers.[7]

Children and teens that come from homes where parents provide little emotional support for their children, fail to monitor their activities, or have little involvement in their lives, are at greater risk for engaging in bullying behavior. Parents' discipline styles are also related to bullying behavior: an extremely permissive or excessively harsh approach to discipline can increase the risk of teenage bullying.[8]

Surprisingly, bullies appear to have little difficulty in making friends. Their friends typically share their pro-violence attitudes and problem behaviors (such as drinking and smoking) and may be involved in bullying as well.[9] These friends are often followers that do not initiate bullying, but participate in it.[10]

Risk Factors for Being Targeted by Bullies
Children and youth who are bullied are typically anxious, insecure, and cautious and suffer from low self-esteem, rarely defending themselves or retaliating when confronted by students who bully them.[11] They are often socially isolated and lack social skills.[12] One study found that the most frequent reason cited by youth for persons being bullied is that they "didn't fit in."[13] Males who are bullied tend to be physically weaker than their peers.[14] [15] Long-term Impact on Youth

There appears to be a strong relationship between bullying other students and experiencing later legal and criminal problems as an adult. In one study, 60% of those characterized as bullies in grades 6-9 had at least one criminal conviction by age 24.[16] Chronic bullies seem to maintain their behaviors into adulthood, negatively influencing their ability to develop and maintain positive relationships.[17]

Bullying can lead the children and youth that are the target of bullying to feel tense, anxious, and afraid. It can affect their concentration in school, and can lead them to avoid school in some cases. If bullying continues for some time, it can begin to affect children and youth's self-esteem and feelings of self-worth. It also can increase their social isolation, leading them to become withdrawn and depressed, anxious and insecure. In extreme cases, bullying can be devastating for children and youth, with long-term consequences. Researchers have found that years later, long after the bullying has stopped, adults who were bullied as youth have higher levels of depression and poorer self-esteem than other adults.[18]

Effective Programs
Effective programs have been developed to reduce bullying in schools. Research has found that bullying is most likely to occur in schools where there is a lack of adult supervision during breaks, where teachers and students are indifferent to or accept bullying behavior, and where rules against bullying are not consistently enforced.[19]

While approaches that simply crack down on individual bullies are seldom effective, when there is a school-wide commitment to end bullying, it can be reduced by up to 50%. One approach that has been shown to be effective focuses on changing school and classroom climates by: raising awareness about bullying, increasing teacher and parent involvement and supervision, forming clear rules and strong social norms against bullying, and providing support and protection for all students. This approach involves teachers, principals, students, and everyone associated with the school, including janitors, cafeteria workers, and crossing guards. Adults become aware of the extent of bullying at the school, and they involve themselves in changing the situation, rather than looking the other way. Students pledge not to bully other students, to help students who are bullied, and to make a point to include students who are left out.[20]

1. Nansel, T.R., Overpeck, M., Pilla, R.S., Ruan, W.J., Simons-Morton, B., & Scheidt, P. (2001). Bullying Behaviors Among US Youth: Prevalence and Association With Psychosocial Adjustment., 285(16), 2094-2100.
2. Nansel, T.R., Overpeck, M., Pilla, R.S., Ruan, W.J., Simons-Morton, B., & Scheidt, P. (2001). Bullying Behaviors Among US Youth: Prevalence and Association With Psychosocial Adjustment. Journal of the American Medical Association, 285(16), 2094-2100.
3. Olweus, D. (1993). Bullying at School: What We Know and What We Can Do. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers, Inc., p. 19.
4. Nansel, T.R., Overpeck, M., Pilla, R.S., Ruan, W.J., Simons-Morton, B., & Scheidt, P. (2001). Bullying Behaviors Among US Youth: Prevalence and Association With Psychosocial Adjustment. Journal of the American Medical Association, 285(16), 2094-2100.
5. Olweus, D. (1993). Bullying at School: What We Know and What We Can Do. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers, Inc., p. 34.
6. Olweus, D. (1993). Bullying at School: What We Know and What We Can Do. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers, Inc., pp. 34-43.
7. Nansel, T.R., Overpeck, M., Pilla, R.S., Ruan, W.J., Simons-Morton, B., & Scheidt, P. (2001). Bullying Behaviors Among US Youth: Prevalence and Association With Psychosocial Adjustment. Journal of the American Medical Association, 285(16), 2094-2100.
8. Olweus, D. (1993). Bullying at School: What We Know and What We Can Do. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers, Inc., pp. 39-43.
9. Nansel, T.R., Overpeck, M., Pilla, R.S., Ruan, W.J., Simons-Morton, B., & Scheidt, P. (2001). Bullying Behaviors Among US Youth: Prevalence and Association With Psychosocial Adjustment. Journal of the American Medical Association, 285(16), 2094-2100.
10. Olweus, D. (1978). Aggression in the Schools: Bullies and Whipping Boys. Washington, DC: Hemisphere (Wiley).
11. Olweus, D. (1993). Bullying at School: What We Know and What We Can Do. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers, Inc
12. Nansel, T.R., Overpeck, M., Pilla, R.S., Ruan, W.J., Simons-Morton, B., & Scheidt, P. (2001). Bullying Behaviors Among US Youth: Prevalence and Association With Psychosocial Adjustment. Journal of the American Medical Association, 285(16), 2094-2100.
13. Hoover, J.H., Oliver, R., Hazler, R.J. (1992). Bullying: perceptions of adolescent victims in the Midwestern USA. School Psychology International, 13, 5-16.
14. Batsche, G.M., & Knoff, H.M. (1994). Bullies and their victims: Understanding a pervasive problem in the schools. School Psychology Review, 23(2), 165-174.
15. Olweus, D. (1993). Bullying at School: What We Know and What We Can Do. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED384 437.
16. Olweus, D. (1993). Bullying at School: What We Know and What We Can Do. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED384 437.
17. Oliver, R., Hoover, J. H., & Hazler, R. (1994). The perceived roles of bullying in small-town Midwestern schools. Journal of Counseling and Development, 72 (4), 416-419.
18. Rigby, K. (2001). Health consequences of bullying and its prevention in schools. In J. Juvonen & S. Graham, Eds., Peer Harassment in School: The Plight of the Vulnerable and Victimized. New York: Guilford Press.
19. Olweus, D., Limber, S., & Mihalic, S. (1999). Blueprints for Violence Prevention, Book Nine: Bullying Prevention Program. Boulder, CO: Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence.
20. Olweus, D., Limber, S., & Mihalic, S. (1999). Blueprints for Violence Prevention, Book Nine: Bullying Prevention Program. Boulder, CO: Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence.



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A very common image in many schools around the world.
A very common image in many schools around the world.

Bullying is the act of intentionally causing harm to others, through verbal harassment, physical assault, or other more subtle methods of coercion such as manipulation. Bullying can be defined in many different ways, although the UK currently has no legal definition of bullying, [1] some US states have laws against it. [2]

In colloquial speech, bullying often describes a form of harassment perpetrated by an abuser who possesses more physical and/or social power and dominance than the victim. The victim of bullying is sometimes referred to as a target. The harassment can be verbal, physical and/or emotional. Sometimes bullies will pick on people bigger or smaller than their size. Bullies hurt people verbally and physically because they themselves have been the victim of bullying, (e.g. a bullying child who is abused at home, or bullying adults who are abused by their colleagues).

Many programs have been started to prevent bullying at schools with promotional speakers. Bullying consists of two types - verbal and physical.

Norwegian researcher Dan Olweus defines bullying as when a person is "exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons." He defines negative action as "when a person intentionally inflicts injury or discomfort upon another person, through physical contact, through words or in other ways."[3]

Bullying can occur in any setting where human beings interact with each other. This includes school, religious community, the workplace, home and neighborhoods. It is even a common push factor in migration. Bullying can exist between social groups, social classes and even between countries (see Jingoism).

Bullying behavior

Bullying is an act of repeated aggressive behavior in order to intentionally hurt another person. Bullying is characterized by an individual behaving in a certain way to gain power over another person (Besag, 1989). Behaviors may include name calling, verbal or written abuse, exclusion from activities, exclusion from social situations, physical abuse, or coercion (Carey, 2003; Whitted & Dupper, 2005). Bullies may behave this way to be perceived as popular or tough or to get attention. They may bully out of jealousy or be acting out because they themselves are bullied (Crothers & Levinson, 2004).

USA National Center for Education Statistics suggests that bullying can be broken into two categories: Direct bullying, and indirect bullying which is also known as social aggression.[4]

Ross states that direct bullying involves a great deal of physical aggression such as shoving and poking, throwing things, slapping, choking, punching and kicking, beating, stabbing, pulling hair, scratching, biting and scraping.[5]

He also suggests that social aggression or indirect bullying is characterized by threatening the victim into social isolation. This isolation is achieved through a wide variety of techniques, including spreading gossip, refusing to socialize with the victim, bullying other people who wish to socialize with the victim, and criticizing the victim's manner of dress and other socially-significant markers (including the victim's race, religion, disability, etc). Ross (1998)[5] outlines other forms of indirect bullying which are more subtle and more likely to be verbal, such as name calling, the silent treatment, arguing others into submission, manipulation, gossip/ false gossip, lies, rumors/ false rumors, staring, giggling, laughing at the victim, saying certain words that trigger a reaction from a past event, and mocking. Children's charity Act Against Bullying was set up in 2003 to help children who were victims of this type of bullying by researching and publishing coping skills.


The effects of bullying can be serious and even fatal. Mona O’Moore Ph. D of the Anti-Bullying Centre, Trinity College Dublin, said, "There is a growing body of research which indicates that individuals, whether child or adult who are persistently subjected to abusive behavior are at risk of stress related illness which can sometimes lead to suicide".[6]

Victims of bullying can suffer from long term emotional and behavioral problems. Bullying can cause loneliness, depression, anxiety, lead to low self-esteem and increased susceptibility to illness.[7]

The National Conference of State Legislatures said:

"In 2002, a report released by the U.S. Secret Service concluded that bullying played a significant role in many school shootings and that efforts should be made to eliminate bullying behavior." [8]

Characteristics of bullies

Research indicates that adults who bully have personalities that are authoritarian, combined with a strong need to control or dominate.[9] It has also been suggested that a deficit in social skills and a prejudicial view of subordinates can be particular risk factors.[10]

Further studies have shown that while envy and resentment may be motives for bullying,[11] there is little evidence to suggest that bullies suffer from any deficit in self esteem (as this would make it difficult to bully).[12] However, bullying can also be used as a tool to conceal and boost self esteem: by demeaning others, the abuser themselves feel empowered.

Researchers have identified other risk factors such as quickness to anger and use of force, addiction to aggressive behaviors, mistaking others' actions as hostile, concern with preserving self image, and engaging in obsessive or rigid actions.[13]

Bullying may also be "tradition" in settings where an age group or higher rank feels superior than lowerclassmen.

It is often suggested that bullying behavior has its origin in childhood:

"If aggressive behaviour is not challenged in childhood, there is a danger that it may become habitual. Indeed, there is research evidence, to indicate that bullying during childhood puts children at risk of criminal behaviour and domestic violence in adulthood."[6]

Bullying does not necessarily involve criminality or physical violence. For example, bullying often operates through psychological abuse or verbal abuse.

Bullying can often be associated with street gangs, especially at school.

History of bullying

High-level forms of violence such as assault and murder usually receive most media attention, but lower-level forms of violence such as bullying, has only in recent years started to be addressed by researchers, educators, parents and legislators (Whitted & Dupper, 2005).

It is only in recent years that bullying has been recognised and recorded as a separate and distinct offence, but there have been well documented cases the were recorded in a different context. The Fifth Volume of the Newgate Calendar [14] contains at least one example where Eton Scholars George Alexander Wood and Alexander Wellesley Leith were charged, at Aylesbury Assizes, with killing and slaying the Hon. F. Ashley Cooper on February 28, 1825 in an incident that would now, surely be described as "lethal hazing"[15]. The Newgate calendar contains several other examples that, while not as distinct, could be considered indicative of situations of bullying.

Types of bullying

School bullying

Main article: School bullying

In schools, bullying usually occurs in all areas of school. It can occur in nearly any part in or around the school building, though it more often occurs in PE, recess, hallways, bathrooms, on school buses and waiting for buses, classes that require group work and/or after school activities. Bullying in school sometimes consists of a group of students taking advantage of, or isolating one student in particular and gaining the loyalty of bystanders who want to avoid becoming the next victim. These bullies will taunt and tease their target before physically bullying the target. Targets of bullying in school are often pupils who are considered strange or different by their peers to begin with, making the situation harder for them to deal with. Some children bully because they have been isolated, and they have a deep need for belonging, but they do not possess the social skills to effectively keep friends (see social rejection).[7] "When you're miserable, you need something more miserable than yourself." This may explain the negative actions towards others that bullies exhibit.[citation needed] However, just like with adults, there are also those who simply enjoy hurting other people.

Bullying can also be perpetrated by teachers and the school system itself: there is an inherent power differential in the system that can easily predispose to subtle or covert abuse, humiliation, or exclusion - even while maintaining overt commitments to anti-bullying policies.[16][17]

School shootings receive an enormous amount of media attention. The children who perpetrate these shootings sometimes claim that they were victims of bullying and that they resorted to violence only after the school administration repeatedly failed to intervene.[8] In many of these cases, the victims of the shooters sued both the shooters' families and the schools.[18]

Some suggest these rare but horrific events have led schools to try harder to discourage bullying, with programs designed to teach students cooperation, as well as training peer moderators in intervention and dispute resolution techniques, as a form of peer support.[citation needed]

American victims and their families have legal recourse, such as suing a school or teacher for failure to adequately supervise, racial or gender discrimination, or other civil rights violations. Special education students who are victimized may sue a school or school board under the ADA or Section 504.

Workplace bullying

Main article: Workplace bullying

According to the Workplace Bullying and Trauma Institute workplace bullying is "repeated, health-harming mistreatment, verbal abuse, or conduct which is threatening, humiliating, intimidating, or sabotage that interferes with work or some combination of the three."[19]. Statistics show that bullying is 3 times as prevalent as illegal discrimination and at least 1,600 times as prevalent as workplace violence. Statistics also show that while only one employee in every 10,000 becomes a victim of workplace violence, one in six experiences bullying at work. Bullying is also far more common than sexual harassment and verbal abuse.

Unlike the more physical form of schoolyard bullying, workplace bullying often takes place within the established rules and policies of the organization and society. Such actions are not necessarily illegal and may not even be against the firm's regulations; however, the damage to the targeted employee and to workplace morale is obvious.

Particularly when perpetrated by a group, workplace bullying is sometimes known as mobbing.


Main article: Cyberbullying

According to Canadian educator Bill Belsey, it:

...involves the use of information and communication technologies such as e-mail, cell phone and pager text messages, instant messaging, defamatory personal Web sites, blogs, online games and defamatory online personal polling Web sites, to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behaviour by an individual or group, that is intended to harm others.

Cyberbullying: An Emerging Threat to the Always On Generation[20]

Bullies will even create blogs to intimidate victims worldwide.[21]

Political bullying

Main article: Jingoism

Jingoism occurs when one country imposes its will on another. This is normally done with military force or threats. With threats, it is common to ensure that aid and grants will not be given to the smaller country or that the smaller country will not be allowed to join a trading organization. Often political corruptions, coup d'états, and kleptocracies are the solution and response to the countries being bullied.[citation needed]

Military bullying

In 2000, the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) defined bullying as: “...the use of physical strength or the abuse of authority to intimidate or victimize others, or to give unlawful punishments.”[22] A review of a number of deaths by suicide at Princess Royal Barracks, Deepcut by Nicholas Blake QC indicated that whilst a culture of bullying existed during the mid to late 1990s many of the issues were being addressed as a result of the Defence Training Review.[23]

Some argue that this behaviour should be allowed because of a general academic consensus that "soldiering" is different from other occupations. Soldiers expected to risk their lives should, according to them, develop strength of body and spirit to accept bullying.[24]

In some countries, ritual hazing among recruits has been tolerated and even lauded as a rite of passage that builds character and toughness; while in others, systematic bullying of lower-ranking, young or physically slight recruits may in fact be encouraged by military policy, either tacitly or overtly (see dedovschina). Also, the Russian army usually have older/more experienced candidates abusing - kicking or punching - less experienced soldiers.[25].


Main articles: Hazing and Ragging

Hazing is an often ritualistic test which may constitute harassment, abuse or humiliation with requirements to perform meaningless tasks; sometimes as a way of initiation into a social group. The term can refer to either physical (sometimes violent) or mental (possibly degrading) practices. It is a subjective matter where to draw to line between 'normal' hazing (somewhat abusive) and a mere rite of passage (essentially bonding; proponents may argue they can coincide), and there is a gray area where exactly the other side passes over into sheer degrading, even harmful abuse that should not even be tolerated if accepted voluntarily (serious but avoidable accidents do still happen; even deliberate abuse with similar grave medical consequences occurs, in some traditions even rather often). Furthermore, as it must be a ritual initiation, a different social context may mean a same treatment is technically hazing for some, not for others, e.g. a line-crossing ceremony when passing the equator at sea is hazing for the sailor while the extended (generally voluntary, more playful) application to passengers is not.

Hazing has been reported in a variety of social contexts, including:

  • Sports teams
  • Academic fraternities and sororities (see fraternities and sororities)These practices are not limited to American schools. Swedish students undergo a similar bonding period, known as nollningen, in which all members of the entering class participate.
  • College and universities in general.
  • Associated groups, like fan clubs, school bands
  • Secret societies and even certain service clubs, or rather their local sections (such as some modern US Freemasons; not traditional masonic lodges)
  • Similarly various other competitive sports teams or clubs, even 'soft' and non-competitive ones (such as arts)
  • The armed forces — e.g., in the U.S., hard hazing practices from World War I boot camps were introduced into colleges. In Poland army hazing is called Polish fala "wave" adopted pre-World War I from non-Polish armies. In the Russian army (formerly the Red Army) hazing is called "Dedovshchina".
  • Police forces (often with a paramilitary tradition)
  • Rescue services, such as lifeguards (also drilled for operations in military style)
  • In workplaces
  • Inmate hazing is also common at confinement facilities around the world, including frequent reports of beatings and sexual assaults by fellow inmates.

Hazing is considered a felony in several US states, and anti hazing legislation has been proposed in other states.

See also


  1. ^ Harassment, Discrimination and Bullying Policy - University of Manchester
  2. ^ At least 15 states have passed laws addressing bullying among school children. Dave was here![1]
  3. ^ Olweus, D. A Research Definition of Bullying
  4. ^ Student Reports of Bullying, Results From the 2001 School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey, US National Center for Education Statistics
  5. ^ a b Ross, P.N. (1998). Arresting violence: A resource guide for schools and their communities. Toronto: Ontario Public School Teachers' Federation.
  6. ^ a b Anti-Bullying Center Trinity College, Dublin,
  7. ^ a b Williams, K.D., Forgás, J.P. & von Hippel, W. (Eds.) (2005). The Social Outcast: Ostracism, Social Exclusion, Rejection, & Bullying. Psychology Press: New York, NY.
  8. ^ a b School Bullying. National Conference of State Legislatures, Washington, D.C. (retrieved 7 December 2007).
  9. ^ The Harassed Worker, Brodsky, C. (1976), D.C. Heath and Company, Lexington, Massachusetts.
  10. ^ Petty tyranny in organizations , Ashforth, Blake, Human Relations, Vol. 47, No. 7, 755-778 (1994)
  11. ^ Bullying and emotional abuse in the workplace. International perspectives in research and practice, Einarsen, S., Hoel, H., Zapf, D., & Cooper, C. L. (Eds.)(2003), Taylor & Francis, London.
  12. ^ Bullies and their victims: Understanding a pervasive problem in the schools, Batsche, G. M., & Knoff, H. M. (1994) School PSYCHOLOGY REVIEW, 23 (2), 165-174. EJ 490 574.
  13. ^ Areas of Expert Agreement on Identification of School Bullies and Victims, Hazler, R. J., Carney, J. V., Green, S., Powell, R., & Jolly, L. S. (1997). School Psychology International, 18, 3-12.
  14. ^ Complete Newgate Calendar Tarlton Law Library The University of Texas School of Law
  15. ^ GEORGE ALEXANDER WOOD AND ALEXANDER WELLESLEY LEITH The Complete Newgate Calendar Volume V, Tarlton Law Library The University of Texas School of Law
  16. ^ Garbarino, J. & de Lara, E. (2003). And Words CAN Hurt Forever: How to Protect Adolescents from Bullying, Harassment, and Emotional Violence. The Free Press: New York NY.
  17. ^ Whitted, K.S. (2005). Student reports of physical and psychological maltreatment in schools: An under-explored aspect of student victimization in schools. University of Tennessee.
  18. ^ Brownstein, A. The Bully Pulpit: Post-Columbine, Harassment Victims Take School To Court. TRIAL - the Journal of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, December 2002.
  19. ^ Namie, Gary and Ruth Workplace Bullying Institute Brochure
  20. ^ Belsey, W Cyberbullying: An Emerging Threat to the Always On Generation
  21. ^ Striking back at the cyberbullies Page, Chris, BBC, UK.
  22. ^ The Values and Standards of the British Army – A Guide to Soldiers, Ministry of Defence, UK March 2000, paragraph 23.
  23. ^ Deepcut Review accessed 14 Jan 07
  24. ^ Social Psychology of the Individual Soldier, Jean M. Callaghan and Franz Kernic 2003 Armed Forces and International Security: Global Trends and Issues, Lit Verlag, Munster
  25. ^ Military bullying a global problem, BBC, UK Monday, 28 November 2005

External links

Look up Bullying in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cyberbullying occurs when a child, preteen or teenager is bullied, harassed, humiliated, threatened, embarrassed, or targeted in someway by another child, preteen or teenager through the use of internet, cell phones and other forms of digital technology. In order for it to be cyber-bullying, the intent must be to cause emotional distress, and there must be no legitimate purpose to the communication.[1] Cyberbullying can be as simple as continuing to send e-mail to someone who has said they want no further contact with the sender, but it may also include threats, sexual remarks, pejorative labels (i.e., hate speech). Though the use of sexual remarks and threats are sometimes present in cyber-bullying, it is not the same as sexual harassment and does not involve sexual predators. Cyber-bullies may disclose victims' personal data (e.g. real name or workplace/schools) at websites or forums, or may attempt to assume the identity of a victim for the purpose of publishing material in their name that defames or ridicules them. Some cyber-bullies may also send threatening emails and instant messages to the victims. The content in these messages are often so strong that a victim may commit suicide. Some may post victims' photos, or victims' edited photos like defaming captions or pasting victims' faces on nude bodies. One famous forum for disclosing personal data or photos to "punish" the "enemies" is Hong Kong Golden Forum. One example of suicide from being a victim of cyber-bullying is the Megan Meier Suicide Controversy[1]

Comparison to traditional bullying

Certain characteristics inherent in online technologies increase the likelihood that they will be exploited for deviant purposes.[2] Firstly, electronic bullies can remain virtually anonymous using temporary email accounts, pseudonyms in chat rooms, instant messaging programs, cell-phone text messaging, and other Internet venues to mask their identity; this perhaps frees them from normative and social constraints on their behavior. Furthermore, cyber-bullies might be emboldened when using electronic means to carry out their antagonistic agenda because it takes less energy and courage to express hurtful comments using a keypad or a keyboard than with one’s voice.

Second, electronic forums can often lack supervision. While chat hosts regularly observe the dialog in some chat rooms in an effort to police conversations and evict offensive individuals, personal messages sent between users (such as electronic mail or text messages) are viewable only by the sender and the recipient, and therefore outside the regulatory reach of such authorities. In addition, teenagers often know more about computers and cellular phones than their parents or guardians and are therefore able to operate the technologies without worry or concern that a probing parent will discover their experience with bullying (whether as a victim or offender).

Thirdly, the inseparability of a cellular phone from its owner makes that person a perpetual target for victimization. Users often need to keep their phone turned on for legitimate purposes, which provides the opportunity for those with malicious intentions to engage in persistent unwelcome behavior such as harassing telephone calls or threatening and insulting statements via the cellular phone’s text messaging capabilities. Cyber-bullying thus penetrates the walls of a home, traditionally a place where victims could seek refuge from other forms of bullying.

One possible advantage for victims of cyber-bullying over traditional bullying is that they may be able to avoid it simply by avoiding the site/chat room in question. Email addresses and phone numbers can be changed; in addition, most e-mail accounts now offer services that will automatically filter out messages from certain senders before they even reach the inbox, and phones offer similar caller ID functions. Unfortunately, this obviously does not protect against all forms of cyber bullying; publishing of defamatory material about a person on the internet is extremely difficult to prevent and once it is posted, millions of people can potentially download it before it is removed.

Cyber-bullying awareness campaigns

In March 2007, the Advertising Council in the United States, in partnership with the National Crime Prevention Council, U.S. Department of Justice, and Crime Prevention Coalition of America, joined to announce the launch of a new public service advertising campaign designed to educate preteens and teens about how they can play a role in ending cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying was the subject of a forum at the British House of Commons chaired by Tim Loughton and Louise Burfitt-Dons of Act Against Bullying[3]. A Pew Internet and American Life survey found that 33% of teens were subject to some sort of cyberbullying. [2]

January 31, 2008, KTTV Fox 11 News based in Los Angeles, California put out a report about organized cyber-bullying on sites like Stickam by people who call themselves "/b/rothas".[4] The site had previously put out report on July 26, 2007, about a subject that partly featured cyberbullying titled "hackers on steroids".[5]


In 2007, Debbie Heimowitz a Stanford University Master's student created Adina's Deck a film based upon accredited research through Stanford. She worked in focus groups for ten weeks in three different schools to learn about the problem of cyber bullying in Northern CA. She found that over 60% of students had been cyber bullied or victims of cyber bullying. Adina's Deck is now being used in classrooms nationwide as it was designed around learning goals pertaining to problems students had understanding the topic. The middle school of Megan Meier of the Megan_Meier_suicide_controversy is reportedly using the film as a solution to the crisis in their town.

The Youth Internet Safety Survey-2, conducted by the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire in 2005, found that 9% of the young people in the survey had experienced some form of harassment.[6] The survey was a nationally representative telephone survey of 1500 youth 10-17 years old. One third reported feeling distressed by the incident, with distress being more likely for younger respondents and those who were the victims of aggressive harassment (including being telephoned, sent gifts, or visited at home by the harasser). [7] Compared to youth not harassed online, victims are more likely to have social problems. On the other hand, youth who harass others are more likely to have problems with rule breaking and aggression. [8] Significant overlap is seen -- youth who are harassed are significantly more likely to also harass others.

Hinduja and Patchin completed a study in the summer of 2005 of approximately 1500 Internet-using adolescents and found that over one-third of youth reported being victimized online, and over 16% of respondents admitted to cyber-bullying others. While most of the instances of cyber bullying involved relatively minor behavior (41% were disrespected, 19% were called names), over 12% were physically threatened and about 5% were scared for their safety. Notably, less than 15% of victims told an adult about the incident.[9] Additional research by Hinduja and Patchin[10] found that youth who report being victims of cyber-bullying also experience stress or strain that is related to offline problem behaviors such as running away from home, cheating on a school test, skipping school, or using alcohol or marijuana. The authors acknowledge that both of these studies provide only preliminary information about the nature and consequences of online bullying, due to the methodological challenges associated with an online survey.

According to a 2005 survey by the National Children's Home charity and Tesco Mobile[11] of 770 youth between the ages of 11 and 19, 20% of respondents revealed that they had been bullied via electronic means. Almost three-quarters (73%) stated that they knew the bully, while 26% stated that the offender was a stranger. 10% of responders indicated that another person has taken a picture of them via a cellular phone camera, consequently making them feel uncomfortable, embarrassed, or threatened. Many youths are not comfortable telling an authority figure about their cyber-bullying victimization for fear their access to technology will be taken from them; while 24% and 14% told a parent or teacher respectively, 28% did not tell anyone while 41% told a friend.[11]

A survey by the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire in 2000 found that 6% of the young people in the survey had experienced some form of harassment including threats and negative rumours and 2% had suffered distressing harassment.[6]

A study by Campbell of Year 8 students in Queensland, Australia found 14% had been a victim of cyber-bullying, 11% admitted to bullying, while 25% knew someone who had bullied. Anecdotal evidence suggests that girls are more involved than boys as they are more likely to communicate regularly.

Mossley Hollins High School in Manchester has recently taken the national lead in developing resources and material in the UK for schools and services to use. Will Aitken, coordinator of ICT, recently organised the countries first cyberbullying awareness day (http://www.sec-ed.co.uk/cgi-bin/go.pl/features/article.html?uid=2483) for students and parents.

In September of 2006 abcNews produced a survey done by I-Safe.Org. The Data was based on a 2004 survey of 1,500 students between grades 4-8. The results were as followed:

  • 42 percent of kids have been bullied while online. One in four have had it happen more than once
  • 35 percent of kids have been threatened online. Nearly one in five had had it happen more than once.
  • 21 percent of kids have received mean or threatening e-mails or other messages.
  • 58 percent of kids admit someone has said mean or hurtful things to them online. More than four out of ten say it has happened more than once.
  • 58 percent have not told their parents or an adult about something mean or hurtful that happened to them online.


It has been suggested by the BBC that cyber-bullying may be influenced by videos that are uploaded to video sharing websites online which contain offensive content or examples of acts of bullying. Websites that currently do not filter such videos, such as YouTube and Metacafe, have been asked to take legal action against videos of people being attacked, harassed or ridiculed, in order to reduce cyber-bullying as a result of the influence.[12] Some jurisdictions are currently using the videos posted on YouTube as evidence in later convictions and as a way of monitoring youth.[13]

Further Reading

  • Berson, I. R., Berson, M. J., & Ferron, J. M. (2002). Emerging risks of violence in the digital age: Lessons for educators from an online study of adolescent girls in the United States. Journal of School Violence, 1(2), 51-71.
  • Burgess-Proctor, A., Patchin, J. W., & Hinduja, S. (2008). Cyberbullying and online harassment: Reconceptualizing the victimization of adolescent girls. V. Garcia and J. Clifford [Eds.]. Female crime victims: Reality reconsidered. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. In Print.
  • Keith, S. & Martin, M. E. (2005). Cyber-bullying: Creating a Culture of Respect in a Cyber World. Reclaiming Children & Youth, 13(4), 224-228.
  • Hinduja, S. & Patchin, J. (2007). Cyberbullying: An Exploratory Analysis of Factors Related to Offending and Victimization. Deviant Behavior, 29(2), 1-29.
  • Hinduja, S. & Patchin, J. (2007). Offline Consequences of Online Victimization: School Violence and Delinquency. Journal of School Violence, 6(3), 89-112.
  • Patchin, J. & Hinduja, S. (2006). Bullies Move beyond the Schoolyard: A Preliminary Look at Cyberbullying. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 4(2), 148-169.
  • Tettegah, S. Y. , Betout, D., & Taylor, K. R. (2006). Cyber-bullying and schools in an electronic era. In S. Tettegah & R. Hunter (Eds.) Technology and Education: Issues in administration, policy and appications in k12 school. PP. 17-28. London: Elsevier.
  • Wolak, J. Mitchell, K.J., & Finkelhor, D. (2006). Online victimization of youth: 5 years later. Alexandria, VA: National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Available: http://www.unh.edu/ccrc
  • Ybarra, M. L. & Mitchell, J. K. (2004). Online aggressor/targets, aggressors and targets: A comparison of associated youth characteristics. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 45, 1308-1316.
  • Ybarra ML (2004). Linkages between depressive symptomatology and Internet harassment among young regular Internet users. Cyberpsychol and Behavior. Apr;7(2):247-57.
  • Ybarra ML, Mitchell KJ (2004). Youth engaging in online harassment: associations with caregiver-child relationships, Internet use, and personal characteristics. Journal of Adolescence. Jun;27(3):319-36.

See also


  1. ^ Standler, Ronald B., (2002) Computer Crime
  2. ^ Patchin, J. W. & Hinduja, S. (2006). Bullies move beyond the schoolyard: A preliminary look at cyberbullying Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 4(2), 148-169.
  3. ^ Conservative Women's Organisation :: News Article
  4. ^ FOX 11 Investigates: Cyber Bullies. Fox Television Stations, Inc.. Retrieved on 2008-02-05.
  5. ^ FOX 11 Investigates: 'Anonymous'. Fox Television Stations, Inc.. Retrieved on 2007-08-11.
  6. ^ a b Wolak, J., Mitchell, K.J., & Finkelhor, D. (2006). Online Victimization of Youth: Five Years Later. Alexandria, VA: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
  7. ^ Ybarra, M.L., Mitchell, K.J., Wolak, J., & Finkelhor, D. Examining characteristics and associated distress related to Internet harassment: findings from the Second Youth Internet Safety Survey. Pediatrics. 2006 Oct;118(4):e1169-77
  8. ^ Ybarra, M.L. & Mitchell, K.J. Prevalence and frequency of Internet harassment instigation: implications for adolescent health. J Adolesc Health. 2007 Aug;41(2):189-95
  9. ^ Hinduja, S. & Patchin, J. Cyberbullying: An Exploratory Analysis of Factors Related to Offending and Victimization. Deviant Behavior, 29(2), 1-29.
  10. ^ Patchin, J. W. & Hinduja, S. (2008). Offline Consequences of Online Victimization: School Violence and Delinquency. Journal of School Violence, 6(3), 89-112.
  11. ^ a b National Children's Home. (2005). Putting U in the picture. Mobile Bullying Survey 2005.(pdf)
  12. ^ Goff, Hannah (2007-04-10). Websites urged to act on bullies. BBC News. Retrieved on 2007-04-10.
  13. ^ Driscoll, Matt (2007-03-15). Videotaped brawls on the rise in Muskoka. Headline News. Bracebridge Examiner. Retrieved on 2007-04-17.

External links


To read the course material, go now to:

Working with Young People Who are Bullied: Tips for Mental Health Professionals

The Scope and Impact of Bullying

Bullying Among Children and Youth with Disabilities and Special Needs

Oppositional and Aggressive Behaviors

source: http://stopbullyingnow.hrsa.gov

New windows will open

You will need Adobe Acrobat in order to read this. Please get this free download at:

Adobe Acrobat is certified virus free

The ABCs of Bullying - Addressing, Blocking, and Curbing School Aggression

from http://pathwayscourses.samhsa.gov/bully/bully_intro_pg1.htm

There are several theoretical perspectives that aim to describe why certain kids bully and others are bullied. Not all have received strong empirical support, but are nonetheless found in the research. Some possible explanations include:
How a child reacts to the bullying can often determine how long bullying continues.

1. Maternal-Child Relationship. This theory, which examines a child's early relationship with his/her mother, states that children in preschool and early school years who are sheltered from social interactions are ill equipped for normal interactions later. These children do not know how to handle conflicts that arise. When there is a conflict with a peer, these children exhibit inappropriate behavior that makes them different from their peers. They therefore become targets for bullying and victimization. These children are often timid, lack independent conflict resolution skills, and lack age-appropriate social skills.
2. Victim Hypothesis. This theory posits that bullies are attracted to the demeanor of overly anxious children and youth -- that there is something about that particular child that seems to be more vulnerable than his or her peers.
3. Difference Hypothesis. This attributes bullying victimization to external attributes of the child or youth. This could include obesity, vision impairments, braces, poor motor skills, cerebral palsy, disabilities, learning disabilities, sexual orientation, etc.
4. Social Identity Theory. A person's social identity is shaped by the school environment (including peers) and his or her interactions with it. If identification with the school is strong, then the school becomes a positive reference group for the student. For some bullies, evidence shows that the school community may not be so positive. As a student drifts towards a delinquent identity, the school environment becomes a negative reference.
5. Reintegrative Shaming Theory. At some level, many bullies feel shame for their behavior (though they may not consciously recognize it). Feeling shame can act as a barrier to positive identification with a school. Youth learn either adaptive or maladaptive shame management as they age. Youth who can recognize their wrongful behavior, take responsibility, and make amends can let go of the shame. For those students who do not know how to do this, their shame can be turned into anger, therefore pulling them away from their peers and a positive identification with the school.

Yet not all children who fit into one of the above categories falls prey to bullying. How a child reacts to the bullying can often determine how long bullying continues. Children with good coping skills, as well as those able to use a sense of humor, are less likely to become continued targets of bullies.

Clinicians can consider the above theoretical perspectives as they examine bullying in the context of the increasing importance of the peer group during late elementary and middle school. Early adolescents, seeking autonomy from their parents, turn to their peers to discuss problems, feelings, fears, and doubts. However, this reliance on peers exists concurrently with the need for status. It is during this time that peer groups become distinct, and issues of acceptance and popularity become highly important.


Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a behavioral approach that has been used in treating a variety of anxiety disorders and mood disorders in adults as well as in children and adolescents. CBT has been found to be most effective with mild depression and anxiety disorders such as social phobia. The CBT approach asks a person to examine his or her thought process, which then leads to reflection on emotions and feelings. This approach is based on the theory that thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes determine emotion and behavior.

CBT involves teaching youth about the thought-emotion-behavior link and working with them to modify their thinking patterns. This will lead to better, more adaptive behavior, especially in stressful situations. Many children have not been taught adequate coping skills. They have internalized negative thoughts about their self-worth. Using CBT, the therapist works to identify the underlying thinking that is causing unwanted or painful feelings. The therapist then helps the child replace this distorted thinking with thoughts that enable healthier and more appropriate behavior.

CBT is helpful to use when working with children who have been involved in bullying or any other victimization because many suffer from anxiety and/or depression. In practice, the mental health professional can work with the child to teach him or her to recognize the way they talk to themselves before and/or after an incident. Thoughts affect how a child will feel, which then will determine ways a child will act. In a bullying situation, a child who is bullied may be telling him/herself, "I am not good enough to be treated well" or "My feelings are not as important as others are." These thoughts can often lead to lower self-esteem and depression.

If that child can learn to change their self-talk, then they can learn positive ways to address the bullying while raising their self-esteem. Even aside from the context of bullying, research shows that depression is increasing among children, and children are being affected by depression at an earlier age. Almost 20 percent of adolescents may experience at least one episode of depression by the time they reach 18. Adolescents in particular may have a multitude of symptoms, including depression, suicidality, impulsivity, and behavior problems.

Multisystemic Therapy

Multisystemic therapy (MST) is a mental health service that focuses on changing how youth function in their environment (e.g., home, school, and community). MST works very well with problem behaviors such as conduct disorder, substance abuse, severe depression, suicidality, and delinquency. This is a very intense approach that calls for monetary resources to implement. Although it has not been tested for bullying, it has been found to be effective for serious conduct disorders.

MST is designed to promote positive social behavior while decreasing problematic behavior. The therapist focuses on identifying family strengths to improve parenting skills and support networks. MST is part of larger family therapy techniques that involve the entire family in the therapeutic process, including grandparents, caregivers, and siblings.

Play Therapy

Play therapy is ideal for younger children and those who are unable to verbalize their feelings and thoughts. Play therapy also can give older children and adolescents the freedom to express themselves in a way other than talking. This approach involves the use of toys, blocks, dolls, puppets, drawings, and games. There are many toys appropriate for play therapy, and individual therapists often choose toys based on themes. Most young children under the age of 9 or 10 cannot use words effectively to express their feelings and haven't yet mastered abstract thought. Playing comes naturally for children and allows them to demonstrate their feelings through the manipulation of the available toys.

The therapist's role is to observe the child and the nature of the child's play. He or she can examine how the child uses materials and identifies themes or patterns to understand the child's problem. Children have better receptive language skills than expressive language skills. In other words, they are able to understand ideas and concepts better than they are able to express them. Play therapy not only allows children to express themselves through play, but allows the therapist to verbally express observations and communicate ideas to the child.

There are different approaches to play therapy. Each approach differs in defining the role of the counselor and the way the counselor interacts with children and their parents. Some therapists adhere to one approach for all of their clients. Many others use an eclectic approach depending on their own personal beliefs and the population they work with. Play therapy relationships differ from other modalities. In the Adlerian approach, the counselor's job is to observe the child in the room, understand how the child's environment is brought into play, and articulate that understanding to the child.

Client-Centered (Nondirective) Play Therapy

In nondirective play therapy, the child directs the play with no interpretive input from the counselor. Influenced by Carl Rogers and Virginia Axline years ago and researched significantly by Garry Landreth, this client-centered approach follows several rules:

* The therapist must develop a warm, friendly relationship with the child as soon as possible.
* The child is accepted exactly as he or she is.
* The therapist establishes a climate of permissiveness so that the child feels free to express his or her feelings completely.
* The therapist remains alert to the child's feelings and reflects them back to the child to encourage insight into his or her behavior.
* The child, not the therapist, has responsibility for making choices and for change.
* The therapist does not direct the conversation or play in any manner.
* The therapist establishes those limits only as necessary for safety and to make the child aware of his or her responsibility in the relationship.

In general, this approach aims to empower the child to gain self-awareness, decisionmaking skills, and acceptance of self. What the child believes about himself or herself is more important than what the child knows, for it is this self-perception that drives the behaviors and emotions.

Three distinct categories of toys are used (similar to the Adlerian approach, which uses five categories). These include:

* Real-life toys
* Acting-out, aggression-release toys
* Toys for creative expression and emotional release

Play Therapy (Counseling) in a School Setting

Play counseling stems from the broader play therapy field, but has been adjusted to reflect school counselor's needs for a short-term intervention that is consistent with the school's education-related goals. Play counseling is similar to play therapy in that the use of games, toys, and other creative materials is used to encourage a student to overcome obstacles. This approach is very helpful to children who have a hard time verbalizing frustration and/or anger. Toys allow a child who bullies to act out his or her feelings in a safe environment. Children who are bullied also are given the chance to express their feelings in a way that does not further victimize them. A counselor could use this approach to:

* Communicate with students
* Help students build a wider range of skills
* Improve peer relationships to prevent bullying, school violence, and other serious problems
* Improve students' adjustment to school and the classroom
* Address the needs of at-risk students
* Try to remove the emotional and behavioral obstacles to learning

Play counseling is especially appropriate for students younger than 12, when a child becomes more able to use cognitive and abstract reasoning. Younger children tend to process information and develop their skills through the use of play. Older students can still appreciate play counseling by using board games, art, sand trays, and creative ways to tell their life stories (i.e., bibliotherapy -- therapy by means of having a child write their life story).

Using play counseling in a school setting usually requires getting parental approval or at least notifying parents as to the approach being used. The interventions are usually short term, lasting between 6 to 8 weeks at 30-45 minutes each. All sessions remain confidential, just as with any other therapy session. Play counseling offers an alternative to those students who may resist formal therapy, or those who are withdrawn, isolated, oppositional, or defensive. Research has shown that children learn best in hands-on, activity-based situations.

Schools that actively encourage the use of play counseling by their school counselors usually do so with a team approach so that the teachers and parents also follow a child's progress and learn ways to encourage new skills and behaviors.


Children Who Bully

Many children engage in bullying everyday. Although each child is different, those who bully other young people do share some common characteristics. Here are some things to look for:

Common Characteristics of Children Who Bully

* Impulsive, hot-headed, dominant;
* Easily frustrated;
* Lack empathy;
* Have difficulty following rules; and
* View violence in a positive way.
* Boys who bully tend to be physically stronger than other children.

There is no single cause of bullying among children. A host of different factors can place a child at risk for bullying his or her peers. However, it has been found that children who bully are more likely than their non-bullying peers to come from homes with certain characteristics.

Family Risk Factors for Bullying

* A lack of warmth and involvement on the part of parents;
* Overly permissive parenting (including a lack of limits for children's behavior);
* A lack of supervision by parents;
* Harsh, physical discipline; and
* Bullying incidences at home.

Bullying and Other Violent and/or Antisocial Behaviors
Research shows that bullying can be a sign of other serious antisocial and/or violent behavior. Children who frequently bully their peers are more likely than others to:

* Get into frequent fights;
* Be injured in a fight;
* Vandalize or steal property;
* Drink alcohol;
* Smoke;
* Be truant from school;
* Drop out of school; and
* Carry a weapon

Helping a Youth Who Bullies Others

When evaluating a child or adolescent who has been bullying others, it is helpful to understand the context in which the child or adolescent acted. It is also important to screen children who bully for ADHD, depression, suicidality, bipolar disorder, child maltreatment, and substance abuse disorders. Ask the child or adolescent about exposure to violence in his/her home, neighborhood, and school, and through the media.

Talk to family members whenever possible, in order to assess family functioning and any parental symptoms and distress (e.g., substance/alcohol abuse problems, mood disorders, and/or marital conflict). If parents are having difficulties, encourage them to seek outside support (e.g., from relatives, parent support groups, faith-based communities, mental health services) and make appropriate referrals.

A useful first step in addressing bullying is to provide guidance to parents or other caregivers:

* Discuss the seriousness of bullying behavior.
* Help parents or caregivers to develop reasonable expectations for their child or adolescent.
* Educate them about the negative effects of physical punishment.
* Help them to develop strategies to set limits, to monitor and closely supervise their child's behavior, and to effectively discipline their child or adolescent.
* Encourage parents and other caregivers to communicate and collaborate with staff at their school in order to develop a consistent approach to their child's bullying behavior.

When the bullying problem is severe, a combined intervention with both the child or adolescent and the family may be required, addressing the child's or adolescent's functioning in the areas of family life, relationship with peers, and school. Primary care health professionals need to determine when mental health referrals for the child or adolescent and/or the family are appropriate and when social service and/or legal agencies should be involved.

For more information, see:

Oppositional and Aggressive Behaviors - Bright Futures in Practice: Mental Health (2002) - Maternal and Child Health Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Provides suggestions for assessment and intervention by primary care health professionals, as well as guidelines for referral.



Children Who Bully Also Have Problems With Other Relationships

ScienceDaily (Mar. 26, 2008) — Students who bully others tend to have difficulties with other relationships, such as those with friends and parents. Targeting those relationships, as well as the problems children who bully have with aggression and morality, may offer ideas for intervention and prevention.

Those are the findings of a new study that was conducted by scientists at York University and Queens University. The researchers looked at 871 students (466 girls and 405 boys) for seven years from ages 10 to 18. Each year, they asked the children questions about their involvement in bullying or victimizing behavior, their relationships, and other positive and negative behaviors.

Bullying is a behavior that most children engage in at some point during their school years, according to the study. Almost a tenth (9.9 percent) of the students said they engaged in consistently high levels of bullying from elementary through high school. Some 13.4 percent said they bullied at relatively high levels in elementary school but dropped to almost no bullying by the end of high school. Some 35.1 percent of the children said they bullied peers at moderate levels. And 41.6 percent almost never reported bullying across the adolescent years.

The study also found that children who bullied tended to be aggressive and lacking in a moral compass and they experienced a lot of conflict in their relationships with their parents. In addition, their relationships with friends also were marked by a lot of conflict, and they tended to associate with others who bullied.

The findings provide clear direction for prevention of persistent bullying problems, according to Debra Pepler, Distinguished Research Professor of Psychology at York University and Senior Associate Scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children. Pepler, who is the study's lead author, calls bullying "a relationship problem."

"Interventions must focus on the children who bully, with attention to their aggressive behavior problems, social skills, and social problem-solving skills. A focus on the child alone is not sufficient. Bullying is a relationship problem that requires relationship solutions by focusing on the bullying children's strained relationships with parents and risky relationships with peers," according to Pepler. "By providing intensive and ongoing support starting in the elementary school years to this small group of youth who persistently bully, it may be possible to promote healthy relationships and prevent their 'career path' of bullying that leads to numerous social-emotional and relationship problems in adolescence and adulthood."

Summarized from Child Development, Vol. 79, Issue 2, Developing Trajectories of Bullying and Associated Factors by Pepler, D, Jiang, D (York University), Craig, W (Queens University), and Connolly, J (York University).

Adapted from materials provided by Society for Research in Child Development, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

Society for Research in Child Development (2008, March 26). Children Who Bully Also Have Problems With Other Relationships. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2008, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2008/03/080325083300.htm

Providing Support for Children who are Bullied

There are many signs that a child is being bullied. Some signs to look for:

* The child comes home with torn, damaged, or missing pieces of clothing, books or other belongings;
* The child has unexplained bruises, cuts or scratches;
* The child seems afraid of going to school, walking to and from school, riding the school bus or taking part in organized activities with peers;
* The child appears sad, moody, teary or depressed when he or she comes home;
* The child frequently appears anxious and/or suffers from low self-esteem.

If you suspect your child is being bullied, remember to support your child, inform others and take action.

* First, focus on your child. Be supportive and gather information about the bullying. Tell your child you are concerned about him or her and ask questions.
* Contact your child's teacher and/or principal. He or she will probably be in the best position to understand the relationships between your child and other peers at school. Ask the teacher to talk to other adults who interact with your child at school to see if they have observed students bullying your child.
* If you know your child is being bullied, take quick action. There is nothing worse than doing nothing, and bullying can have serious effects.

If, after talking with your child and staff at his or her school, you don't believe your child is being bullied, be alert to other possible problems your child may be having. Share your concerns with a counselor at your child's school.

.What Works - and Doesn't Work - in Bullying Prevention and Intervention (Copyright © NASBE) (PDF - 131 KB) – This publication defines bullying behavior, lists common mistakes in bullying prevention and intervention, and describes what works.

To read the course material, go now to:

What Works - and Doesn't Work - in Bullying Prevention and Intervention
(Copyright © NASBE) – This publication defines bullying behavior, lists common mistakes in bullying prevention and intervention, and describes what works.


A new window will open

You will need Adobe Acrobat in order to read this. Please get this free download at:

Adobe Acrobat is certified virus free

A review of bullying prevention programs and feedback from educators in the field led us to suggest 10 strategies that represent "best practice" in bullying prevention and intervention.

1. Focus on the social environment of the school. In order to reduce bullying, it is important to change the social climate of the school and the social norms with regards to bullying. This requires the efforts of everyone in the school environment—teachers, administrators, counselors school nurses other non-teaching staff (such as bus drivers, custodians, cafeteria workers, and/or school librarians), parents, and students.

2. Assess bullying at your school. Adults are not always very good at estimating the nature and prevalence of bullying at their school. As a result, it can be quite useful to administer an anonymous questionnaire to students about bullying. A number of bullying prevention programs listed in the Resource Kit include these measures.

3. Obtain staff and parent buy-in and support for bullying prevention. Bullying prevention should not be the sole responsibility of any single individual at a school. To be most effective, bullying prevention efforts require buy-in from the majority of the staff and from parents. However, bullying prevention efforts should still begin even if immediate buy-in from all isn't achievable. Usually, more and more supporters will join the effort once they see what it's accomplishing.

4. Form a group to coordinate the school's bullying prevention activities. Bullying prevention efforts seem to work best if they are coordinated by a representative group from the school. This coordinating team might include:

an administrator,
a teacher from each grade,
a member of the non-teaching staff,
a school counselor or other school-based mental health professional, and
a parent.

The team should meet regularly to review findings from the school's survey; plan specific bullying prevention activities; motivate staff, students, and parents; and ensure that the efforts continue over time.

5. Provide training for school staff in bullying prevention. All administrators, faculty and staff at a school should be trained in bullying prevention and intervention. In-service training can help staff members to better understand the nature of bullying and its effects, how to respond if they observe bullying, and how to work with others at the school to help prevent bullying.

6. Establish and enforce school rules and policies related to bullying. Developing simple, clear rules about bullying can help to ensure that students are aware of adults' expectations that they not bully others and that they help students who are bullied. School rules and policies should be posted and discussed with students and parents. Appropriate positive and negative consequences should be developed.

7. Increase adult supervision in "hot spots" for bullying. Bullying tends to thrive in locations where adults are not present or are not watchful. Adults should look for creative ways to increase adult presence in locations that students identify as "hot spots."

8. Intervene consistently and appropriately when you see bullying. Observed or suspected bullying should never be ignored by adults. All school staff should learn effective strategies to intervene on-the-spot to stop bullying. Staff members also should be designated to hold sensitive follow-up meetings with students who are bullied and (separately) with students who bully. Staff members should involve parents whenever possible.

9. Devote some class time to bullying prevention. Students can benefit if teachers set aside a regular period of time (e.g., 20–30 minutes each week or every other week) to discuss bullying and improving peer relations. These meetings can help teachers to keep their fingers on the pulse of students' concerns, allow time for discussions about bullying and the harms that it can cause, and provide tools for students to address bullying problems. Anti-bullying messages also can be incorporated throughout the school curriculum.

10. Continue these efforts. There should be no "end date" for bullying prevention activities. Bullying prevention should be continued over time and woven into the fabric of the school environment.

*This information is based, in part on: Limber, S. P. (2004, Winter). What works—and doesn't work-in bullying prevention and intervention. Student Assistance Journal. 16–19.


  • Can Adults be Bullied?

    Workplace bullying

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Workplace bullying, like childhood bullying, is the tendency of individuals or groups to use persistent aggressive or unreasonable behavior against a co-worker. Workplace bullying can include such tactics as verbal, nonverbal, and even physical abuse. This type of aggression is particularly difficult because unlike the typical forms of schoolyard bullying, workplace bullies often operate within the established rules and policies of their organization and their society. Bullying in the workplace therefore takes a wide variety of forms, from being rude or belligerent, to screaming or cursing, destruction of property or work product, social ostracism, and even physical assault. According to Tracy, Lutgen-Sandvik, and Alberts[1], researchers associated with the Project for Wellness and Work-Life workplace bullying is most often "a combination of tactics in which numerous types of hostile communication and behavior are used" (p. 152).

    Gary and Ruth Namie define workplace bullying as "repeated, health-harming mistreatment, verbal abuse, or conduct which is threatening, humiliating, intimidating, or sabotage that interferes with work or some combination of the three.".[2]. Pamela Lutgen-Sandvik[3] expands this definition, stating that workplace bullying is "persistent verbal and nonverbal aggression at work, that includes personal attacks, social ostracism, and a multitude of other painful messages and hostile interactions."

    Workplace bullying is also referred to as mobbing, although mobbing can also mean any bullying by more than one person. Other synonyms include "emotional abuse" at work, "social undermining, and general workplace abuse. According to Pamela Lutgin-Sandvik[4], the lack of unifying language to name the phenomenon of workplace bullying is a problem because without a unifying term or phrase, individuals have difficulty naming their experiences of abuse, and therefore have trouble pursuing justice against the bully. Unlike the term "sexual harassment," which named a specific problem and is now recognized in U.S. law (and many international laws), workplace bullying is still being established as a relevant social problem and is in need of a specific vernacular.


    Statistics[5] from the Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention show that one in three employees personally experiences bullying at some point in their working lives. At any given time, 1 out of every 10 employees is a target of workplace bullying. Nearly half of all American workers (49%) have been affected by workplace bullying, either being a target themselves or having witnessed abusive behavior against a co-worker.

    Although socio-economic factors may play a role in the abuse, researchers from the Project for Wellness and Work-Life[1] suggest that "workplace bullying, by definition, is not explicitly connected to demographic markers such as sex and ethnicity" (p. 151). Because one out of ten employees experiences workplace bullying, the prevalence of this issue is cause for great concern, even as initial data about this issue are reviewed.

    In terms of gender, the Workplace Bullying Institute (2007) states that women appear to be at greater risk of becoming a bullying target, as 57% of those who reported being targeting for abuse were women. Men are more likely to participate in aggressive bullying behavior (60%), however if the bully is a woman, her target is more likely to be a woman as well (71%).

    Race also may play a role in the experience of workplace bullying. According to the Workplace Bullying Institute (2007), "the comparison of combined bullying (current + ever bullied) prevalence percentages reveals the pattern from most to least: Hispanics (52.1%), African-Americans (46%), Whites (33.5%) and Asian-Americans (30.6%). The reported rates of witnessing bullying were African-Americans (21.1%), Hispanics (14%), Whites (10.8%), and Asian-Americans (8.5%). The percentages of those claiming to have neither experienced nor witnessed mistreatment were among Asian-Americans (57.3%), Whites (49.7%), Hispanics (32.2%) and African-Americans (23.4%)."

    Health effects of bullying

    According to Gary and Ruth Namie, as well as Tracy, et al.[6], workplace bullying can harm the health of the targets of bullying. Organizations are beginning to take note of workplace bullying because of the costs to the organization in terms of the health of their employees.

    According to scholars at the Project for Wellness and Work-Life at Arizona State University, "workplace bullying is linked to a host of physical, psychological, organizational, and social costs." Stress is the most predominant health affect associated with bullying in the workplace. Research indicates that workplace stress has significant negative effects that are correlated to poor mental health and poor physical health, resulting in an increase in the use of "sick days" or time off from work (Farrell & Geist-Martin, 2005).

    In addition, co-workers who witness workplace bullying can also have negative effects, such as fear, stress, and emotional exhaustion[3]. Those who witness repetitive workplace abuse often choose to leave the place of employment where the abuse took place. Workplace bullying can also hinder the organizational dynamics such as group cohesion, peer communication, and overall performance.

    Financial cost of bullying to a company

    In a report by the International Labour Organization of Geneva,[7] they highlight three interesting facts about the financial cost of bullying in the work place:

    • According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety Health (NIOSH) mental illness among the workforce leads to a loss in employment amounting to $19 billion and a drop in productivity of $3 billion (Sauter, et al., 1990).
    • Leymann (1990) estimated the cost of bullying for the organisation to account for approximately $30,000-100,000 per year for each individual subjected to bullying.
    • A recent Finnish study of more than 5,000 hospital staff found that those who had been bullied had 26% more certified sickness absence than those who were not bullied, when figures were adjusted for base-line measures one year prior to the survey (Kivimaki et al, 2000). According to the researchers these figures are probably an underestimation as many of the targets are likely to have been bullied already at the time the base-line measures were obtained.

    Research by Dr Dan Dana has shown organizations suffer a large financial cost by not accurately managing conflict and bullying type behaviors. He has developed a tool to assist with calculating the cost of conflict.[8] In addition, researcher Tamara Parris discusses how employers need to be more attentive in managing various discordant behaviors in the workplace, such as, bullying, as it not only creates a financial cost to the organization, but also erodes the companies human resources assets. [9]

    Types of workplace bullying

    Tim Field suggested that workplace bullying takes these forms[10]:

    • Pressure bullying or unwitting bullying
    • Organizational bullying
    • Corporate bullying
    • Institutional bullying
    • Client bullying
    • Restroom bullying
    • Serial bullying
    • Secondary bullying
    • Pair bullying
    • Characterization bullying (e.g. Pokémon Characterization)
    • Gang/group bullying, also called mobbing
    • Vicarious bullying
    • Regulation bullying
    • Residual bullying
    • Cyber bullying

    Workplace bullying tactics

    Research by the Workplace Bullying Institute, see ,[11] suggests that the following are the most common 25 tactics used by workplace bullies.

    1. Falsely accused someone of "errors" not actually made (71 percent).
    2. Stared, glared, was nonverbally intimidating and was clearly showing hostility (68 percent).
    3. Discounted the person's thoughts or feelings ("oh, that's silly") in meetings (64 percent).
    4. Used the "silent treatment" to "ice out" and separate from others (64 percent).
    5. Exhibited presumably uncontrollable mood swings in front of the group (61 percent).
    6. Made up own rules on the fly that even she/he did not follow (61 percent).
    7. Disregarded satisfactory or exemplary quality of completed work despite evidence (58 percent).
    8. Harshly and constantly criticized having a different standard for the target (57 percent).
    9. Started, or failed to stop, destructive rumors or gossip about the person (56 percent).
    10. Encouraged people to turn against the person being tormented (55 percent).
    11. Singled out and isolated one person from coworkers, either socially or physically (54 percent).
    12. Publicly displayed gross, undignified, but not illegal, behavior (53 percent).
    13. Yelled, screamed, threw tantrums in front of others to humiliate a person (53 percent).
    14. Stole credit for work done by others (47 percent).
    15. Abused the evaluation process by lying about the person's performance (46 percent).
    16. Declared target "insubordinate" for failing to follow arbitrary commands (46 percent).
    17. Used confidential information about a person to humiliate privately or publicly (45 percent).
    18. Retaliated against the person after a complaint was filed (45 percent).
    19. Made verbal put-downs/insults based on gender, race, accent or language, disability (44 percent).
    20. Assigned undesirable work as punishment (44 percent).
    21. Created unrealistic demands (workload, deadlines, duties) for person singled out (44 percent).
    22. Launched a baseless campaign to oust the person; effort not stopped by the employer (43 percent).
    23. Encouraged the person to quit or transfer rather than to face more mistreatment (43 percent).
    24. Sabotaged the person's contribution to a team goal and reward (41 percent).
    25. Ensured failure of person's project by not performing required tasks, such as sign-offs, taking calls, working with collaborators (40 percent)

    Bullying and personality disorders

    In 2005, psychologists Belinda Board and Katarina Fritzon at the University of Surrey, UK, interviewed and gave personality tests to high-level British executives and compared their profiles with those of criminal psychiatric patients at Broadmoor Hospital in the UK. They found that three out of eleven personality disorders were actually more common in managers than in the disturbed criminals, they were:

    They described the business people as successful psychopaths and the criminals as unsuccessful psychopaths. [12]

    Robert Hare and Paul Babiak discuss psychopathy and workplace bullying thus[13]:

    “Bullies react aggressively in response to provocation or perceived insults or slights. It is unclear whether their acts of bullying give them pleasure or are just the most effective way they have learned to get what they want from others. Similar to manipulators, however, psychopathic bullies do not feel remorse, guilt or empathy. They lack insight into their own behaviour, and seem unwilling or unable to moderate it, even when it is to their own advantage. Not being able to understand the harm they do to themselves (let alone their victims), psychopathic bullies are particularly dangerous.”
    “Of course, not all bullies are psychopathic, though this may be of little concern to their victims. Bullies come in many psychological and physical sizes and shapes. In many cases, “garden variety” bullies have deep seated psychological problems, including feelings of inferiority or inadequacy and difficulty in relating to others. Some may simply have learned at an early stage that their size, strength, or verbal talent was the only effective tool they had for social behaviour. Some of these individuals may be context-specific bullies, behaving badly at work but more or less normally in other contexts. But the psychopathic bully is what he is: a callous, vindictive, controlling individual with little or no empathy or concern for the rights and feelings of the victim, no matter what the context.”

    In 2007, researchers Catherine Mattice and Brian Spitzberg at San Diego State University, USA, also found a strong relationship between narcissism and the motivation to bully, and further discovered narcissism to be unrelated to aggressive forms of bullying (e.g., threatening violence, making false accusations), but related to more indirect, or passive, forms of bullying (e.g., ignoring, micromanaging) (Mattice & Spitzberg, 2007).

    Workplace bullying and the law


    Each state has its own legislation.

    In Queensland there is no law against workplace bullying although anti-discrimination and stalking laws could be used to prosecute if appropriate.

    In Victoria, legislation comes from Worksafe Victoria. if bullying endangers a worker's health causing stress or any other physical harm, a corporation can be found liable for not providing a safe place for their employees to work.[14]


    The Canadian Province of Quebec introduced legislation addressing workplace bullying on 1 June 2004. In its Act representing Labour Standards "psychological harassment" is prohibited. The Commission des normes du travail is the organization responsible for the application of this act.[15]

    Under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act 1979, "all employers must take every precautions reasonable in the circumstances to protect the health and safety of their workers in the workplace. This includes protecting them against the risk of workplace violence "[16]. The Act requires establishment of Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committees for larger employers.

    Under the act, workplace violence is defined as "...the attempted or actual exercise of any intentional physical force that causes or may cause physical injury to a worker. It also includes any threats which give a worker reasonable grounds to believe he or she is at risk of physical injury"[17][16]. Currently, as the Act is written, the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act does not specifically cover the issue of psychological harassment [16].

    On Dec 13, 2007 MPP Andrea Horwath introduced for first reading a new Bill, Bill-29, to make an amendment to the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act. This Bill-29 is proposing "to protect workers from harassment and violence in the workplace" and will include protection from psychological abuse and bullying behaviors in the workplace in Ontario. [18]

    The Canadian Province of Saskatchewan made workplace bullying illegal in 2007 by passing The Occupational Health and Safety (Harassment Prevention) Amendment Act, 2007. The act broadened the definition of harassment, as defined in the The Occupational Health and Safety Act 1993, to include psychological harassment.[19]


    In Ireland, there is a Code of Practice for employers and employees on the prevention and resolution of bullying at work.[20] The Code notes the provision in the Safety, Health and Welfare Act 2005 requiring employers to manage work activities to prevent improper conduct or behaviour at work. The Code of Practice provides both employer and employee with the means and the machinery to identify and to stamp out bullying in the workplace in a way which benefits all sides.


    Workplace bullying in Sweden is covered by the Ordinance of the Swedish National Board of Occupational Safety and Health containing Provisions on measures against Victimization at Work, which defines victimisation as "...recurrent reprehensible or distinctly negative actions which are directed against individual employees in an offensive manner and can result in those employees being placed outside the workplace community."[21]

    The act places the onus on employers to plan and organise work so as to prevent victimisation and to make it clear to employees that victimisation is not acceptable. The employer is also responsible for the early detection of signs of victimisation, prompt counter measures to deal with victimisation and making support available to employees who have been targeted.

    United Kingdom

    In the United Kingdom, although bullying is not specifically mentioned in workplace legislation, there are means to obtain legal redress for bullying. The Protection from Harassment Act 1997[22] is a recent addition to the more traditional approaches using employment-only legislation. Notable cases include Majrowski v Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Trust wherein it was held that an employer is vicariously liable for one employee's harassment of another, and Green v DB Group Services (UK) Ltd, where a bullied worker was awarded over £800,000 in damages. In the latter case, at paragraph 99, the judge Mr Justice Owen said:

    "...I am satisfied that the behaviour amounted to a deliberate and concerted campaign of bullying within the ordinary meaning of that term."

    Bullying behaviour breaches other UK laws. An implied term of every employment contract in the UK is that parties to the contract have a (legal) duty of trust and confidence to each other. Bullying, or an employer tolerating bullying, typically breaches that contractual term. Such a breach creates circumstances entitling an employee to terminate his or her contract of employment without notice, which can lead to a finding by an Employment Tribunal of unfair dismissal, colloquially called constructive dismissal. An employee bullied in response to asserting a statutory right can be compensated for the detriment under Part V of the Employment Rights Act 1996, and if dismissed, Part X of the same Act provides that the dismissal is automatically unfair. Where a person is bullied on grounds of sex, race or disability et al, it is outlawed under anti-discrimination laws.

    It was argued, following the obiter comments of Lord Hoffman in Johnson v. Unisys in March 2001,[23][24] that claims could be made before an Employment Tribunal for injury to feelings arising from unfair dismissal. It was re-established that this was not what the law provided, in Dunnachie v Kingston upon Hull City Council, July 2004 [25] wherein the Lords confirmed that the position established in Norton Tool v Tewson in 1972, that compensation for unfair dismissal was limited to financial loss alone. Unfair dismissal compensation is subject to a statutory cap set at £60600 from Feb 2006. Discriminatory dismissal continues to attract compensation for injury to feelings and financial loss, and there is no statutory cap.

    United States

    In the United States, comprehensive workplace bullying legislation has yet to be passed by the federal government or by any U.S. state government, but since 2003, many state legislatures have considered bills.[26] As of October 2007, 13 U.S. states have proposed legislation; these are:[27]

    • New Jersey (2007)
    • Washington (2007, 2005)
    • New York (2006)
    • Vermont (2007)
    • Oregon (2007, 2005)
    • Montana (2007)
    • Connecticut (2007)
    • Hawaii (2007, 2006, 2005, 2004)
    • Oklahoma (2007, 2004)
    • Kansas (2006)
    • Missouri (2006)
    • Massachusetts (2005)
    • California (2003)

    These workplace bullying bills have typically allowed employees to sue their employers for creating an "abusive work environment," and most have been supported by the notion that laws against workplace bullying are necessary to protect public health.

    Although most U.S. states operate under the 19th Century doctrine of at-will employment (which, in theory, allows an employer to fire an employee for any reason or no reason), American workers have gained significant legal leverage through discrimination and harassment laws, workplace safety laws, union-protection laws. etc., such that it would be illegal under federal and the laws of most states to fire employees for a whole host of reasons. These employment laws typically forbid retaliation for good faith complaints or exercising legal rights, such as organizing a union. Discrimination and harassment laws enable employees to sue for creating a "hostile work environment," which can include bullying, but the bullying/hostility must be tied in some way to a characteristic protected under the discrimination/harassment law, such as race, sex, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, etc.


    1. ^ a b Tracy, Lutgen-Sandvik, and AlbertsNightmares, Demons and Slaves, Exploring the Painful Metaphors of Workplace Bullying, 2006
    2. ^ Namie, Gary and Ruth Workplace Bullying Institute Brochure
    3. ^ a b Lutgen-Sandvik, Pamela Take This Job and . . . : Quitting and Other Forms of Resistance to Workplace Bullying
    4. ^ Lutgin-Sandvik, Pamela, The Communicative Cycle of Employee Emotional Abuse, 2003
    5. ^ Bully Busters Workplace Bullying Defined
    6. ^ Namie, Gary and Ruth The WBI 2003 Report on Abusive Workplaces
    7. ^ http://oldweb.unicz.it/lavoro/ILOCOST.pdf
    8. ^ Dan Dana
    9. ^ Hugh Downs School of Human Communication
    10. ^ Field, Tim, Bullying: what is it?
    11. ^ Workplace Bullying Institute Harper Collins, 2006
    12. ^ Board, B.J. & Fritzon, Katarina, F. (2005). Disordered personalities at work. Psychology, Crime and Law, 11, 17-32
    13. ^ Hare, Robert and Babiak, Paul, Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work Harper Collins, 2006
    14. ^ Worksafe, Victorian Workcover Authority
    15. ^ Commission des normes du travail
    16. ^ a b c Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act 1979 Ministry of Labor, Ontario, Canada
    17. ^ Workplace Violence Ministry of Labor, Ontario, Canada
    18. ^ Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Canada
    19. ^ The Occupational Health and Safety (Harassment Prevention) Amendment Act, 2007 in Saskatchewan
    20. ^ Republic of Ireland - 2007 Code of Practice for Employers and Employees on the Prevention and Resolution of Bullying at Work
    21. ^ Ordinance of the Swedish National Board of Occupational Safety and Health containing Provisions on measures against Victimization at Work AFS 1993:17 Official English translation
    22. ^ Protection from Harassment Act 1997
    23. ^ Judgments - Johnson (A.P.) v. Unisys Limited, Uk Parliament - Publications
    24. ^ Johnson v Unisys Ltd [2001 IRLR 279 House of Lords], Case Summaries, Equal Opportunities Commission, UK
    25. ^ Dunnachie v Kingston upon Hull City Council 2004
    26. ^ Said, Caroline (2007-01-21). Bullying bosses could be busted: Movement against worst workplace abusers gains momentum with proposed laws. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved on 2007-10-19.
    27. ^ Workplace Bullying Institute

    See also

    External links

    All material included in this course is either in the public domain, or used with express permission.

    APA Ethics

    We do adhere to the American Psychological Association's Ethical Principles of Psychologists. Our courses are carefully screened by the Planning Committee to adhere to APA standards. We also require authors who compose Internet courses specifically for us follow APA ethical standards.

    Many of our courses contain case material, and may use the methods of qualitative research and analysis, in-depth interviews and ethnographic studies. The psychotherapeutic techniques depicted may include play therapy, sandplay therapy, dream analysis, drawing analysis, client and therapist self-report, etc. The materials presented may be considered non-traditional and may be controversial, and may not have widespread endorsement within the profession. www.psychceu.com maintains responsibility for the program and its content.

    Thank you!


    To take the post-test, please return to


    e-mail us!

    Frequently Asked Questions


    © 2023. www.psychceu.com. all rights reserved