Bullying, Peer and Sibling

  • young person with head down

As noted by Olweus (2001), “a student is being bullied or victimized when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more students."  There are a wide range of behaviors consistent with bullying, including physical, verbal, and relational manifestations.

  • Approximately 30% of youth in the United States report moderate or frequent involvement in bullying in some capacity (Nansel et al., 2001).
  • Boys are more likely to be involved in physical bullying (such as hitting  whereas girls are more likely to be involved in relational bullying (such as social exclusion).
  • Bullies are more likely to have behavioral, emotional, or learning problems than their peers, and to have parents who use physical discipline
  • Victims of bullying experience higher rates of loneliness, depression, school avoidance, and suicidal ideation than their peers.
  • Youth involved in bullying in any capacity tend to have higher rates of victimization in the home and community than their peers (Holt, Finkelhor, & Kaufman Kantor, 2007).

Olweus, D. (2001). Peer harassment: A critical analysis and some important issues. In J. Juvonen & S. Graham (Eds.), Peer harassment in schools: The plight of the vulnerable and the victimized. New York: The Guilford Press.

National Study Finds That Bystanders Support Victims of Harassment and Bullying More Often Than Commonly Thought

This paper reports on a CCRC study that found that in contrast to previous studies, youth victims of in-person and online harassment and bullying report that in most cases, bystanders tried to help them. Bystanders are present for the majority of harassment incidents (80%). In about 70% of these cases, victims report that a bystander tried to make them feel better. Negative bystander reactions, though considerably less frequent, still occurred in nearly a quarter of incidents and were associated with a significantly higher negative impact on the victim.