About Ken Rigby

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About Professor Ken Rigby

Born in Lancashire, England, Ken emigrated with his wife, Jean, in 1959 to Australia where he became naturalised. Since then he has helped to populate that country to the tune of 4 children, 14 grandchildren and (to date) 1 great grandson. In 1961 playing cricket for Circular Head in Tasmania he took 9 wickets for 9 runs; in 1962 he scored 49 not out for a Salisbury eleven in South Australia. A cricket tragic, he never rose above grade level. As a compensation, in June 2012 he was presented with an award by the Australian National Centre Against Bullying (NCAB) ' in recognition of a lifetime's work dedicated to reducing bullying and enhancing the wellbeing of young people.'

Professionally, Ken Rigby, PhD., is an Adjunct Professor (Research) in the School of Education and the Hawke Research Institute at the University of South Australia. He is a long term member of the National (Australian) Centre against Bullying (NCAB - See www.ncab.org.au). After completing an Honours degree in Economics and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education at the University of Leicester, England, he taught in high schools for ten years, first in Essex, England; then in Tasmania and South Australia. He gained a PhD in Psychology at the University of Adelaide and was registered as a psychologist in South Australia. From 1969 to 1996, he was employed as a lecturer in psychology and research methods at the University of South Australia.

His work has focused mainly on bullying in schools. He undertakes research, provides workshops for teachers and parents, speaks at conferences, periodically acts as a consultant for government bodies and produces books, questionnaires, DVDs and podcast on bullying designed to assist teachers and parents. Since 1990 he has contributed more than 100 publications addressing different aspects of the study.

In June, 2020 he was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) 'for services to Education and the well-being of young people.'

Some of his views on bullying are expressed in two videos.



Visit the publications page.


Ken Rigby's research into bullying began in 1990 and has made contributions to a number of issues. These include (i) the prevalence and nature of school-based bullying in Australia (ii) health effects of bullying (iii) children's attitudes to victims (iv) bystander behavior (iv) theory and practice in addressing bullying (v) bullying interventions in cases of bullying. A list of his publications can be accessed here.

Workshops and presentations

His major interest lies in exploring how research findings can be applied to counter bullying in schools. This has entailed considerable travel, mainly within Australia to schools that request his services to help them develop improved anti-bullying policies and effective proactive and reactive strategies. His work includes making presentations and conducting role plays with teachers, counselors, students and parents. He has presented on various aspects of his work at conferences in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Korea, Israel, South Africa, Greece, Italy, Belgium, Ireland, England, Canada and the USA. For availability Click Here.


Currently Ken Rigby is employed as Project Leader/Adjunct Professor along with co-investigator, Greg Cox by the University of South Australia to conduct research, funded by the Australian Department of Education into the prevalence and effectiveness of anti-bullying approaches in Australian schools. This is to be completed in June 2015 .

Books and other productions

To make evidence-based knowledge available to non-researchers, Ken Rigby has provided a number of products. These include books: Bullying in schools and what to do about it (1996); Children and Bullying (2008); Bullying interventions in schools: six basic approaches (2010); the Method of Shared Concern: a positive approach to bullying (2011). He produced a DVD for schools in 2006 - The Method of Shared Concern: a staff training resource for bullying (see www.readymade.com.au/method) and six podcasts on intervention strategies for Education Queensland (2010) (see www.education.qld.gov.au/studentservices/protection/community/bullying.html.

Of particular interest to schools and researchers are the questionnaires he has developed, in some cases with colleagues. Their purposes and availability are described here. (1a)

Recent and current activities

His more recent interests are twofold. One is research into what schools are actually doing to address bullying and with what results; the other is enabling schools to think about what they might undertake in the light of advances in knowledge about school bullying. He is now engaged in developing resources that will help teachers to understand the nature and potential applicability of a range of intervention strategies; for example through the creation of interactive training modules for teachers with which they can engage on line.

Recent refereed publications include:

Rigby, K (2011). What can schools do about cases of bullying? Pastoral Care in Education., 29, 4, 273 -285.
Rigby, K., & Smith, P.K. (2011). Is school bullying really on the rise? Social Psychology of Education. 14, 4, 441-455.
Rigby, K. (2012) Bullying in Schools: Addressing Desires, Not Only Behaviours. Educational Psychology Review, 24, 339-348.