Bullying in Brief

Home Bullying in Brief

An Introduction

As you will see there is a great deal to know about the problem of bullying. Fortunately research over the last 20 years or so has provided many of the answers - though there is still much to know, especially on how it can best be reduced.

This site attempts to present some of the more important findings and suggestions that educators have made. As an educator myself I know the value of acquiring knowledge and understand that the task of learning is never an easy one. First, I think one needs to know what one doesn't know. So I have produced a little quiz. It is based on information and references contained in this site. See if you know all the answers already. If not, you are one of those people for whom this site is a must!

Here goes:
Over the last twenty years or so, bullying has been increasingly recognised as a serious problem that affects millions of children in schools in countries throughout the world. (Note 1). Children who are involved in bullying need help from teachers, parents and government authorities.

It is generally agreed that bullying is the systematic abuse of power by more powerful individuals or groups. However, there are still some differences of opinion regarding appropriate terminology (Note 2)

No-one doubts that being continually victimized at school by peers can have very serious effects on the mental and physical health of targeted children, in some cases lasting a lifetime. (Note 3)

Further, unless children who repeatedly engage in bullying are reformed at school, there is a serious risk that they will later engage in delinquent and criminal behaviour. (Note 4)

Reducing bullying in schools is a major challenge of our time. It is certainly not easy to achieve, as numerous studies have shown. However, over the last decade evidence has been accumulating that anti-bullying strategies can be successful in significantly reducing, if not eliminating, bullying in schools.

For those who are interested in reading the relevant research backing this claim, I especially recommend two major sources:

Ttofi, M. M., & Farrington, D. P. (2011). Effectiveness of school-based programs to reduce bullying: A systematic and meta-analytic review. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 7, 27-56. Thompson, F., & Smith, P. K. (2011). The use and effectiveness of anti-bullying strategies in schools. Research Report DFE-RR098. London: HMSO. www.education.gov.uk/publications/eOrderingDownload/DFE-RR098.pdf