bullying victimization: separating reality from fiction

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Bullying victimization: Separating reality from fiction. Kristin Carbone-Lopez, PhD Criminology and Criminal Justice University of Missouri, St. Louis. Bullying victimization:. overview. What is bullying? How do we define it? - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Kristin Carbone-Lopez, PhDCriminology and Criminal JusticeUniversity of Missouri, St. LouisBullying victimization: Separating reality from fiction1

Bullying victimization:

2What is bullying? How do we define it?How common is bullying? How many children are victims of some sort of bullying?What are some of the risk factors for being bullied?What are some of the consequences of bullying victimization?How can we respond to bullying? As practitioners? As school officials? As parents?


bullying long considered a minor issue, but taken more seriously today

MYTH bullying always involves physical aggression or violence.REALITY bullying can include many different types of behavior, including physical violence, verbal abuse, and even cyber bullying.defining bullying

43 criteria, as outlined by Olweus (1993)intentional harm done to a person either physically, emotionally or relationallyvictimization that occurs repeatedly over timea power imbalance between victim and offender

forms include:physical hitting, kicking, shoving, theft, threats, etc.verbal teasing, derogatory comments, bad namesrelational social aggression, exclusion of peers, withdrawal of affection, threatening to tell lies or rumorscyber bullying through electronic meansofficial definition

unique characteristics: anonymity, accessibility, punitive fears, bystanders, lack of inhibitionsix common forms:harassment repeated rude/offensive messagesdenigration distributing false/negative information about a personflaming online fightingimpersonation using someone elses account to post materialouting/trickery sharing someones secret informationcyber-stalking repeated threatening messages

MYTH cyber-bullying is often a gateway to other forms of bullyingREALITY actually, typically the reverse; begins with face-to-face encounters and may progress to cyber forms


widely varying estimates, in part because of differing definitionsyet, consensus that it is a serious issue200506 school year there were an estimated 54.8 million students about 1.5 million victims of nonfatal crimes at school, including 868,100 thefts and 628,200 violent crimesthis translates into some 4% of students age 1218 reported being victimizedeither physically or through theft of their belongingsat school during the previous 6 months

MYTH bullying is a small problem in our schools compared to other forms of violenceREALITY children are far more likely to experience bullying than physical violence or theft of property at school

in fact, school-based violence has decreased over the past 10 years


as many as 27% of school-age children are bullied by peers17% of students in grades 6-10 were bullied sometimes with 8% experiencing bullying once a weekapproximately 1 in 10 school-age children are repeatedly victimized by peers; many more are victimized less regularly

cyber-bullying is also prevalenta national survey of 770 youth found that 20% of youth ages 11-19 had been bullied through electronic meansan online survey of 1,378 youth found that 32% of boys and 36% of girls had been victims of cyber-bullying, generally in a chat room or by computer text message (Hinduja & Patchin, 2008)prevalence, cont.

MYTH there is a victim personalityREALITY not only personality characteristics, but situational and social risk factors are related to risk of bullying

individual characteristics passivity/shyness, ADHD, size (especially weight)

MYTH boys are more likely than girls to be bulliedREALITY boys & girls are nearly equally likely to be bullied, yet experience different forms

bullying is not distributed evenly across the youth population it varies by sex, race, and age

risk factors

sex boys at greater risk of physical forms of bullying, while girls equally or more likely to experience verbal, relational, and sexual forms of bullying

age bullying tends to decrease with age; the use of physical aggression often changes to more passive, verbal formsvictimization may decrease more quickly for girls, except in case of relational aggression

risk factors, cont.

race inconsistent patternsmay interact with gender girls of color may be at greater risk of all forms of bullying (Sawyer et al., 2008)in-group bias effect members of the minority group within diverse schools may be at greater risk

school factors size of school, presence of graffiti, punitive teacher attitudes, inadequate adult supervision, school disadvantage/povertyrisk factors, cont.

MYTH bullying is a normal part of childhood and the experience builds characterREALITY evidence for consequences on emotions and behaviors

MYTH many childhood victims of bullying become violent later onREALITY most victims of bullying are more likely to suffer in silence than retaliateconsequences

school-related:reduce willingness to attend school, lower academic achievementpsychosocial: low self-esteem, depression and anxiety, avoidance behaviorbehavioral: poor social adjustment, behavior problems, delinquency, drug usedifferences in outcome by gender, type of bullying girls may suffer a broader range of and more negative consequences than boys

consequences, cont.

Do different forms of bullying victimization have different effects? Do these effects differ by gender? (Carbone-Lopez et al., 2010)used data collected from 15 schools in 9 cities, in 4 states; a total of1,450 students53% were female; average age was 12 years; 50% Hispanic, 37% white, and 13% Black

differentiate between:physical versus indirect forms of bullying no bullying, intermittent, and repeated victimization experiencesconsequences, cont.

14physical forms of bullying67% no victimization28% intermittent victimization5% repeat victimization

indirect forms of bullying29% no victimization38% intermittent victimization32% repeat victimization

consequences, cont.

externalizing outcomes (delinquency, gang membership)intermittent physical victimization increased boys delinquency and their gang membershipboth forms of bullying increased girls delinquency but only indirect bullying increased gang membership

internalizing outcomes (self-esteem, drug use)intermittent physical victimization increased boys drug use, but bullying had no impact on boys self esteemrepeated indirect bullying increased girls drug use, but reduced their self esteem

consequences, cont.

MYTH bullying only impacts the bullies and their victimsREALITY bullying has a much broader impact

bystanders and witnesses may have similar consequences; bullying may contribute to an overall feeling of non-safety, powerlessness

entire school community may be affected a climate of fear & disrespectconsequences, cont.

prevention and intervention efforts are clearly important, yet existing efforts largely focus only on physical forms of bullying

recommendations for schoolsadopt evidence-based programsreduce existing bullying problems, prevent new problems from occurring, and foster better peer relationsfoster an environment conducive to reportingteacherslearn to spot bullying, to intervene immediately, and report all incidents to administratorsconclusions and implications

parentsbully-proof our children talk with them about bullying and its effects, teach them to react appropriatecommunityincrease awareness in the community, bring together all stakeholders to campaign against bullyingconclusions cont.

19thank you


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