Understanding Bullying

In a 2011 nationwide survey, 20% of high school students reported being bullied on school property in the 12 months preceding the survey. And cyber bullying opens the door for students to experiencing bullying 24/7. Here are some tips to help you better understand who is at risk and what the warning signs are:

What is Bullying?

Bullying can result in physical injury, social and emotional distress, and even death. Victimized youth are at increased risk for depression, anxiety, sleep difficulties, and poor school adjustment. Youth who bully others are at increased risk for substance use, academic problems, and violence later in adolescence and adulthood. Compared to youth who only bully, or who are only victims, bully-victims suffer the most serious consequences and are at greater risk for both mental health and behavior problems

How can we prevent Bullying?

The ultimate goal is to stop bullying before it starts. Research on preventing and addressing bullying is still developing. School-based bullying prevention programs are widely implemented, but infrequently evaluated. Based on a review of the limited research on school-based bullying prevention, the following program elements are promising:

  • Improving supervision of students
  • Using school rules and behavior management techniques in the classroom and throughout the school to detect and address bullying by providing consequences for bullying
  • Having a whole school anti-bullying policy, and enforcing that policy consistently
  • Promoting cooperation among different professionals and between school staff and parents

Where Can I learn more?

Visit your student’s school website or inquire about the bullying policies they have in place.