Researchers who have studied bullying have reached the following common conclusions:
- About 10 percent to 15 percent of children say they are regularly bullied.
- Bullying takes place most frequently in school.
- At school, bullying occurs most often where there is little or no adult supervision--on the playground, in the hallways and cafeteria, and in the classroom before lessons begin.
- Most bullying is verbal rather than physical.
- Bullying begins in elementary school, peaks in middle school, and falls off in high school. It does not, however, disappear altogether.
- Boys bully both boys and girls. Girls tend to bully girls.
- Although boys are more often the perpetrators and victims of bullying, girls tend to bully in more indirect ways, manipulating friendships, ostracizing classmates, and spreading malicious rumors.
- Both bullies and onlookers tend to blame the victims for the treatment they receive.
- Although most victims don’t look very different from their classmates, they are taunted most often because of their physical appearance.
- Boys who are chronically victimized tend to be more passive and physically weaker than their tormentors. In middle school, girls who mature early are commonly victims of harassment.
A version of this article appeared in the August 01, 1997 edition of Teacher