Individual and Contextual Influences on Bullying

Perpetration and Victimization

Authored by: Dorothy L. Espelage , Melissa K. Holt , V. Paul Poteat

Handbook of Research on Schools, Schooling, and Human Development

Print publication date:  May  2010
Online publication date:  June  2010

Print ISBN: 9780805859485
eBook ISBN: 9780203874844
Adobe ISBN: 9781135283872


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Bullying is recognized as one of the major problems facing schools today, as evidenced by the documented deleterious effects it has on the psychological and social functioning and academic performance of students and its broader negative effects on the overall climate of schools (Hodges & Perry, 1999; Kasen, Berenson, Cohen, & Johnson, 2004; Schwartz, Gorman, Nakamoto, & Toblin, 2005). The seriousness and difficulty of this problem is further indicated by the absence of data showing any overall decrease in bullying since researchers first began studying this behavior within schools. However, research has provided a more critical understanding of this behavior. Specifically, this research has included a better characterization of individuals who are bullies, victims, and individuals who adopt other roles in bullying episodes, the identification of immediate and long-term effects associated with bullying involvement, the identification of individual and social factors that contribute to the development and perpetuation of this behavior, documentation of where and when bullying behavior is more likely to occur, and more recently, the identification of longitudinal developmental trajectories of bullies and victims that have assisted in better predicting the progression of bullying behavior and victimization for certain groups of individuals.

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