Bullying prevention research is a growing field of study and researchers are making strides in trying to understand the complexities and effects of bullying. We compiled and summarized recent research on the topic.
“National student survey shows bullying is on the rise over the last three years, particularly among students of color in majority white schools”
The nonprofit YouthTruth conducted an anonymous survey with about 160,000 students in 387 schools in 27 states. Of those students, 29 percent were white, 29 percent were Hispanic, 17 percent were multiracial, 7 percent were black, and 6 percent were Asian. For the 2017-18 school year, the surveys revealed that 1 in 3 students in the districts they worked with reported being bullied, an increase of five points over the 2015-16 survey results. What was more alarming to YouthTruth was that the increase was among students of color who attended majority white schools. These students reported a 7-point increase in bullying, as opposed to their white peers, whose rate increased by only 3 points.
“Kids with cellphones more likely to be bullies”
Elizabeth Englander, a researcher from Bridgewater State University, helped conduct a study of approximately 4,500 elementary school children in the U.S. and found that having a cellphone in elementary school was associated with being involved with both bullying and cyberbullying, both as a bully and as a bully/victim. More than half of third-grade bullies carried cellphones while only 35 percent of students uninvolved with bullying carried cellphones. When it came to cyberbullying, however, 75 percent of third-grade cyberbullies carried cellphones compared to only 37 percent of third-graders uninvolved in cyberbullying. The fourth and fifth-grade results were similar.
“New Research: Homophobic Name-Calling, Bullying, and Sexual Violence Perpetration”
Previous research found that bullying perpetration is associated with sexual violence and sexual harassment perpetration later in life, however, this is the first study to examine how homophobic name-calling is associated with bullying in middle school and sexual violence perpetration in high school. This new study found that youth who use homophobic name-calling in their bullying are at a six times greater risk of perpetrating sexual violence or sexual harassment in high school.
“Teens mostly think teachers, social media companies and politicians are failing at addressing bullying”
Between March 7 to April 10, 2018, the Pew Research Center conducted surveys with 743 teens and 1,058 parents living in the U.S. In the survey, Pew asked respondents to rate how six groups – parents, law enforcement, teachers, bystanders, social media sites, and elected officials – are addressing bullying. More than half (59 percent) of teen respondents felt parents are doing an “excellent/good” job of addressing bullying, with law enforcement coming in second place with 44 percent. Only 42 percent of respondents felt teachers were doing an excellence/good job of addressing the issue.
“Young victims of cyberbullying twice as likely to attempt suicide and self-harm, study finds”
Professor Ann John at Swansea University Medical School, in collaboration with researchers from the Universities of Oxford and Birmingham, looked at more than 150,000 children and young people from 30 countries during a 21-year period. The research found that it is not just the victims of cyberbullying who are more vulnerable to suicidal behaviors, but the perpetrators are also at a higher risk of experiencing suicidal thoughts and behaviors.