Bullying Quick Facts


• Most students do not report bullying to an adult at school or parent (Hughes, Middleton (Morgan), Marshall, 2009).

• 40% of bullied students in elementary and 60% of bullied students in middle school report that teachers intervene in bullying incidents “once in a while” or “almost never” (Olweus, 1993; Charach, Pepler & Ziegler, 1995).

• Studies reflect that parents are unaware of bullying and talk about it on a limited basis (Olweus, 1993), with teachers seldom or never talking to their class about bullying (Charach, Pepler, & Ziegler, 1995).

• Few students feel that adults will help and that when they do it is infrequent, ineffective and makes things worse (Banks, 1997, Charach, Pepler, Ziegler, 1995).

• Teachers appear to be particularly lenient on students who socially bully (Yoon and Kerber, 2003).

• Students tend not to define social bullying in their operational definitions of bullying (Naylor, Cowei, Cossin, de Bettencourt, & Lemme, 2006).

• Bullying by being “belittled about looks or speech” is the most common form of bullying experienced by U.S. students followed by being the “subjects of rumors” as the second most common form of bullying. For boys, the three most common forms of bullying were first: being “hit slapped or pushed”, second “belittled about looks or speech” and third being “subjects of rumors”. For girls, being “belittled about looks or speech” and being “subjects of rumors” were tied for first and being “subjects of sexual comments or gestures” was second most common for girls (Nansel, et al. 2001).

• Studies show that 5% of students missed at least one day of school during the 30 days preceding the survey because they felt unsafe at school or traveling to and from school (YRBS, 2009).

• Students who are chronic targets of bullying experience more physical and psychological problems than their peers who are not bullied. As adults, former victims were more likely to be depressed and had poorer self esteem than their non-victimized peers (Olweus, 1993; Farrington, 1993; Williams, Chambers, Logan, Robinson, 1996).

• As many as one-third of teachers report feeling untrained to handle bullying (Harris & Willoughby, 2003).

• Teachers may perhaps even be intimidated by bullies, rather preferring that administrators confront and punish (Rigby & Slee, 1991).

• In Norwegian studies, 60% of boys characterized as bullies in grades 6-9 had at least one criminal conviction by age twenty-four and 35-40% had more extensive involvement with three or more convictions by age twenty-four (Olweus, 1993). Compared to the control sample of boys (who were neither bullies nor victims in grades 6-9) only 10% had three or more convictions by this age. As young adults, the former school bullies had a fourfold increase in the level of relatively serious, recidivist criminality as documented in official crime records (Olweus, 1993, pg 36).

• Three Australian studies, 1993-1996 found a significant relationship between suicidal ideation and attempts and being bullied by peers and the bullying of others in Australian school children (Rigby, 1999).

• In 2001, a U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Department of Education study of 37 school shooting incidents from 1974-2000 found that 71% (29/41) of the shooters felt bullied, threatened, attacked or persecuted, 78% (32/41) had suicidal thoughts or had attempted suicide, and 61% (25/41) showed extreme depression or desperation U.S. Secret Service (2002).

• In addition to bullying, the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program documents reductions in general anti-social behavior: vandalism, fighting, theft, drunkenness, and truancy (Olweus, 1993).

* Please note that all Bullying Facts listed with ABC are products of research-based analysis and study. The above statements are cited here.