Bullying in schools

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingEncyclopedia entryResearchpeer-review

Most definitions of school bullying agree that it involves a more powerful individual or group repeatedly seeking to hurt or intimidate someone who is unable to defend himself or herself. Definitions vary, however, when it comes to more detailed descriptions of what this entails and, not least, of why bullying occurs. Some definitions emphasize the individual’s personality and upbringing to explain the cause of bullying behavior. Other, more recent, definitions point to dysfunctional relational patterns in social groups characterized by low tolerance, leading to the upholding of norms that allow an ongoing production of contempt and social exclusion.
Many studies have shown that a whole-school intervention can effect positive change in cases of bullying and prevent bullying. This form of intervention involves students, teachers, parents and principals and has the objective of changing the school climate. However, the teachers’ role in whole-school intervention strategies is particularly important. Research indicates that the ways in which teachers respond to students and form students’ capacity and possibilities for community building have a major impact on classroom culture. Addressing this responsibility alongside the many other aspects of school life seems to have positive effects.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe SAGE Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood Studies
EditorsDaniel Thomas Cook
Number of pages3
Place of publicationThousand Oaks
PublisherSAGE Publications
Publication year2020
ISBN (print)978-1-4739-4292-9
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5297-1438-8
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Bullying, Bullying and children, Bullying and school, Social exclusion anxiety, Bullying and intervention

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