chapter  3
17 Pages

Who bullies? Who gets bullied?

WithPeter K. Smith

The ecological model of human development, described by the US psychologist Urie Bronfenbrenner, is illustrated. Bronfenbrenner emphasized the interactions amongst these different layers of influence, but at a simple level we can just consider the direct effect of individual factors, family factors, peer group factors, school factors, and wider society influences. The early work by Dan Olweus in Sweden and Norway suggested that children who bullied others were hot-tempered and easily angered. They had a positive attitude toward violence, perhaps in part because some of them experienced violence in the home environment. Children who get involved in bullying are not all of the same kind. Many tend to be impulsive and hot-tempered, easily taking offence. The support (or lack of support) from peers can make a big difference. Whatever other risk factors are involved, if a child or young person has some good friends this will make bullying less likely.