ToM Goes to School: Social Cognition and Social Values in Bullying
Many of you will have been bullied. A recent United Kingdom (UK) survey found that 12% of 10-to 14-year-olds reported being bullied “at least two or three times a month” over the last 6 months (Smith & Shu, 2000) and Rayner (1997) found that 53% of a large sample of part-time university students reported they had been bullied at some point in their working lives. There is no doubt that this is an unpleasant experience. Victims suffer from low self-esteem (Boulton & Smith, 1994), may play truant in order to avoid the bullying (Sharp & Thompson, 1992), and in extreme cases may take their own lives: Around ten suicides a year in the UK alone are linked to persistent bullying. The effects are long lasting: Victimization during middle school predicts depression and low self-esteem 10 years later (Olweus, 1993).