Reducing Bullying and Contributing Peer Behaviors: Addressing Transactional Relationships Within the School Social Ecology
Bullying, repeated aggression aimed at individuals of lesser power, is a harmful yet common form of school violence, with most children between the ages of 8 and 11 observed to perpetuate (61%) or encourage its perpetration (48%) on playgrounds (Frey, Hirschstein, Snell, Edstrom, MacKenzie, & Broderick, 2005). Approximately 30% of American children report that they are chronically bullied at school (Davidson & Demaray, 2007; Swearer & Cary, 2003). Ample evidence shows that bullying negatively impacts targets (Card, Isaacs, & Hodges, 2007), bullies (Pepler, Jiang, Craig, & Connolly, 2008), and bystanders (Nishina & Juvonen, 2005). Bullying can also encourage other types of aggression and school violence, either in retaliation (Leary, Kowalski, Smith, & Phillips, 2003) or when malicious gossip fosters peer confl icts. A poll of more than 1,000 U.S. adults found that 74% considered school bullying and victimization to be serious or very serious problems (Public Agenda, 2010).