The nature and extent of bullying at school.J Sch Health. 2003 May; 73(5):173-80.JS
In elementary schools, the prevalence of bullying ranges from 11.3% in Finland to 49.8% in Ireland. The only United States study of elementary students found that 19% were bullied. Bullying behavior declines as students progress through the grades. School bullying is associated with numerous physical, mental, and social detriments. A relationship also exists between student bullying behavior and school issues such as academic achievement, school bonding, and absenteeism. Prevention of school bullying should become a priority issue for schools. The most effective methods of bullying reduction involve a whole school approach. This method includes assessing the problem, planning school conference days, providing better supervision at recess, forming a bullying prevention coordinating group, encouraging parent-teacher meetings, establishing classroom rules against bullying, holding classroom meetings about bullying, requiring talks with the bullies and victims, and scheduling talks with the parents of involved students. Finally, this review suggests further studies needed to help ameliorate the bullying problem in US schools.