Adolescents' perception of bullying: who is the victim? Who is the bully? What can be done to stop bullying?Adolescence 2007; 42(168):749-61A
The main aim of this study was to describe adolescents' perceptions and experiences of bullying: their thoughts about why children and adolescents are bullied, their ideas about why some bully others, and what they believe is important in order to stop bullying. The adolescents were asked about experiences throughout their school years. The study group was comprised of 119 high school students, with a mean age of 17.1 (SD = 1.2). Of the adolescents who reported, 39% indicated that they had been bullied at some time during their school years and 28% said that they had bullied others; 13% reported being both victims and bullies. The ages during which most students had been bullied at school were between 7 and 9 years. Bullies reported that most of the bullying took place when they were 10 to 12 years old. The most common reason as to why individuals are bullied was that they have a different appearance. The participants believe that those who bully suffer from low self-esteem. The most common response to the question "What do you think makes bullying stop?" was that the bully matures. The next most frequent response was that the victim stood up for himself/herself. Those who were not involved in bullying during their school years had a much stronger belief that victims can stand up for themselves than did the victims themselves.