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Bullying Among Immigrants: Tips for Prevention (page 2)

By — Bullying Special Edition Contributor
Updated on Mar 5, 2012

How to Stop Bullying Among Immigrants

By knowing that immigrant boys bully their peers mainly because they want to feel affiliated with other aggressors, it’s possible to tailor prevention and intervention efforts towards this particular group. To prevent bullying in immigrant boys, encourage your school to:

  • Build connections. Provide alternative ways for immigrant kids to feel connected with their native peers. Encourage immigrant students to join school clubs, sport teams or extra curricular activities, which can promote friendship building skills and alleviate the need to use bullying as a strategy to feel connected with others.
  • Work on team building. Facilitate a class atmosphere where immigrant children feel accepted and liked by others because of common goals or successes. Organizing team games in class or encouraging classmates to work together toward an enticing goal (such as a class party) will help unite otherwise uncommunicative groups of kids.
  • Pay attention to group dynamics. If you notice a group of aggressors bonding over a common target, split them up. Changing a group dynamic can weaken the bonds between bullies, and make them less likely to victimize others. Such interventions are likely to be the most successful in stopping bullying behaviors.

Immigrants often escape their native lands to build a better future for their families—and it’s crucial to ensure that kids who are thrown into an unfamiliar school setting give and receive respect from their peers. By advocating for kids who are bullied based on their ethnic or cultural backgrounds, you’ll help ensure these students grow up happy, secure—and without feeling the need to bully.

This article is based on this reference:

Fandrem, H. Strohmeier, D. and Roland, E. (2009). Bullying and Victimization among Native and Immigrant Adolescents in Norway: The Role of Proactive and Reactive Aggressiveness. Journal of Early Adolescents, 29 (6), 898-923.

The study was later replicated in Austria:

Strohmeier, D., Fandrem, H., Stefanek, E. & Spiel, C. (2012). Acceptance by Friends as Underlying Function of Aggressive Behaviour in Immigrant Adolescents. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology. 53, 80–88

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