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Is bullying on the rise?

Updated on Feb 11, 2009

The last several years have brought a number of high profile bullying and cyberbullying cases to the attention of the media. The severity of the incidents has generated speculation that the prevalence of victimization between children and teens has increased.

Despite the media frenzy around events such as school shootings, suicides, and filmed beatings on YouTube, there is no definitive evidence that bullying is on the rise. More research studies that consider rates of bullying over time are needed. Why might bullying be on the rise?

  • There is greater awareness of the seriousness of bullying, which could be due to higher reporting rates by students.
  • The addition of cyberbullying as a new, easy, and round-the-clock place to bully.1
  • There are a number of early childhood risk factors that have increased that might also increase a child's vulnerability to bully or be bullied, such as an insecure attachment to a primary care giver or lack of parental supervision.2
References:
  1. Shelley Hymel, Susan M. Swearer. Bullying: An age-old problem that needs new solutions.
  2. Ken Rigby. Children, Parents and School Bullying
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