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What are the different types of bullying?

According to the children who took part in a study of bullying in Sheffield in 1990 (involving over 6,000 children) the most common type of bullying is unpleasant and hurtful name calling. At junior/middle school level, half of the children who had been bullied had suffered nasty name-calling. This was even commoner among secondary pupils, with 62% of bullied children reporting this type of bullying. Between a quarter to a third of pupils from junior/middle and secondary schools had experienced being physically hurt, threatened or having rumours spread about them. It was more likely for boys than girls to be physically hurt. Girls, on the other hand, were more likely than boys to shut people out, ignore them or spread rumours about them.
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Article details

I Whitney and P Smith (1993) 'A Survey of the Nature and Extent of Bullying in Junior/Middle and Secondary Schools', in 'Educational Research', Volume 35, Number 1, Spring.
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Graph details

'Percentage of boys and girls (averaged by class and school) who reported being bullied and bullying others during this school term' from Whitney and Smith article above, table 1, page 8.

Junior/Middle Schools Secondary Schools
Sometimes or more Once a week or more Sometimes or more Once a week or more
Been bullied:        
Boys (N = 1271) 28 10 12 5
Girls (N = 1352) 27 10 9 4
Overall (N = 2623) 27 10 10 4
Bullied others:        
Boys (N = 2152) 16 6 8 2
Girls (N = 1983) 7 1 4 1
Overall (N = 4135) 12 4 6 1

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Author details

Peter SmithProfessor Peter K Smith is Head of the Unit for School and Family Studies, Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths College, London. He has been involved in bullying research for a number of years and has published widely on this topic.

Peter Smith may be contacted by email, and the website of the Unit for School and Family Studies at Goldsmiths College may be found here.
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