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How common is bullying?

When over 150,000 pupils in Norway and Sweden were asked about bullying, their answers revealed that it was a big problem. 15 per cent of the pupils were involved in bullying - about 9 per cent were victims and about 7 per cent bullied others. More frequent bullying (once a week or more often) affected 5 percent of pupils. These numbers may seem alarming, yet studies in other countries point to bullying levels that are as high, if not higher, than bullying levels in Scandinavian schools.
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Comment

Research into bullying has been pioneered in Scandinavia. Studies throughout the world have been inspired and informed by work in Norway and Sweden.
(Andrew Mellor)
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Article details

D Olweus, S Limber and S F Mihalic, 'History and Description of the Bullying Prevention Program', in 'Blueprints for Violence Prevention', The Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence at the University of Colorado at Boulder, USA. This paper can be downloaded here.

The information in this paper was taken from D Olweus, S Limber and S F Mihalic (1999), 'Blueprints for Violence Prevention. Book Nine: Bullying Prevention Program', Boulder, CO: Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence.
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Graph details

'Percentage of Norwegian and Swedish Students Being Bullied', from the article online by Olweus, Limber and Mihalic quoted above, page 2, figure 2.

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Author details

Professor Dan Olweus was the first person to carry out a thorough research project on Professor Dan Olweusbullying. This large, long term study which began in Sweden in 1970, was to provide the inspiration for many who felt that bullying in schools should be challenged rather than accepted. Since the 1970s, his work in this area had continued with force. Indeed, in 1997-99, he led a group in a large project which introduced the widely respected Olweus (anti-bullying) programme to schools in Norway. Professor Olweus is based at the Research Centre for Health Promotion, University of Bergen in Norway and can be contacted by email.
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