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Are some children more likely to bully than others?

Findings of studies in Norway and Sweden have challenged the view of the typical bully as someone who is lacking in self-confidence. According to these studies a typical bully is not lacking in confidence and is not insecure. It was also found that a bully is more aggressive than his/her peers, has a positive view of violence, has a strong need to dominate and has no real sympathy for others. If the bullies are boys, they would tend to be physically strong. It was also found that bullies often come from homes where there is less warmth and where parents frequently use physical punishment to control their children.
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Article details

H Bøyum, 'National Initiative Against Bullying', in 'Uib Magasinet'. Article found online here. See also D Olweus (1999) 'Sweden', in P K Smith and others (editors), 'The Nature of School Bullying: a cross-national perspective', London: Routledge.
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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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