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What does it feel like to be bullied?

Information about bullying was gathered from over 26,000 primary and secondary school children in Australia in the 1990s. What did they tell us about how it feels to be bullied? Of the children who were bullied at least once a week, two children out of three said they were bothered by it. It was found that girls were more likely than boys to admit to being affected by it. When boys did admit to it, the emotion mentioned most often was anger. For girls it was more likely to be sadness. However, as they get older, girls tend to get angrier about being bullied frequently. Many children answered that as a result of being bullied they felt worse about themselves. About 60% of girls and 50% of boys reported a loss of self-esteem.
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Article details

K Rigby 'What Children Tell Us About Bullying in Schools.' Available to read online here or in 'Children Australia', (1997) 22, 2, 28-34.
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Graph details

Table 2, 'Percentages of schoolchildren reporting kinds of (i) emotional reactions and (ii) self perceptions after being bullied by their peers, according to gender and age-group' from the article above. Follow the online link.
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Author details

Ken RigbyKen Rigby is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Social Psychology and an educational consultant at the University of South Australia. He has been involved in major studies of bullying in Australia and has published widely on this topic. For more information about Dr Rigby and his work see the bullying pages here. Ken may be contacted by e-mail.
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