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What is the role of peers in bullying?

Over 6,000 children took part in a study of bullying in Sheffield. When asked what they did if they saw someone being bullied, 54% of junior/middle school pupils and 34% of pupils from secondary school said they did try to help that person. 27% of junior/middle school children and 47 secondary school pupils said they did nothing, but thought they should. However, some pupils (19% in junior/middle school and 20% in secondary school) said that they would do nothing because they thought it had nothing to do with them. When they were asked if they could join in bullying others approximately 16% of junior/middle pupils and 25% of secondary pupils thought they could.
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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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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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