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Is bullying usually carried out by an individual or group?

Over 2,000 pupils (10 - 14 years) took part in this 1997 study about bullying in England. When the victims were asked about the number of people who had bullied them, the most common answer (almost 50%) was 'mainly two or three'. Fewer (27.3%) reported that they had been bullied by 'mainly one' person. It was far less likely to be bullied by between four to nine pupils and hardly ever by more than nine. When the bullies were asked about numbers involved, the most common answer was again with one or two others, then with another three or eight students or on their own. Again it was very unusual to bully in a group of more than eight others.
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Article details

P K Smith and Shu Shu (2000) 'What Good Schools Can Do About Bullying: findings from a survey in English schools after a decade of research and action' in 'Childhood', Volume 7, (2).
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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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