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What can children who tell expect from adults?

An American study of bullying in schools found that almost 50% of children who had reported bullying, felt that things had improved as a result. However, just over 20% felt that nothing had changed and some felt that telling had actually made things worse.
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Article details

D L Silvernail, A M Thompson, Z Yang and H J P Kopp (2000) 'A Survey of Bullying Behavior Among Maine Third Graders', Technical Report, Center for Educational Policy, Applied Research and Evaluation, University of Maine. View online here.

When children in an English study were asked what happened after they told a teacher they were being bullied, just over half said that teachers sometimes or almost always did something about it. When asked what happened when they told other pupils, half of the primary pupils said the other pupils would intervene, while only 38% of secondary pupils said peers would step in. So children felt that teachers were more likely to step in to help than other pupils.
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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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Peter SmithAuthor details

Professor 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.

When over 2,000 English school children were asked about bullying, the answers of children who had been bullied revealed that telling someone usually helped. Teachers and family were found to be the most helpful. The action they took would, more than half the time, either stop or lessen the bullying. Action taken by classmates would be less effective, making things better just under half the time. An important finding is that while teachers can often make things much better, in a few cases the way they handle things can make things worse. In fact children found there was slightly more chance of teachers making things worse than family or classmates. So the way teachers react is particularly important.
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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, Issue 2.
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Peter SmithAuthor details

Professor 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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