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How can we help children who bully to change?

Over 16,000 children from primary and secondary schools in Strathclyde, Scotland were asked about bullying. Children who had stopped bullying were asked what had made them stop. According to their answers, by far the most common reason (almost 75%) was a greater awareness of the negative side of bullying. This could be brought about by experience (finding out what it felt like), empathy (being able to put themselves in the victim's position) and growing out of it. Less common reasons mentioned were: school intervention (about 9%) followed by parent intervention, improved relationships between peers and growing out of it with age.
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Article details

A McLean (about 1994) 'Bullyproofing Our School - what do the pupils think?', unpublished report. Reference copy held by the Anti-Bullying Network. This article can be viewed here.
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Alan McLeanAuthor details

At the time of this study, Alan McLean was Principal Psychologist based at the Education Department Psychological Service in the former Strathclyde Regional Council. His particular interests in the area of bullying include: links between bullying and motivation; the thinking processes and self-esteem of the bully.

He can be contacted at by email.

An Australian study provided information about things which might prevent children bullying. One of these things was a sense of shame. When children were asked what the results of bullying might be for the bully, some said that it might stop a child being bullied by someone else, but a larger number said they thought the bully would be ashamed. Another thing which might discourage them is the thought of their parents' disapproval. It was found that most children thought that parents would disapprove of bullying and according to their answers, most did care a lot about their parents opinion of them.
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Article details

K Rigby 'What Children Tell Us About Bullying in Schools', view here or in 'Children Australia', (1997), 22, 2, pp28-34.
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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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