Peer influence on bullying

Rodkin Research indicates that peers play an essential role in promoting or preventing bullying.

Peer influence on bullying

Rodkin Research indicates that peers play an essential role in promoting or preventing bullying. The conference brought together President Barack Obama and members of his cabinet, First Lady Michelle Obama, youth, parents, researchers, school officials, and other groups to craft a national strategy for reducing and ending bullying in schools.

A longer version of this report was included in the briefing book distributed at the conference. On first thought, the words bully and peer hardly belong in the same title; for all intents and purposes, the two words are opposites.

A peer is an equal, of the same social standing as oneself, whereas bullying lacks the elements of equality and free choice. It's this sense of inequality, abuse, and unfairness—and of a peer culture valuing all the wrong things—that makes bullying incompatible with the democratic spirit; all youth should be free to learn in peace and safety, making the most of their talents and goals.

What kind of power does a bully really have? Children and youth and some adults use bullying to acquire resources and—here is where peers come into the picture—to demonstrate to an audience that they can dominate Pellegrini et al.

The success of bullies in attaining resources and recognition depends on factors that include the characteristics of the bully, the relationship that exists between bullies and those whom they target for harassment, and the reactions of classmates who witness bullying.

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Do schoolmates embarrass the harassed and stroke the bully's ego? Do they ignore the bullying in front of them?

Does somebody intervene to support the victim and help stop the bullying? Of course, peer culture in elementary, middle, and high school exists not in some Lord of the Flies lawlessness, but rather under the presumably watchful eyes of responsible adults: So how peers and adults act in response to—or, even better, in anticipation of—bullying is crucial.

Socially marginalized bullies "may be fighting against a social system that keeps them on the periphery," whereas socially connected bullies "may use aggression to control" others. Farmer and colleagues report that marginalized, unpopular bullies, whether girls or boys, are often shunted into peer groups with other bullies, and sometimes even with the children they harass.

Marginalized bullies, more often boys than girls, have a host of problems of which bullying behavior is but one manifestation. Their bullying might stem from an inability to control their impulsive actions or from a desire to gain status that generally eludes them.

Then there are bullies whose social worlds are networked and integrated—these children don't lack for peer social support.

Socially connected bullies are more evenly split between boys and girls.

Peer influence on bullying

They have a variety of friends, some bullies but others not, and strengths such as social skills, athleticism, or physical attractiveness. Socially connected bullies tend to be proactive and goal-directed in their aggression.

Some bullies incorporate prosocial strategies into their behavioral repertoire, for example reconciling with their targets after conflict or becoming less aggressive once they have established a clear dominance relationship Pellegrini et al.

Socially connected bullies are both underrecognized as seriously aggressive and popularized in the media, as in, for instance, the movie Mean Girls, which describes how female high school social cliques operate and the effect they can have on girls.

Vaillan-court and colleagues go so far as to call these socially connected bullies "popular, socially skilled, and competent".

Peer Pressure and Bullying: Why They Work Together | The Bully Shield

Although this portrait of mental health may be overdrawn, there is no doubt that a substantial proportion of aggressive children and youth have surprisingly high levels of popularity among their peers.

Bullying may peak in early adolescence, but these two social worlds of bullying can exist as early as kindergarten. These worlds represent two central but seemingly inconsistent views of aggressive behavior: Educators and parents need to ask why bullying works from the perspective of the bully and what goals are being served by bullying behavior, as they will differ for different children.

The Bully-Victim Relationship Any law enforcement official would quickly want to establish the relationship that may exist between an alleged perpetrator and a victim. However, little is known about the relationship between a bully and the child he or she targets.


This puts bullies and victims into separate boxes and overemphasizes their separateness. This could imply that there is no known relationship between a bully and victim—that the targeting is random. Reality is more complicated. One clear predictor is reciprocated dislike and animosity.

Socially connected children choose same-sex bullying as part of a struggle for dominance, particularly in the beginning of the school year or between transitions from one school to another, when the social hierarchy is in flux and unpopular children can be targeted Pellegrini et al.

Sixty percent of 5th to 7th grade girls whom Olweus reported as being harassed said that they were bullied by boys.Editor's note: Prepared for Educational Leadership, this article is a condensed version of "Bullying and Children's Peer Relationships," a report that the author delivered at the White House Conference on Bullying Prevention in March May 08,  · The effects of child-on-child bullying may be worse than maltreatment from adults.

Research seems to indicate that the influence of peer pressure on bullying is strongest during the middle school years. More than million school-aged children are bullied each year, and.

What are the impacts of peer pressure and bullying? Gauge your knowledge of these effects any time you want by going through the available quiz and. Sometimes peer influences can be positive like encouraging each other to try new things or step out of their comfort zone in a positive way.

But peer pressure also can be negative, especially when it relates to drugs, alcohol use, and even bullying. Peer-group influence on adolescents is well established, especially regarding drugs and alcohol. New research indicates it also extends to bullying behavior. A new study of middle-schoolers shows.

Bullying in Early Adolescence: The Role of the Peer Group