Definition types and prevalence of school bullying and violence
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Peter K Smith Unit for School and Family Studies Goldsmiths College University of London [email protected] DEFINITION, TYPES AND PREVALENCE OF SCHOOL BULLYING AND VIOLENCE Definitions of violence Definition of bullying Types of violence and bullying

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Definition types and prevalence of school bullying and violence l.jpg

Peter K Smith

Unit for School and Family Studies

Goldsmiths College

University of London

[email protected]

DEFINITION, TYPES AND PREVALENCE OF SCHOOL BULLYING AND VIOLENCE


Overview l.jpg

Definitions of violence

Definition of bullying

Types of violence and bullying

Main ways of assessing violence and bullying

Some statistics on prevalence

Overview


Three definitions of violence l.jpg
Three definitions of ‘violence’

Encarta dictionary (1999): 1 – the use of physical force to injure somebody or damage something; 2 – the illegal use of unjustified force, or the effect created by the threat of this.

Olweus (1999): Aggressive behaviour where the actor or perpetrator uses his or her own body or an object (including a weapon) to inflict (relatively serious) injury or discomfort upon another individual.

World Health Organisation: The intentional use of physical and psychological force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, mal-development, or deprivation.


Shared and non shared features of the definitions l.jpg
Shared and non-shared features of the definitions

Shared features are normally that violence is

(a) harmful or damaging, or at least threatens such harm or damage, and

(b) is intended (accidental damage or hurt done by someone is not usually thought of as violent).

But at least 5 areas of disagreement.


Disagreements in definition of violence 1 l.jpg
Disagreements in definition of violence - 1

Is violence necessarily physical?

YES, according to Encarta (1) and Olweus.

NO, according to Encarta (2) or WHO.

Probably the most crucial issue. Limiting violence to physical acts makes it more restricted in focus, and perhaps easier to measure (physical acts of violence are probably easier to monitor than verbal or relational violence). It makes violence different from aggression.

However, it clearly excludes other intentional harmful behaviours such as verbal abuse, social exclusion, nasty rumour spreading.


Disagreements in definition of violence 2 l.jpg
Disagreements in definition of violence - 2

Is violence necessarily against a person?

NO, according to Encarta

YES, according to Olweus, and possibly WHO.

In other words, is vandalism (the malicious or deliberate defacement or destruction of somebody else’s property: Encarta 1999) included as violence?

Does graffitti on the school walls, or intentional damage to school books or equipment, count as violence?


Disagreements in definition of violence 3 l.jpg
Disagreements in definition of violence - 3

Does violence actually have to be manifested as behaviour that damages someone or something, or is just the threat of this sufficient (as stated in Encarta (2) and WHO)?

An emphasis on threatened as well as actual violence can justify the inclusion of measures such as feelings of insecurity.


Disagreements in definition of violence 4 l.jpg
Disagreements in definition of violence - 4

Is violence still violence if it is legal?

NO according to Encarta (2), but implicitly YES in other definitions.

If YES, a parent smacking a child is certainly violent.

Maybe too a teacher disciplining a pupil, a policeman restraining a criminal, a judge sentencing an offender.

But if NO, then are we assuming an acceptance of societal-defined ‘legality’? Might this be challenged?


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Disagreements in definition of violence - 5

Does violence have to be done by somebody (Olweus), or can it be done more impersonally by a social group or an institution?

The term ‘institutional violence’ suggests the latter; and allows us to consider the possibility of a school inflicting violence on its pupils, because of certain actions or policies.


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BULLYING: more consensus on definition

Generally agreed that bullying is a subset of aggression: namely aggression that involves

  • repetition, and

  • imbalance of power


Definitions of bullying l.jpg
Definitions of bullying

Repeated aggressive acts against someone who cannot easily defend themselves:

  • Farrington (1993): Bullying is repeated oppression of a less powerful person, physical or psychological, by a more powerful person.

  • Smith & Sharp (1994): The systematic abuse of power.

  • Rigby (2002): Bullying involves a desire to hurt + a harmful action + a power imbalance + (typically) repetition + an unjust use of power + evident enjoyment by the aggressor and generally a sense of being oppressed on the part of the victim.


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Issues of threshold

We need to decide at what level something becomes violence, or bullying.

How serious does the harm have to be? Every day most of us experience minor hurts.

Should violence be limited to describing quite serious blows, or insults or social provocations?

Or can it include what French researchers have called ‘micro-violence’ or ‘incivilities’, relatively minor impolitenesses and infringements of rules (Debarbieux, Blaya and Vidal, 2003)? These might not count as violence by most definitions, but they may still be vital in understanding the origins of more serious school violence, and tackling it.


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Types of violence and bullying

  • Direct physical attack

  • Indirect physical attack [e.g. on belongings, property]

  • Direct verbal attack [oral, letter, text, email]

  • Indirect verbal attack [spread rumours]

  • Social exclusion from normal group activities

    [these last two being ‘relational’]

  • Institutional aggression/manipulation

    [e.g. setting totally unrealistic goals]




Numbers l.jpg

Violence and bullying can be

One-to-one

By a small group or gang [against one, or against another group or gang]

By a whole class or school [wang-ta and jun-ta in Korean schools]

and beyond the school setting -

By a large group [crowd, mob] [village]

By organisations [Greg Dyke: ‘the BBC was bullied by the Government’]

By a state or nation or alliance of nations

Numbers


Sex differences age trends l.jpg

Males relatively do more physical kinds of attacks

Females relatively do more relational kinds of attacks

[usual findings]

Frequency tends to increase then decrease with age, but dependent on type and mode

Physical aggression peaks earlier than verbal, relational, institutional

Sex differences; Age trends


Assessing how do we find out about violence and bullying in schools l.jpg

Adult (teacher and parent) reports

limited value as adults only aware of a fraction of what is going on

Self-reports

widely used in anonymous questionnaire, e.g. Olweus

Peer nominations

maybe most reliable method for class based work

Direct observations

avoid reporting bias but difficult and time-consuming

Other methods: in-depth interviews, focus groups, incident reports, etc

ASSESSING: How do we find out about violence and bullying in schools?



Incidence of violence and bullying issues l.jpg
INCIDENCE of Violence and Bullying: Issues

Besides the assessment method used, and the nature of the sample, we need to consider

  • Intensity issues [e.g. how frequent, in self-report data; what proportion of peer nominations]

  • Duration of reporting period [e.g. ever, last year, last month …]

  • Translation of terms, for non-English data.


Incidence of violence and bullying example 1 turkey l.jpg
INCIDENCE of Violence and Bullying: Example 1 - TURKEY

Alikasifoglu et al. (2004) survey of over 4,000 students in grades 9 to 11. Self-report questionnaire on experiences of:

Fighting in last 12 months 42%

Injured in physical fight in last 12 months7%

Being bullied at school last term 30%

Bullied others at school last term 19%

Carrying weapon on school grounds last term 8%


Incidence of violence and bullying example 2 korea l.jpg
INCIDENCE of Violence and Bullying: Example 2 - KOREA

Kim et al. (2004) survey of over 1,700 middle school students, grades 7 and 8. Used Korean Peer Nomination Inventory for bullies and victims. Nominated by more than one classmate as:

Perpetrator Boys 17.4% Girls 16.0%

Victim Boys 16.2% Girls 12.0%

Victim-Perpetrator Boys 10.% Girls 7.8%

Not involved Boys 56.3% Girls 64.2%


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INCIDENCE of Violence and Bullying: Example 3 - USA

Nansel et al. (2001) survey of over 15,000 students in grades 6 to 10. Self-report data on frequency of being bullied/ bullying others, in last term.


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INCIDENCE of Violence and Bullying: Example 4 – cross-national study

Morita et al. (2001) – report to Monbusho on cross-national study of bullying (or ijime) using same self-report questionnaire, on 10 to 14 year olds in Japan, England, Netherlands and Norway.

Samples of several thousand in each country.


Percentages of pupils who reported being bullied more than just once or twice in the last 6 months l.jpg

VICTIM cross-national study

TOTAL

GIRLS

BOYS

10

11

12

13

14

ENGLAND

12.2

11.8

12.7

18.7

13.1

12.1

10.5

7.6

NETHERLANDS

13.9

13.1

14.8

14.7

16.6

14.2

10.3

-

NORWAY

10.0

9.1

11.1

12.4

11.0

9.5

10.0

7.1

JAPAN

9.6

9.0

9.9

13.4

9.9

9.5

8.2

6.5

Percentages of pupils who reported being bullied, more than just once or twice in the last 6 months


Summary l.jpg
SUMMARY cross-national study

  • Violence – several issues around definition

  • Bullying – more agreement on definition

  • Different types of violence and bullying

  • Main ways of assessing violence and bullying – not perfect agreement

  • Issues on prevalence and some statistics


References l.jpg
References cross-national study

  • Card, N.A. (2003). Victims of peer aggression: A meta-analytic review. Presented at Society for Research in Child Development biennial meeting, Tampa, USA, April.

  • Debarbieux, E., Blaya, C. & Vidal, D. (2003). Tackling violence in schools: A report from France. In P.K. Smith (ed.), Violence in schools: The response in Europe (pp.17-32). London & New York: RoutledgeFalmer.

  • Encarta World English Dictionary (1999). London: Bloomsbury Publishing.

  • Falikasifoglu, M., Erginoz, E., Ercan, O., Uysal, O., Kaymak, D.A. & Iiter, O. (2004). Violent behaviour among Turkish high school students and correlates of physical fighting. European Journal of Public Health, 14.

  • Farrington, D. (1993). Understanding and preventing bullying. In M Tonry (ed.), Crime and Justice: A review of research, vol. 17 (pp.381-458). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  • Kim, Y.S., Koh, Y-J. & Leventhal, B.L. (2004). Prevalence of school bullying in Korean middle school students. Arch. Pediatr. Adolesc. Med., 158, 737-741.

  • Morita, Y. (2001). Ijime no kokusai hikaku kenkyu [Cross-national comparative study of bullying]. Japan: Kaneko Shobo.

  • Nansel, T.R., Overpeck, M.D., Pilla, R.S., Ruan, W.J., Simons-Morton, B. & Scheidt, P.C. (2001). Bullying behaviors among US youth: Prevalence and association with psychosocial adjustment. Journal of the American Medical Association, 285, 2094-2100.

  • Olweus, D. (1999). Sweden. In P.K. Smith, Y. Morita, J. Junger-Tas, D. Olweus, R. Catalano & P. Slee (eds.), The nature of school bullying: A cross-national perspective, London & New York, Routledge, pp. 2-27.

  • Rigby, K. (2002). New perspectives on bullying. London & Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley.

  • Smith, P.K. (ed.) (2003). Violence in schools: The response in Europe, London & New York, RoutledgeFalmer.

  • Smith, P. K., Cowie, H., Olafsson, R. & Liefooghe, A. (2002). Definitions of bullying: a comparison of terms used, and age and sex differences, in a 14-country international comparison. Child Development, 73, 1119-1133.

  • Smith, P.K. & Sharp, S. (eds.) (1994). School bullying: Insights and perspectives. London: Routledge.

  • World Health Organisation. See fi-006: www.health.fi/connect


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