Consequences of Bullying: Student Responses to "Direct" and "Indirect" Bullying at School

Jill Fleury DeVoe, American Institutes for Research

Olweus (1993) suggests a student is being bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly to negative actions on the part of one or more other students. He goes on to suggest that distinguishing between "direct bullying" -- or open and physical attacks upon the victim -- and "indirect bullying" in the form of social isolation and exclusion from groups is important when understanding and defining bullying. The purpose of this paper is to examine the differential responses of students to these direct and indirect forms of bullying. Bullying victimization reported by students aged 12 through 18 in the 2001 School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey will be examined as it relates to victim behaviors such as weapon carrying, fear and avoidance. The hypothesis is that students who are directly bullied may respond to with different "defensive" or "self-protective" mechanisms including carrying weapons, skipping classes and being truant from school than students who are bullied indirectly. Students who reported being bullied both directly and indirectly will also be compared to students who were victims of one or the other form of bullyng victimization. Other consequencs of bullying including fear and self-reported academic grades will also be discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006