By Meredith Jameson
No? Don’t be so sure. Research from the National Institutes of Health shows that 53.6% of middle-school children surveyed were victims of verbal bullying.
In addition, 51.4% were victims of relational bullying (which includes social exclusion); 20.8% were either victims of perpetrators of physical bullying; and 13.6% were victims of electronic bullying, via cell phone, computer, or other electronic device.
The authors of the study defined physical bullying as hitting, kicking, pushing, shoving and locking a classmate indoors. Verbal bullying included calling someone mean names, making fun or teasing in a hurtful way and saying mean things about a person’s race or religion. The researchers defined relational bullying as spreading rumors or socially excluding others.
The study discovered the following trends:
* Verbal bullying was the most prevalent of the four major forms of bullying.
* Boys are more likely to be involved in physical and verbal bullying.
* Girls are more likely to spread rumors and ostracize a victim.
* Bullying tends to decline as children get older, with the bulk of bullying taking place in middle school, especially seventh and eighth grades.
* Compared with whites, black adolescents were more likely to be bullies, and less likely to be victims.
* Hispanics were more involved in physical bullying than whites but more likely to suffer cyber bullying. Full story.