Bullying has been in existence for decades, and some countries like Australia and England have had bullying problems for centuries. It is only since the 1980s when three middle school boys from Norway committed suicide (Green, 2007, para.2) as a consequence of repeated bullying. Because of this reason, attention has been placed on the issues of bullying. There has been a great increase in the younger children committing suicide because of bullying which makes these younger people go on violent rampages, it is hardly surprising that public concern with student safety has also led to an increased awareness of the consequences of bullying.
Recent research has focused on both bullies and victims in a number of terms but this literature review will focus on research in relation to gender and age, and the accounting for victims and bullies. The research will be focusing on gender as a factor of bullying seeing is there is any difference in the way the girls or the boys are involved in bullying. Age as a factor will be considered and the psychological angles of bullying will be covered.
In the research literature, there have been a number of definitions
Olweus claimed there were two sorts of bullying – direct, wherein the victim is subjected to physical abuse, and indirect, wherein the victim suffers psychological or emotional mistreatment (as cited in Green, 2007, para.1) Gray has defined bullying as repeated damaging actions that were perhaps linked with negative intent (as cited in Attwood, 2004, What is bullying section, para.1).
Seals and Young, (2003) carried out a study on the occurrence and relationship of bullying to gender, age, ethnicity, self-esteem and depression, experienced by seventh and eighth-grade students in the northern delta region of the US. The study has shown that there were considerably more male than female bullies, with twice as many males identified as females identified as bullies (Discussion section, para.2). Delfabbro et al. (2006) carried out a study on bullying by peers and teachers in secondary schools in South Australia. The results have truly reflected the fact that the boys are more likely to be the perpetrators of bullying (Delfabbro et al. 2006, p.72).