Bullying among Australian school children: Reported behavior and attitudes toward victims

Ken Rigby, Phillip T. Slee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

434 Citations (Scopus)


The extent of bullying among Australian school children and attitudes toward victims of bullying were investigated in a survey of Australian school children between the ages of 6 and 16 years (n = 685) and their teachers (n = 32). Approximately 1 child in 10 was subjected to peer group bullying. Boys reported being bullied more often than girls, who tended to be more supportive of victims. With increasing age, there was a slight but significant decline in reported bullying; notably, however, attitudes toward victims became less supportive. Attitudes toward victims were examined in detail by using a reliable and validated 20-item Likert scale. Factor analyses of the children'S responses yielded three interpretable factors: a tendency to despise the victims of bullies; general admiration for school bullies; and avowed support for intervention to assist the victim. An understanding of such attitudes is desirable for designing effective intervention programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-627
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Social Psychology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1991
Externally publishedYes


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