Victims of bullying: Whom they seek help from and why: An Australian sample

Mitchell Dowling, Timothy Carey

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    33 Citations (Scopus)


    It is critically important to understand why victims of bullying decide to seek help when they do, particularly from adults, because this reduces the probability of being victimized in the future. This study sought to understand more clearly the patterns of help-seeking by students who reported being victims of bullying. Participants were students in Years 5 and 6 from six different schools in a large Australian city (N = 259). Data were collected using a self-report questionnaire. Several factors were explored, including victim category, source of help, and the victim's goals. The results indicated that victims of bullying perceived different sources of help to be related to achieving different goals. Furthermore, the results showed that students who self-identified as victims of bullying perceived informal sources of help to be easier to talk to about being bullied. Victims also realized that teachers were concerned about them being bullied, but this was not related to being able to ask them for help. Help-seeking is a complex process involving conflicting goals. The results highlighted several avenues for future research as well as some practical implications.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)798-809
    Number of pages12
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013


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