How Much Bullying Goes On

MAJOR STUDIES IN NORWAY in the 1980s and 1990s with more than 150,000 students found that about 15 percent of students in primary and lower secondary school, or approximately one in seven students, were involved in bullying with a degree of regularity—as a victim, as a bully, or both. At least 5 percent (more than 1 in 20) of all students were involved in more serious bullying at least once a week.

In the United States in 1998, the prevalence of bullying was found to be even more substantial. A study carried out with a national sample of more than 15,000 students in grades 6 through 10 found about 30 percent of the sample reported moderate or frequent involvement in bullying— as a bully, as a victim, or both. Students in middle school (grades 6 through 8) reported greater frequency of bullying than did students in grades 9 and 10.

Similar results were obtained in another study of more than 6,000 middle school students in rural South Carolina. About 23 percent reported that they had been bullied by other students "several times" or more frequently during the past three months.

Approximately 20 percent reported that they had bullied other students with the same frequency.


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