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Research Reviews

Bullying and the Peer Group

Christina Salmivalli

The Big Idea

This review paper was published in the journal Aggression and Violent Behavior.  Its subject is bullying.  While its context is the classroom, what is reported in the research entails the fields of play as well.  If there is an umbrella quote covering the inherent nastiness of bullying, it would be this, Maya Angelou’s reflection: “I’ve learned that people forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

What amplifies the devastating impact of bullying is the circle of peer group involvement.  Yet most of the intervention and actions focus on individual bullies and victims.  The value of this publication lies in its targeting the research focused on the mysteries of peer clusters involvement in bullying.  The World Health Organization reports around 12% of school children are victims of bullying.  In the United States, 28% of students in grades 6-12 experience bullying; 30% of young people admit to bullying others; and 70% of youngsters have seen bullying in their schools.


  • Bullying knows no...

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