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POLICE ASSOCIATION OF NOVA SCOTIA 111 Who are the Bullies? Children bully in many different ways-there is not a single type of bully. The following characteristics have been identified primarily through research on boys who bully. • Gender: Both boys and girls are involved in bullying as either bullies, victims or bystanders at approximately the same rate, although each gender expresses bullying in different ways. More boys report their bullying than girls; boys report more physical forms of bullying, while girls report indirect forms of bullying, such as gossiping and excluding (Craig and Pepler, 1997) • Age: Ages 4-10, aggression is mainly confined to same-sex peers, whereas ages 11-18 expand their aggression to involve opposite-sex peers as well. In addition, 11 to 12-year-old students reported bullying others more than did younger or older student groups (Pepler, et al.). • Temperament: Bullies tend to be hyperactive, disruptive, and impulsive (Lowenstein, 1978; Olweus, 1987). • Aggression: Bullies are generally aggressive toward their peers, teachers, parents, and siblings, and others (Olweus, 1991). Bullies tend to be assertive and easily provoked. They are attracted to situations with aggressive content and have positive attitudes about aggression (Stephenson and Smith, 1989). • Physical Strength: Boys who bully are physically stronger and have a need to dominate others (Olweus, 1987). • Lack of Empathy: Bullies have little empathy for their victims and show little or no remorse for bullying (Olweus, 1987). Children become victimized for many different reasons - there is not a single victim type. For some children, the following characteristics are present before bullying occurs; for others, they develop as a result of bullying. Gender: Boys and girls are equally likely to report being victimized (Charach et al., 1995; Pepler et al., 1977). Age: Victimization decreases across grade levels: 26% of children in Grades 1-3 report victimization compared to 15% in Grades 4-6 and 12% in Grades 7-8 (Pepler et al.). Children in lower grades are more likely to be victims of older bullies, whereas children in higher grades are more likely to be victims of same-age bullies. Younger students experience more direct bullying, whereas older students experience more indirect bullying (Olweus, 1993). Temperament: Victimized children have a tendency to be anxious and withdrawn. There is more evidence of this among preschool children than among school-aged children. Physical Appearance: Research has not supported the popular stereotype that victims have unusual physical traits (Olweus, 1991). Who are the Victims? Self-Esteem: Victims often report low self-esteem, likely because of repeated exposure to victimization (Besag, 1989). Depression: Both boys and girls who are victimized report symptoms of depression, such as sadness, and loss of interest in activities (Slee, 1995; Craig, 1997). Anxiety: Boys and girls who are victims report symptoms of anxiety, such as tension, fears and worries (Neary and Joseph, 1994; Slee, 1995). What Role Do Peers Play? Bullying usually involves more than the bully and victim-85% of bullying episodes occur in the context of a peer group (Atlas and Pepler, 1997; Craig and Pepler, 1997). Although 83% of students indicate that watching bullying makes them feel uncomfortable (Pepler et al., 1997), observations indicate that peers assume many roles in the bullying episode: joining in, cheering, passively watching and occasionally intervening. • Peers tend to give positive attention to the bully, rather than the victim. continued... (...Bullying In Canada continued)

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