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Furthermore, contrary to popular belief, bullying occurs more frequently on school grounds than on the way to and from school.
Students who are chronic victims of bullying experience more physical and psychological problems than their peers who are not harassed by other children It is not only victims who are at risk for short- and long-term problems; bullies also are at increased risk for negative outcomes. Hazler, "Bullying: Perceptions of adolescent victims in Midwestern USA," School Psychology International 13:5-16,1992.
One researcher found that those elementary students who were bullies attended school less frequently and were more likely to drop out than other students.
Recent research in the United States and abroad has documented that bullying is a common and potentially damaging form of violence among children.
Not only does bullying harm both its intended victims and the perpetrators, it also may affect the climate of schools and, indirectly, the ability of all students to learn to the best of their abilities.
Inspired by the suicides of several severely victimized children, Norway supported the development and implementation of a comprehensive program to address bullying among children in school.
The program involved interventions at multiple levels: Schoolwide interventions. Moreover, the link between bullying and later delinquent and criminal behavior cannot be ignored. Asher, "Peer relations and later personal adjustment: Are low accepted children at risk? Although studies of comprehensive antibullying programs are scarce in the United States, evaluation data from other countries suggest that adopting a comprehensive approach to reduce bullying at school can change students' behaviors and attitudes, reduce other antisocial behaviors, and increase teachers' willingness to intervene. Bullying among children is understood as repeated, negative acts committed by one or more children against another. These negative acts may be physical or verbal in nature -- for example, hitting or kicking, teasing or taunting -- or they may involve indirect actions such as manipulating friendships or purposely excluding other children from activities. Second, the nature of bullying does not necessarily lend itself to the same interventions that may effectively reduce other types of conflict among children. Robinson, "Association of common health symptoms with bullying in primary school children," British Medical Journal 3-19, 1996. Because it involves harassment by powerful children against children with less power (rather than a conflict between peers of relatively equal status), common conflict resolution strategies such as mediation may not be effective. Approximately one in five children admitted that they had bullied another child with some regularity in the previous 3 months. These figures are consistent with estimates of several other researchers. Within 2 years of implementation, both boys' and girls' self-reports indicated that bullying had decreased by half. These changes in behavior were more pronounced the longer the program was in effect. Olweus, "Victimization by peers: Antecedents and long-term outcomes," in Social Withdrawal, Inhibitions, and Shyness, edited by K.