School bullies create a climate of fear and intimidation that may affect not only those students who are the direct targets of the bullying but also the secondary victims (i.e., those students who witness the victimization of peers). Results from a survey of New Jersey middle school students indicate that eight graders were significantly more indifferent to bullying and less sympathetic to victims than fifth graders. Older students were also more likely to identify themselves as outsiders and bully's assistants in bullying situations. In the absence of bullying prevention programs, witnesses to peer aggression become less willing to intervene on behalf of victims and more indifferent to the distress of the victim. The implications of these findings for the prevention of bullying and the achievement of civic responsibility are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health