Bullying Common in Grade School
Study Shows Bullying Affects Most Elementary School Students
WebMD News Archive
April 13, 2007 -- Many elementary school students report being bullied by
their peers and bullying other children, a new study shows.
The study included 270 children in grades 3-6 at two schools in California
and one school in Arizona.
The students completed an anonymous survey about their experience with
The survey included 22 statements about bullying, which included emotional
and physical bullying.
Some survey statements focused on being bullied. Those statements included
"Other students make me cry," "I want to stay home from school
because students are mean to me," and "I am hit or kicked by other
The survey also included statements about being a bully, such as "I am
mean to other students," "I push or slap other students," and
"I say mean things about a student to make other kids laugh."
The students checked boxes marked "a lot," "sometimes," or
"never" to indicate how strongly each statement applied to them.
Nearly 90% of the children reported being bullied and 59% said they had
bullied other students.
Out of a possible 24 points on the bullying victimization scale, the
students' average score was nearly 7 points. Out of 20 possible points on the
bullying scale, the average score was 2 points.
The level of bullying victimization was "fairly high," write the
survey's developers. They included child psychiatrist Thomas Tarshis, MD,
Tarshis worked on the survey while at Stanford University's division of
child and adolescent psychiatry. He now works for the Bay Area Children's
Association in Cupertino, Calif.
Tarshis and colleagues conducted the study to see how well the survey
worked. They conclude that the survey is suitable for use in developing tools
to curb bullying in schools.
However, the study wasn't designed to gauge bullying in schools
The study appears in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral
- The Parenting: Preschoolers and Grade Schoolers community is sharing
stories about their children being bullied. Join the
discussion on the WebMD message boards.