Resources for Research

A collection of essential research about bullying

A Collection of Research about Bullying

Olweus, D. (1978) Aggression in the schools: Bullies and whipping boys. (Wiley) and Olweus, D. (1993). Bullying at school: What we know and what we can do.  (Blackwell). Dr. Dan Olweus provides decades of research regarding how changing school climate and culture can transform behavior.

Rigby, K. and Slee, P.T. (1991). Bullying among Australian school children: reported behaviour and attitudes to victims. Journal of Social Psychology, 131, pp 615-622 (abstract online HERE).

Rigby, K. (2008). Children and bullying. How parents and educators can reduce bullying at school. Boston, Blackwell/Wiley. Rigby has included students’ thinking and ideas in the development of his work, and provides practical ideas for change.

Smith, P. K., & Sharp, S. (1994). Tackling bullying in your school: A practical handbook for teachers. (Routledge). This book is written from the point of view of people who have spent a lot of time in schools. It provides ways in which little changes in language or practice can have large outcomes.

Craig, W., & Pepler, D. (1995). Peer processes in bullying and victimization: An observational study. Exceptionality Education Canada, 5, 81-95 and Craig. W.M. & Pepler, D.J. (1996).

S. Miller, J. Brodine, & T. Miller (Eds.) Safe by Design: Planning for Peaceful School Communities. Seattle, WA: Committee for Children, 205-230.

Ross, D. (1996). Childhood bullying and teasing. Alexandria, ACA Press (second edition 2003). An in depth US examination of what works in building positive school culture.

Salmivalli, C., Huttunen, A., & Lagerspetz, J. (1997). Peer networks and bullying in schools. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 38, 305-312. Salmivalli’s work is summarized HERE. Salmivalli et al’s work shows ways of building positive supportive peer networks.

Swearer, S., Espelage, D. L., Vaillancourt, T., & Hymel, S. (2010). What can be done about school bullying? Linking research to educational practice. Educational Researcher, 39(1), 38-47.

Roland, E. & Galloway (2004).  Can We Reduce Bullying by Improving Classroom Management? ACPP Occasional Paper, 23, 35-40. Roland and Galloway have explored the ways in which classroom culture and teacher action can influence bullying behavior even if bullying is not systematically discussed in the classroom.

Roland, E. & Galloway (2002). Classroom influences on bullying. Educational Research, 44, 299-313.; See abstract online HERE.

Espelage, D., Swearer, S. (2004). Bullying in American schools: A social-ecological perspective on prevention and intervention.

Espelage, D., Bosworth, K., Simon, T. (2000). Examining the social environment of middle school students who bully. Journal of Counseling and Development, 78, 326-333.

Bosworth, K., Espelage, D., Simon, T. (1999). Factors associated with bullying behavior in middle school students. Journal of Early Adolescence, 19, 341-362.

Research on the incidence and impact of bullying:

Below are some articles around the incidence and impact of bullying.  This is not all-inclusive of the work.

Nansel, T. R., Overpeck, M., Pilla, R. S., Ruan, W. J., Simons-Morton, B., & Scheidt, P. (2001). Bullying behaviors among U.S. youth: Prevalence and association with psychosocial adjustment. Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 285, pp. 2094-2100

Juvonen, J., Graham, S., Schuster, M. (2003). Bullying among young adolescents: The strong, the weak, and the troubled.  Pediatrics, 112: 1231-1237

Takizawa, R., Maughan, B., & Arseneault, L. (2014). Adult Health Outcomes of Childhood Bullying Victimization: Evidence from a 5-Decade Longitudinal British Birth Cohort. American Journal of Psychiatry, A1a:1-8 (ONLINE HERE)

Note: we urge people to use research about negative outcomes of bullying behavior with care. Inundating youth with predictions of inevitable and severe negative outcomes can have unintended negative effects, including developing a sense of helplessness in bullied youth. In addition, fear-based messaging to youth, involving prediction of rare, severe outcomes, has been largely ineffective in many areas of prevention.


  • Jacobsen, Kristen E. and Sheri Bauman, PhD. Bullying in Schools: School Counselors’ Responses to Three Types of Bullying Incidents (ASCA October 2007)
  • Carney, JoLynne V., PhD Perceptions of Bullying and Trauma During Adolescence (ASCA Feb 2008)
  • Anita Young, Ph.D, Valerie Hardy, M.Ed, Christina Hamilton, M.Ed. Kristen Biernesser, M.S., Li-Lin Sun, M.S., Susan Niebergall, M.S. Empowering Students: Using Data to Transform a Bullying Prevention and Intervention Program (ASCA August 2009)
  • Phillips, Victoria and Cornell, Dewey G. Identifying Victims of Bullying: Use of Counselor Interviews to Confirm Peer Nominations (ASCA February 2012)
  • Charles R. McAdams,III, Ed.D. and Christopher D.,Schmidt, Ph.D. How to Help a Bully: Recommendations for Counseling the Proactive Aggressor (ASCA December 2007)
  • Julia S. Chibbaro, Ph.D. School Counselors and the Cyberbully: Interventions and Implications (ASCA October 2007)
  • Hall, Kimberly R. Using Problem-Based Learning with Victims of Bullying Behavior

Social Science Research

Social science research for bullying professionals includes:

  • Aronson, E. Nobody Left to Hate (2001) MacMillan –this short book summarizes decades of research in Social Psychology as it explores the question of how we can make schools inclusive, accepting places.
  • Williams, K. (2002) Ostracism: The Power of Silence (Guilford) . Williams’ work is summarized in an online article here . Williams points to a focus on social inclusion or exclusion as a key issue in psychological outcomes.
  • Baumeister, R.F. (2001: April). Violent pride: Do people turn violent because of self-hate, or self-love? Scientific American, 284 (No. 4), 96-101
    Baumeister, R.F., Campbell, J.D., Krueger, J.I. & Vohs, K.D. (2003). Does high self-esteem cause better performance interpersonal success, happiness, or healthier lifestyles? Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 4, 1-44.
  • Lerner, M. (1980). The Belief in a Just World: A Fundamental Delusion. Plenum: New York. Lerner found that a sizable number of people are predisposed to see mistreated people as having caused the mistreatment they experience. This work is summarized in the article HERE and this one HERE.
  • Crick, N. and Grotpeter, J Child Dev. 1995 Jun;66(3):710-22. Relational aggression, gender, and social-psychological adjustment.
    Crick, Ostrov, Appleyard, Jansen, and Casas Relational Aggression in Early Childhood: book chapter on line HERE– and many other publications. CLICK HERE for Crick’s work summarized.
    Crick et al’s work focuses on the study and understanding of relational aggression – the manipulation and control of friendships and belonging by others.
  • Ostrov, J. M., Gentile, D. A., & Crick, N. R. (2006). Media exposure, aggression and prosocial behavior during early childhood: A longitudinal study. Social Development, 15, 612-627.
    Ostrov, J. M., Gentile, D. A., & Mullins, A. D. (2013). Evaluating the effect of educational media exposure on aggression in early childhood. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 34, 38-44. doi:10.1016/j.appdev.2012.09.005
    Relational aggression and media exposure. There have been several studies of the role of media modeling on young peoples’ relational aggression – here is a summary ONLINE.
  • The work of Dweck and Yeager focuses on the ways that young people think about themselves, about others, and about whether people and their lives can change. Dweck’s 2007 summary of this work in Educational Leadership can be found ONLINE HERE.
    Dweck, C. S. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. (Random House) is a more detailed presentation of the research. Yeager has extended this work specifically into what we can do to reduce the traumatic effects of bullying. That research is presented at ONLINE HERE and another ONLINE HERE. The research underlying these two summary presentations includes:
    Miu, A.* & Yeager, D.S. (accepted pending revisions). Preventing depressive symptoms by teaching adolescents that people can change: Nine-month effects of a brief incremental theory of personality intervention. Clinical Psychological Science.
    Yeager, D.S., Johnson, R.*, Spitzer, B.*, Trzesniewski, K., Powers, J.*, & Dweck, C.S. (2014). The far-reaching effects of believing people can change: Implicit theories of personality shape stress, health, and achievement during adolescence.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 106, 867-884. Online supplement.
    Yeager, D.S., Trzesniewski, K., & Dweck, C.S. (2013).  An implicit theories of personality intervention reduces adolescent aggression in response to victimization and exclusion. Child Development, 84, 970-988.  Online supplement. Available AS A PDF HERE
    Yeager, D.S. & Dweck, C.S. (2012). Mindsets that promote resilience: When students believe that personal characteristics can be developed. Educational Psychologist, 47, 1-13.
  • There is much other research on the process of developing and strengthening resiliency in youth. An article by Benard, AVAILABLE HERE ONLINE, summarizes the research on the process of developing and strengthening resiliency in youth.
    Werner, E. and Smith, R. (1982, 1989). Vulnerable but Invincible: A Longitudinal Study of Resilient Children and Youth. Adams, Bannister, and Cox. Foundational research in resiliency.
  • Criminology research presents parallels to bullying work in changing the behavior of those who repeatedly mistreat others
    M. Kleiman, When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment; Punishment & Society July 2012 14: 368-372.
    Kleiman, M. A. R. (2010).When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment. Princeton, NJ: Princeton. Among other research findings, this book presents the results of  Alm’s Hawaii Opportunity Probation Experiment. Program (H.O.P.E.) is summarized in THIS VIDEO.
  • Davis, S. and Nixon, C.L. (2013) Youth Voice Project: Student Insights into Bullying and Peer Mistreatment, Research Press. Click here for more information.
    Davis and Nixon present the results of their large (US) national study in which they asked bullied youth what had actually worked to make their situations better – and what had not HERE ONLINE.
  • Englander, E.K. (2013) Bullying and Cyberbullying: What Every Educator Needs to Know, Harvard Education Press Englander’s research also involves the voices and experiences of youth. The most comprehensive description of that research is this book. Other resources from Englander’s Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center are presented HERE ONLINE.

Pew Research Center

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