WHO IS AT RISK?
Victim – anyone can be a victim. Victims are perceived to be different in some way by their peers such as being overweight or underweight, wearing glasses or different clothing, being new to a school, or being unable to afford what kids consider “cool”. Increased risk factors include:
- Are perceived as weak or unable to defend themselves
- Are depressed, anxious, or have low self esteem
- Are less popular than others and have few friends
- Do not get along well with others, seen as annoying or provoking, or antagonize others for attention
- Shy, quiet, lack assertiveness
- Special needs children
- Too much parental involvement or not enough parental involvement
Bully - there are two types of kids who are more likely to bully others:
- Some are well-connected to their peers, have social power, are overly concerned about their popularity, and like to dominate or be in charge of others.
- Others are more isolated from their peers and may be depressed or anxious, have low self-esteem, be less involved in school, be easily pressured by peers, or have difficulty identifying with the emotions or feelings of others.
Children who demonstrate the following behaviors may also be more likely to bully others;
- Are aggressive or easily frustrated
- Have less parental involvement or having issues at home
- Think badly of others
- Have difficulty following rules
- View violence in a positive way
- Have friends who bully others
Those who bully others do not need to be stronger or bigger than those they bully. The power imbalance can come from a number of sources—popularity, strength, cognitive ability—and children who bully may have more than one of these characteristics.