Bullying includes being made fun of; being the subject of rumors; being threatened with harm; being pushed, shoved, tripped, or spit on; being pressured into doing things one did not want to do; excluded; and having property destroyed on purpose (NCES, 2010).

Bullies are more likely to be involved in other problem behaviors, such as drinking and smoking, and to show poorer school adjustment, both in terms of academic achievement and perceived school climate.  Bullies’ anti-social behavior may persist into adulthood (Child Trends, 2010). 

Data on bullying are most often gathered through self-report about behaviors and experiences, either from perpetrators or victims, or both. Peer nomination techniques (having children list the names of students that engage in socially aggressive behaviors, including themselves, while looking at a classroom or grade-level roster) is another method which can be used, but when collecting these data, the confidentiality and privacy of respondents must be effectively safeguarded (Branson &Cornell, 2009).

Progress in preventing or reducing bullying can be assessed by comparing information about the number of incidents experienced by participants on a weekly or monthly basis. If the rate of bullying (the average number of incidents reported over a specific time interval) or the number of participants who report bullying others is not reasonably low or decreasing, program managers may want to assess issues around program design, implementation, and quality.

By ChildTrends

Surveys / Assessments


Sources Cited

Branson, C., & Cornell, D. (2009). A comparison of self and peer reports in the assessment of middle school bullying. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 25, 5-27.

Child Trends, (2010).  Bullying.  Child Trends DataBank.  Retrieved from http://www.childtrendsdatabank.org/?q=node/370

National Center for Education Statistics, (2010).  Indicators of school crime and safety. Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2011002.