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Let's Prevent Peer Victimization, Not Just Bullying

NCJ Number
Child Abuse & Neglect Volume: 36 Issue: 4 Dated: April 2012 Pages: 271-274
Date Published
April 2012
4 pages
This article discusses the premise that research efforts to combat peer victimization need to focus on more than just simple acts of bullying.
While most of the research efforts to combat peer victimization have focused on bullying as the central issue, the authors of this article argue that other problems also need to be addressed by researchers. The main problem with today's efforts stems from the narrow definition of bullying because it excludes serious acts of peer aggression. Prevention and intervention programs used by schools and healthcare professionals generally attempt to target and eliminate all types of interpersonal aggression, from repeated acts of aggression to single acts of physical and sexual assault. Researchers, on the other hand use a technical definition of bullying that is at odds with how bullying is classified in the real world. The article presents an alternative approach to identifying bullying that could be classified as peer victimization and peer aggression, where victimization is defined as harm caused by other persons and aggression is defined as acts intended or perceived as intended to cause harm. The authors conclude that the concept of bullying should not be abandoned but rather expanded to include peer victimization and aggression. References

Date Published: April 1, 2012