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International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board Member: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel

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Bullying in middle school: results from a 2008 survey

1 / Joseph Pergolizzi III2 / Zoe Gan3 / Samantha Macario4 / Joseph V. Pergolizzi Jr.5, 6 / T.J. Ewin7 / Tong J. Gan7, 8

1Project Anti-Bully, Naples, FL, USA

2Seacrest Country Day School, Naples, FL, USA

3Project Anti-Bully, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

4Project Anti-Bully, Stanford, CA, USA

5Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

6Department of Anesthesiology, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington DC, WA, USA

7University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA

8Duke University, Durham, NC, USA

Corresponding author: Fabianna Pergolizzi, Project Anti-Bully, 840 111th Avenue North, Suite #7, Naples, FL 34108-1877, USA Phone: +1-239-597-3564, Fax: +1-239-597-7566

Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health. Volume 23, Issue 1, Pages –, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278 , ISSN (Print) 0334-0139 , DOI: 10.1515/ijamh.2011.003, March 2011

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A survey conducted in 2008 among 346 American middle school students in several cities determined that 82.7% of respondents found bullying to be a problem of some degree, with 46.0% rating it a “medium”, “bad”, or “very bad” problem. It was found that 89% had witnessed an act of bullying and 49.1% said they had been the victim of a bully. Boys were significantly more likely than girls to say that a victim deserved to be bullied (11.1% vs. 1.3%, p=0.01), whereas girls were significantly more likely than boys to fail to intervene because they did not know what to do (30.3% for girls vs. 11.1%, p<0.01). There was no significant difference in this study between boys and girls in terms of being a bully: 43.6% admitted they had bullied another (46.2% boys, 41.1% girls, p=0.34); however, girls were significantly more likely than boys to bully by excluding others and gossiping about them than by hitting, teasing, or threatening. Cyberbullying, surveyed as a distinct entity, had affected 31.1% of respondents directly, with similar results from 2006 to 2007 surveys. Of those who found conventional bullying a “bad” or “very bad” problem at their schools, numbers fell from 17.3% in 2006–2007 vs. 11.3% in 2008.

Keywords: adolescence; bullying; public health; school; violence

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