Why do children bully?

Elizabeth Nassem, Ann Harris

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


I, Elizabeth, first became affected by bullying when I was bullied as a child. I couldn’t understand why I was bullied, and why, even though some people were aware of this, it continued to happen. I was called racist names and physically assaulted, people used to spit in my hair, and sometimes, when I was hiding, several people would search for me to threaten and push me. As an adult looking back, I realise that as the bullying grew in severity, I became known and targeted as a ‘victim’. When I later researched bullying for my undergraduate degree, the academic literature made me feel ashamed of being a victim, particularly when I read a description from Salmivalli et al. about ‘helpless’ and ‘provocative’ victims1. I remembered what my experience felt like as a child: the cold sweats, being frightened of school every day, unable to concentrate on my work. I became weak, anxious and I could hardly eat.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Specialist publicationSchool Leadership Today
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015


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