Bullying

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Youth awareness of cyber-bullying as a criminal offence: full report of research findings
TanB and Pedic F
Canberra, ACT : Dept. of Communications, 2014.

As part of a broader research project, this report investigates whether young people are aware that cyberbullying is a criminal offence is Australia. Surveys were conducted with 1,019 young people aged from 10 to 17 years old, regarding their awareness of: cyber-bullying as a crime; the kind of behaviours that would constitute a criminal offence; the penalties involved; and current cyberbullying laws and penalties. The methodology of the survey is also discussed, and a copy of the questionnaire included as an appendix.

What works best to help stop bullying in schools?
Smith P and Thompson F
The Conversation 7 Aug 2014

This article reviews some of the evidence on preventing and responding to bullying in schools.

Bullying prevalence across contexts : a meta-analysis measuring cyber and traditional bullying.
Modecki K, Minchin J, Harbaugh A, Guerra N and Runions K
Journal of Adolescent Health 24 Aug 2014: Advance online publication

This article compares the prevalence of cyber and traditional bullying among adolescents. The international research literature was reviewed, finding that traditional bullying was twice as common as cyber bullying. Measurement issues and the implications for interventions are also briefly discussed.

Bullying in children and adolescents : a modifiable risk factor for mental illness.
Scott J, Moore S, Sly P and Norman R
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry v. 48 no. 3 Mar 2014: 209-212

This article argues that bullying in schools is the most important risk factor for mental illness that can be systematically targeted at a population level. The article explains why this is so and highlights the benefits of school-based interventions.

Research on youth exposure to, and management of, cyberbullying incidents in Australia. Part C, An evidence-based assessment of deterrents to youth cyberbullying
Spears B, Taddeo C, Swirski T, Keeley M, Katz I, Collin P, Daly A and Bates S
Canberra, ACT : Dept. of Communications, 2014.

This research project aims to provide the Australian Government with evidence relating to the desirability of whether to create a new, separate offence of cyberbullying. The project investigates the prevalence of cyberbullying among children and young people in Australia, how cyberbullying is currently reported and addressed, and prevention through law. This report reviews the Australian and international evidence to determine how any new law could be best implemented to have the greatest material deterrent effect. It considers current community awareness of cyberbullying penalties and offences, possible information campaigns, and the potential impact of a new cyberbullying offence and a new civil enforcement regime. The appendices of supplementary data are published as separate documents.

Research on youth exposure to, and management of, cyberbullying incidents in Australia. Part B, Cyberbullying incidents involving Australian minors, the nature of the incidents and how they are currently being dealt with
Keeley M, Katz I, Bates S and Wong M
Canberra, ACT : Dept. of Communications, 2014.

This research project aims to provide the Australian Government with evidence relating to the desirability of whether to create a new, separate offence of cyberbullying. The project investigates the prevalence of cyberbullying among children and young people in Australia, how cyberbullying is currently reported and addressed, and how any new law could best be implemented to have the greatest material deterrent effect. This report is one of eight, and focuses on incidents that are reported to police, community legal advice bodies, and other related organisations. Based on police records and interviews with stakeholders, it examines the prevalence of reported incidents, the characteristics and nature of these incidents, and how the police, schools, and other organisations currently respond to such incidents and their thoughts on how this could be improved.

Research on youth exposure to, and management of, cyberbullying incidents in Australia. Part A, Literature review on the estimated prevalence of cyberbullying involving Australian minors
Spears B, Keeley M, Bates S and Katz I
Canberra, ACT : Dept. of Communications, 2014.

This research project aims to provide the Australian Government with evidence relating to the desirability of whether to create a new, separate offence of cyberbullying. The project investigates the prevalence of cyberbullying among children and young people in Australia, how cyberbullying is currently reported and addressed, and how any new law could best be implemented to have the greatest material deterrent effect. This report is one of eight, and looks at the evidence-base on the prevalence of cyberbullying in Australia and overseas and how such incidents are currently being dealt with. Topics include the challenges in estimating the extent of cyberbullying, help-seeking by young people, and systemic responses.

Research on youth exposure to, and management of, cyberbullying incidents in Australia. Synthesis report
Katz I, Keeley M, Spears B, Taddeo C, Swirski T and Bates S
Canberra, ACT : Dept. of Communications, 2014.

This research project aims to provide the Australian Government with evidence relating to the desirability of whether to create a new, separate offence of cyberbullying. The project investigates the prevalence of cyberbullying among children and young people in Australia, how cyberbullying is currently reported and addressed, and how any new law could best be implemented to have the greatest material deterrent effect. A suite of 8 reports has been produced, with the findings summarised in this synthesis report.

Enhancing online safety for children: public consultation on key election commitments
Australia. Dept. of Communications
Canberra, ACT : Dept. of Communications, 2014.

As set out in the Policy to Enhance Online Safety for Children, the Australian Government is committed to establishing a range of measures to improve the online safety of children and young people. As part of this goal, a discussion paper has been released to describe the issues involved and solicit public response on how best to advise the government. It discusses: the establishment of a children's e-Safety Commissioner, a programme for the rapid removal of material that is harmful to a child from social media sites, options for dealing with cyber-bullying under Commonwealth legislation, current Australian Government online safety programmes and legislation, and the law in New Zealand.

Family histories of school bullying : implications for parent-child psychotherapy.
Allison S, Roeger L, Smith B and Isherwood L
Australasian Psychiatry v. 22 no. 2 Apr 2014: 149-153

The article investigated whether a parent's past history of peer victimisation predicted their children's risk of being bullied at school, drawing on a community sample of 1895 parents. The implications for parent-child psychotherapy are also discussed.

Does your child bully others?: ten positive actions for parents
Lodge J
Melbourne, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2014.

It's hard for any parent to believe that their child is bullying another child, but sometimes it happens. However, bullying can be stopped - and parents can make a big difference. This leaflet summarises the ten positive actions that parents can take to help their children and lists contacts for further help. This leaflet is part of a suite of documents on children who bully.

Helping your child stop bullying: a guide for parents
Lodge J
Melbourne, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2014.

It's hard for any parent to believe that their child is bullying another child, but sometimes it happens. However, bullying can be stopped - and parents can make a big difference. This resource for parents explains what can be done to help a child who bullies others, and provides a step by step guide to taking action. Bullying is not normal behaviour or just part of growing up, and left unchecked can hurt a child's social and academic life. This guide is part of a suite of documents on children who bully: general and practitioner resources are also available.

Working with families whose child is bullying: an evidence-based guide for practitioners
Lodge J
Melbourne, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2014.

When children bully others at school, they are at significant risk of continuing this pattern of antisocial behaviour and having mental health concerns as they grow older. This guide provides practitioners and other professionals with information on school bullying and working with families. Sections include: The problem of bullying; How do I know if a child is bullying?; Approach to managing bullying; Assessing the prevalence and nature of the child's bullying behaviour; Examining risk and protective factors associated with bullying; and Supporting children who bully and their families. This guide is part of a suite of documents on children who bully: a background fact sheets and parent resources are also available.

Children who bully at school
Lodge J
Melbourne, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2014.

This paper provides background information on the development, outcomes, and support of children who bully at school. It reviews the literature on adverse outcomes in later life, the family factors that contribute to bullying behaviour, protective factors that may interrupt the development of antisocial behaviour, and the role of parents in anti-bullying interventions. Bullying by children is a serious problem in Australia and elsewhere, and there is strong evidence that children who bully at school are at significant risk for a range of antisocial, criminal and poor health outcomes later in life. This paper is part of a suite of documents on children who bully: resources for practitioners and parents are also available.

The long-term cost of bullying (PDF)
Economic and Social Research Council (Great Britain)
Swindon, England : Economic and Social Research Council, 2014.

Being bullied as a child is a cause of long-lasting and significant damage. This briefing paper highlights key findings from the Economic and Social Research Council longitudinal research project 'Prenatal and family precursors of bullying involvement in childhood and their consequences into early adulthood'. It outlines information on risk factors, outcomes for victims and perpetrators, and implications for policy.

Protective factors against the impact of school bullying perpetration and victimization on young adult externalizing and internalizing problems.
Hemphill S, Tollit M and Herrenkohl T
Journal of School Violence v. 13 no. 1 2014: 125-145

This article examines the later impact of adolescent bullying in early adulthood, and the protective individual and family factors involved. It presents findings from a study of over 650 Victorians young people, comparing self-reported bullying perpetration and victimization at ages 16-17 years and externalising and internalising problems at ages 18-19 years.

Adolescent peer aggression and its association with mental health and substance use in an Australian cohort.
Moore S, Norman R, Sly P, Whitehouse A, Zubrick S and Scott J
Journal of Adolescence v. 37 no. 1 Jan 2014: 11-21

This article examines the association between aggression in early adolescence and mental health or drug use in later adolescence. Using data from the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort Study, it compares involvement in any type of peer aggression - whether as a victim, perpetrator, or both - at 14 years of age, and later depression, internalising symptoms, and harmful alcohol or substance use at 17 years of age. The study features 1590 participants.

Belonging and connection of school students with disability (PDF)
Robinson S
Clifton Hill : Children with Disability Australia, 2014

This paper examines the experiences (both positive and negative) of students with a disability in primary and secondary schools. It focuses especially on the sense of belonging and connection felt by students, and considers how these might be helpful in promoting and building inclusion in schools.

Bullying in early adolescence and antisocial behavior and depression six years later : what are the protective factors?
Vassallo S, Edwards B, Renda J and Olsson C
Journal of School Violence v. 13 no. 1 2014: 100-124

This article investigates what factors protect adolescent bullies from becoming antisocial young adults in later life, as well as what factors protect adolescent victims of bullying from subsequent depression in young adulthood. It uses data from the Australian Temperament Project, a longitudinal study of development through life. Identifying potentially modifiable factors will allow the development of targeted interventions to help reduce the negative impacts of bullying for both victims and offenders.

Kids Helpline Overview 2013 (PDF)
Kids Helpline
Milton, Qld : BoysTown, 2014.

This data-laden report provides an overview of the services provided by Kids Helpline, and the key issues identified by the children & young people that contacted the service, being: Mental health; Family relationships; Emotional wellbeing; Suicidal concerns; and Partner relationships.

Report on abuse at HMAS Leeuwin
Australia. Defence Abuse Response Taskforce
Canberra, ACT : Defence Abuse Response Taskforce, 2014.

The Taskforce Terms of Reference include a specific requirement to focus on allegations of abuse at HMAS Leeuwin, a Junior Recruit Training Establishment operated by the Royal Australian Navy in Fremantle, Western Australia from 1960 to 1984. On 18 June 2014, the Taskforce released its Report on abuse at HMAS Leeuwin, which is based on the personal accounts of more than 200 complainants who trained at HMAS Leeuwin. Virtually all of the complainants were Junior Recruits - aged between 15 and 17 - at the time of the abuse.

The state of Victoria's children 2012: early childhood : a report on how Victoria's young children are faring (PDF)
Victoria. Dept. of Education and Early Childhood Development
Melbourne : Dept. of Education and Early Childhood Development, 2013.

This annual report series provides an overview of how children are faring in Victoria, serving as an evidence base to support planning and policy development. The 2012 report looks at early childhood, identifying how children from birth to eight and their families are doing against indicators of health, wellbeing, development, learning, and safety, and identifying where government assistance might be needed. The latest data is included for such topics as health, immunisation, breastfeeding, birth weight, obesity, wellbeing, developmental vulnerability, emotional problems, stressful life events, preschool participation, child care attendance, child care standards, parental involvement in learning, achievement in grade 3, neighbourhood safety, parental employment, housing, bullying, accidents, family violence, and child abuse substantiations. Some statistics for Aboriginal children and children for different family types are also included, as are examples of good practice and key government programs and policies.

The role of emerging communication technologies in experiences of sexual violence : a new legal frontier? Executive summary [Reprint]
Bluett-Boyd N, Fileborn B, Quadara A and Moore S
Journal of the Home Economics Institute of Australia v. 20 no. 2 2013: 25-29

This research study investigates how communication technologies facilitate sexual violence against young people and what challenges this presents for the Victorian criminal justice system. Based on interviews with young people and professionals working with young people, it examines the effects of technology on the lives of young people, the interface between emerging communication technologies and experiences of sexual violence, and the factors that enable or hinder appropriate legal responses. Communication technologies such as online social networking sites and mobile phones are considered, and their use in identifying and grooming potential victims, blackmail and intimation, sexting, harassment, and pornography. This article reproduces the executive summary of the main report, which summarises key findings, research design, and key messages of the study.

Teacher education, teaching experience and bullying policies : links with early childhood teachers' perceptions and attitudes to bullying.
Goryl O, Neilsen-Hewett C and Sweller N
Australasian Journal of Early Childhood v. 38 no. 2 Jun 2013: 32-40

This study aimed to examine early childhood teachers' understanding and attitudes towards bullying and investigate whether anti-bullying policies were utilised in early childhood services. One hundred and eighty eight early childhood educators in Queensland, Australia were surveyed about bullying among young children. The majority of early childhood teachers (93 per cent) believed young children were capable of bullying, and felt confident to identify and manage incidences of bullying. Results revealed a significant relationship between teacher education and perceived confidence in identifying bullying, with university-qualified educators feeling more confident than TAFE-trained educators. Findings are discussed in respect of the importance of anti-bullying policies in early childhood educational contexts.

Interesting statistics from the 2013 C@S Questionnaire
Australian Bureau of Statistics
Canberra, A.C.T. : Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2013

This webpage highlights some of the key findings from the 2013 CensusAtSchool Questionnaire - a nation-wide project to collect data relevant to Australian students and provide a snapshot of their characteristics, attitudes and opinions. This webpage features interesting facts on internet use, home internet access, environmental conservation, favourite sport, favourite takeaway food, and the importance of social and environmental issues. The reduction of bullying in schools continues to be the leading social issue for students.

Parental involvement in preventing and responding to cyberbullying.
Robinson E
Family Matters no. 92 2013: 68-76

Parents play a critical role in ensuring their children's responsible and safe use of online services, as part of a whole-of-community response to cyberbullying. This article helps practitioners and other professionals assist parents in clarifying their roles and helping teenage children engage in responsible online behaviour. It outlines definitions and statistics related to cyberbullying, explains the differences between cyberbullying and 'offline' bullying, and discusses parents' roles and involvement in preventing and responding to cyberbullying incidents. The article also provides information on additional sources of advice and support.

Bullying in schools and its relation to parenting and family life.
Rigby K
Family Matters no. 92 2013: 61-67

Drawing on the international research, this article examines the association between parenting factors and the involvement of children in bullying at school, whether as bullies or victims. Topics include: parental awareness and beliefs about bullying; insecure attachment and later involvement in bullying; family functioning; parenting style; and the role of low or excessive self-esteem. The article concludes with the implications for parent education.

Understanding violence : context and practice in the human services
Taylor A and Connolly M
Christchurch, N.Z. : Canterbury University Press, 2013.

This book provides insight into the causes and impacts of violence, and how the human services sector can respond and help address this violence. Chapters are written by international authors but focus largely on the New Zealand context. Chapters include: Community violence in Aotearoa New Zealand, by Trevor Bradley; Culture and violence, by Yvonne Crichton-Hill and Nikki Evans; Notions of restorative justice and violence, by Cora van Vliet-Ruissen and Annabel Taylor; Violence and the media, by Liz Beddoe; Risk and social networking, by Maria Perez-y-Perez; Women and violence, by Sophie Goldingay and Annabel Taylor; Intimate partner violence, by Yvonne Crichton-Hill and Annabel Taylor; Working at the front line in domestic violence, by Hillary Haldane; Violence toward children, by Menka Tsantefski and Marie Connolly; Elder abuse and neglect, by Hong-Jae Park; Sexual offending in contemporary contexts, by Andrew Frost; School bullying and violence, by Karen Due Theilade; Gang violence, by Jarrod Gilbert; and Animal-human relationships and human-animal abuse, by Nikki Evans and Claire Gray

Children's experiences of unfriendly behaviour.
Lodge J and Baxter J
The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children annual statistical report 2012. Melbourne, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2013: 93-111

This chapter reports on children's experiences of unfriendly behaviour or bullying at age 10-11 years old in Australia. Using data from 'Growing Up in Australia, the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children' (LSAC), the chapter looks at boys' and girls' experiences of name-calling, social exclusion, shoving or hitting, or note-writing; number of types of unfriendly behaviours experienced; child, family and school characteristics associated with experiences of unfriendly behaviours; children's relationships with peers, teachers and parents and their feelings about school; and how experiences of unfriendly behaviours relate to aspects of social-emotional wellbeing. The chapter also compares parent, teacher and child reports on children's experiences of bullying victimisation. The findings highlight the significant prevalence of bullying victimisation, and the differences in overt and covert bullying behaviours and victim characteristics and willingness to disclose bullying.

An exploration of strength of ethnic identity, acculturation and experiences of bullying and victimisation in Australian school children.
Roberts R and Ali F
Children Australia v. 38 no. 1 Mar 2013: 6-14

School bullying and victimisation is a pervasive problem within schools. Research within Australian schools has not considered the relationship that ethnicity, strength of ethnic identity or acculturation orientation may have with bullying and victimisation. A self-report measure was completed by 421 children (mean age = 11.8 years, SD = 0.6). Ethnic majority children reported experiencing more direct and indirect victimisation than ethnic minority children. For ethnic minority children, weaker ethnic identity was associated with direct victimisation. Ethnic minority children who adopted an assimilation acculturation orientation experienced more direct victimisation in comparison with ethnic minority children who adopted an integration acculturation orientation. Ethnicity and acculturation are important aspects to consider when understanding bullying and victimisation in Australian schools and although ethnic majority children were more likely to report victimisation, weak ethnic identity and assimilation acculturation orientation leaves ethnic minority children particularly vulnerable to direct victimisation. This should be considered in the application of anti-bullying programmes within schools.

See more resources on Bullying in the AIFS library catalogue

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