Perceptions and attitudes toward bullying in middle school youth: A developmental examination across the bully/victim continuum

Susan S Swearer, Paulette Tam Cary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

55 Scopus citations


We examined middle school students' attitudes and perceptions of bullying during their middle school years. Participants were categorized along the bully/victim continuum as bullies, victims, bully-victims, and no-status students based on their self-nomination from a survey that queries students about their experiences with bullying (either as a bully, victim, or both), their observations of bullying, and their attitudes toward bullying. The majority of participants were classified as bullies, victims, and bully-victims as 70% of the participants reported involvement with bullying and/or victimization during their middle school years. Participants' perceptions about bullying and attitudes toward bullying were examined at three points in time. Participants' attitudes toward bullying became more supportive of bullying as students progressed through middle school. Additionally, external attributes for bullying were cited across all four status groups as reasons for involvement in bullying. Implications for prevention and intervention programs that address bullying are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-79
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Applied School Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 12 2003



  • Adolescence
  • Attitudes
  • Bullying
  • Peer aggression
  • Victimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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