Youth Perceptions of Bullying: Thinking Outside the Box

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Kelly L. Wester
Heather C. Trepal


Bullying, aggression, and intimidation are common phenomena in U.S. schools and
can lead to a decline in academic functioning, isolation, distress, and
other symptoms of trauma. Although a plethora of research has been
conducted on the types, rates, and effects of bullying, none asks
students their perceptions of bullying behaviors. In this study Q
methodology and interviews with fifth through eighth grade students
found differing descriptions of the behaviors they perceive as
"bullying". Q factor analysis revealed eight distinct perceptions of
bullying behaviors including direct and indirect behaviors.
Additionally, some of the youths in the sample did not identify with any
of the factors, indicating that there are probably other perceptions of
bullying behaviors as well. Recommendations are given for professionals
who work with youths.

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How to Cite
Wester, K. L., & Trepal, H. C. . (2004). Youth Perceptions of Bullying: Thinking Outside the Box. Operant Subjectivity, 27(2). Retrieved from