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Expanding our focus for a deeper understanding

bullying research

Our research has shown us that bullying is a relationship problem that requires relationship solutions. It is an imbalance of power between the one abusing, and the one being abused. But how does this happen? How does bullying behaviour develop and why are some kids more at risk of being abused than others? Does bullying affect a child’s future? And why - with bullying awareness at an all time high - are kids still being abused by their peers with, in some cases, a vicious recklessness?

To understand these questions, we must expand our focus beyond the traditional view of children as the “bullied, the bullying and the bystanders” to include children’s relationships. By combining the individual needs of the child with what we know about the social dynamics in children’s peer groups, and the roles that adults play in shaping children’s experiences, a much clearer picture of the issues begins to take form.

When we expand our focus, we gain a more comprehensive perspective on bullying problems, and it is only with this deeper understanding of the complexities of bullying, that we will be able to recognize the multiple approaches required to stop it.

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