Social Psychology of Education

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 589–600 | Cite as

Bullying in Australian schools: the perceptions of victims and other students

  • Ken RigbyEmail author


Students’ perceptions of the nature and prevalence of bullying and how the problem was being addressed were investigated in a convenience sample of 1688 students in years 5–10 attending Australian government schools. Comparisons were made between students who reported that they had been bullied during the previous 12 months and others. Rankings of the frequencies of the kinds of bullying perceived as occurring at the school were highly similar for the two groups. However, bullied students estimated significantly higher frequency of bullying. Further, bullied students were more inclined to view the social environment as less safe, bystanders to be less helpful, informing students after being bullied less frequent, classroom activities to address bullying less common and less helpful, and teachers less committed to help. In general, students perceived more students being bullied at their school than was indicated in reports of their experiences. The implications of these findings for addressing bullying in schools are discussed.


Bullying Australian schools Social perception Victims 



This article is based upon research funded by the Australian Department of Education and Training and undertaken through the School of Education at the University of South Australia.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UnderdaleAustralia

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