Researchers Can Support Efforts to Understand and Prevent Bullying

Bullying is difficult to measure. It has been difficult for researchers to determine the extent of bullying in the United States. However, the prevalence data that are available indicate that school-based bullying likely affects between 18 and 31 percent of children and youth, and the prevalence of cyber victimization ranges from 7 to 15 percent of youth. These estimates are even higher for some subgroups of youth who are particularly vulnerable to being bullied (e.g., youth who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender [LGBT], youth with disabilities).

There are many gaps in research on bullying. For example, there is a need for more research on the consequences of bullying, the effects of peers and bystanders on bullying, and the components of anti-bullying policies that ensure a positive impact.

Researchers can support efforts to prevent bullying by seeking funding to place a greater emphasis on this topic in their research, collaborating further to share their data and information, and studying the consequences of bullying not only for the child who is bullied but also for the perpetrator and bystanders, among other steps.