Bullying among school-aged children has received notoriety in the media as of late, especially following highly publicized incidents in which victims have killed themselves or others as a result of being bullied. The following study analyzed data from the 2005-2006 Health Behavior in School-aged Children (HBSC) survey, a national survey of students, in order to determine the socio-demographic factors predictive of bullying behaviors. A dichotomous bully variable was derived from the data set and used in an initial logistic regression with a set of independent variables representing student race/ethnicity, gender, family SES, family structure, and parental engagement. Initial results demonstrated the significance of parental attachment above all other independent variables, in addition to gender and family SES. OLS regressions were then run in order to determine which independent variables affected parent engagement. Results indicated that both mothers and fathers, especially those from racial/ethnic minority backgrounds, were significantly less engaged with their children than their white counterparts, particularly racial/ethnic minority fathers being significantly less engaged with their daughters. These results point to a crisis of masculinity as well as greater structural inequality that prevents minority parents from being more engaged with their children.
This study examined the behavior of a bullying epidemic on different social network structures using ideas from network theory, graph theory, and stochastic epidemic modeling. Three aspects of the bullying epidemic were investigated: the predictors for duration of the epidemic, the impact of different initial conditions on the epidemic, and the impact of different network structures on the epidemic. Overall, the more connected the network and the stronger the connection between each individual, the longer the bullying epidemic last. Introducing a more popular student as the first bully to the population would also lead to a longer duration for the bullying epidemic. These results suggest that teachers could educate students on the negative consequences of bullying, which could weaken the connections between susceptible students and the bully, and thus decrease the impact of the bullying epidemic in the classroom.
Bullying is defined as a specific type of aggression, in which the behavior is intended to harm or disturb, the behavior occurs repeatedly, and there is an imbalance of power. This results in significant psychological damage in the victim, but also in the bully. Studies report the number of bullied children in middle schools as between 4% and 82%. The goals of our study are to understand how bullying behavior spreads in a population of adolescents, and to examine the impacts of the most common bullying intervention strategies. We propose a compartmental model parametrized using data on the prevalence of bullying. We compute the basic reproductive number R0 and perform numerical simulations and a sensitivity analysis of the model. An extension of the simple model includes the most common intervention strategies. Numerical simulations suggest that the Traditional Disciplinary Approach, although commonly implemented, is the least effective of the intervention strategies we study.