Social network predictors of bullying and victimization

Adolescence. 2004 Summer;39(154):315-35.


This study examined whether bullies, victims, and aggressive victims (those who are both bullies and victims) differed on classroom social network variables, gender, and ethnicity. Survey data were collected from a primarily Latino and Asian sample of 1,368 Southern California 6th graders (mean age = 11.3 years). Logistic regression analyses were performed to determine whether network characteristics and ethnicity were associated with each of the outcome variables. Consistent with social cognitive theory, friends' participation in aggressive behaviors was positively associated with being a bully or an aggressive victim, and negatively associated with being a victim. Consistent with social dominance theory, the number of friendship nominations received was negatively associated with being a victim. Female bullies received fewer friendship nominations, but had a higher proportion of reciprocated friendships. Victims were disproportionately Asian. The findings suggest that bullying prevention efforts targeting highly aggressive students may also diffuse to their friends, and that assertiveness training in handling aggressive situations may successfully combat bullying and aggression.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aggression*
  • Asian Americans
  • Child
  • Crime Victims* / psychology
  • Female
  • Friends / psychology
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Social Support*
  • United States