Teachers who bully students: a hidden trauma

Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2006 May;52(3):187-98. doi: 10.1177/0020764006067234.


Objective: The study examined teachers' perceptions of bullying by other teachers to see what causes and characteristics were attributed to such bullying teachers, and how often teachers were themselves bullied by students.

Method: 116 teachers from seven elementary schools completed an anonymous questionnaire reflecting their feelings and perceptions about their own experiences of bullying, and how they perceive colleagues over the years.

Results: Results confirmed that teachers who experienced bullying themselves when young are more likely to both bully students and experience bullying by students both in classrooms and outside the classroom. Factor analysis revealed two types of bullying teacher: a sadistic bully type and a bully-victim type.

Conclusions: The implications for the mental health of children and for effective teaching are discussed, in the light of widespread recognition of the traumatic effects of bullying on childhood development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aggression / psychology*
  • Child
  • Crime Victims / psychology*
  • Crime Victims / statistics & numerical data*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Faculty*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Students / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Violence / psychology*
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data*