Bullying in middle school: results from a 2008 survey

Int J Adolesc Med Health. 2011;23(1):11-8. doi: 10.1515/ijamh.2011.003.


A survey conducted in 2008 among 346 American middle school students in several cities determined that 82.7% of respondents found bullying to be a problem of some degree, with 46.0% rating it a "medium", "bad", or "very bad" problem. It was found that 89% had witnessed an act of bullying and 49.1% said they had been the victim of a bully. Boys were significantly more likely than girls to say that a victim deserved to be bullied (11.1% vs. 1.3%, p = 0.01), whereas girls were significantly more likely than boys to fail to intervene because they did not know what to do (30.3% for girls vs. 11.1%, p < 0.01). There was no significant difference in this study between boys and girls in terms of being a bully: 43.6% admitted they had bullied another (46.2% boys, 41.1% girls, p = 0.34); however, girls were significantly more likely than boys to bully by excluding others and gossiping about them than by hitting, teasing, or threatening. Cyberbullying, surveyed as a distinct entity, had affected 31.1% of respondents directly, with similar results from 2006 to 2007 surveys. Of those who found conventional bullying a "bad" or "very bad" problem at their schools, numbers fell from 17.3% in 2006-2007 vs. 11.3% in 2008.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bullying*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Schools*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology