Description: This is an abstract for the Olweus Bullying Survey Results report, which summarizes the 2-item Olweus Brief Bullying Survey overall, by grade level and by gender.
Purpose: To summarize the intersection of question 1 and question 2 (Quadrant Chart), summarize question 1 for all students, by gender, and by grade level, and summarize question 2 for all students, by gender and by grade level.
Navigation: Reports > List Reports > Prebuilts > Behavior
Who is the intended audience?
Teachers and Administrators
What data is reported?
Total number of students surveyed, responses combined overall (Quadrant Chart), # and % of students responding to each option for questions 1 and question 2.
How is the data reported?
Please see the images and associated descriptions below.
The quadrant chart (Figure 1) provides a quick overview of the number of students and percentage of bullying delineated by bully and victim rates. The top left quadrant (dark red) indicates the percentage of students that have been bullied and have also bullied others. The top right quadrant (light red) indicates the number and percentage of students that have engaged in bullying of others. The bottom left quadrant (light blue) indicates the number and percentage of students that have been bullied and the bottom right quadrant (dark blue) indicates student that have neither been bullied or bully others.
Figure 2 and Figure 3 display horizontal bar charts with an overall summary and breakdown by gender of the percentage and number of students for question 1 and question 2 by response option.
Figure 4 shows a data table that provides an overall summary and grade level breakdown of the percentage and number of students for question 1 and question 2 by response option.
Figure 5 displays a vertical bar chart of the overall and to visually compare the data across grade levels.
Although there may be considerable variation among schools, it is common to find a decrease in the number of students who are bullied as you move from lower to higher grades, with the highest rates among the youngest students. This is partly due to the fact that, even though most students are bullied by other students within their own classroom or grade level, a considerable proportion of younger students report being bullied mainly by older students. It is also reasonable to assume that the youngest students in a school often feel more vulnerable and defenseless than older students and are therefore more inclined to feel bullied.
It is well documented in research that bullied students (on the average) suffer from increased levels of a number of “internalizing problems” such as depression, anxiety, poor self-esteem, and various health- related symptoms, to a considerable degree as a consequence of the bullying they have been exposed to (e.g., Olweus, 1993; Olweus & Breivik, 2014; Cook, Williams, Guerra, Kim, & Sadek, 2010).
Assessing the Impact of Bullying on School Climate
To gain perspective on bullying at your school, reflect on the meaning of this statement: “In our school, [number] students report that they have been bullied “2 or 3 times a month or more often.” What does this really mean in terms of how these students feel about their school experience? To what extent do these bullied students have a negative outlook and feel afraid, insecure, and depressed? Also consider how this is impacting their non-bullied peers who witness the bullying.
Grade trends for bullying others are not always as clear as for students who are being bullied. However, it is not uncommon to find an increase in the level of bullying in junior high school grades, particularly for boys. It’s also common to find that boys are considerably more involved in bullying other students than girls are.
It is well documented in research that students who participate in bullying others (on average) have increased levels of “externalizing problems” such as rule-breaking behaviors, vandalism, alcohol and substance abuse, early involvement in various delinquent activities, and impulsivity. In addition, they typically do not empathize with students who are bullied (e.g., Olweus, 1993; Cook et al., 2010).
Estimating the Total Volume of Bullying Problems
Because there are some bullied students who also bully other students or, in other words, some bullying students who are also bullied--these are the above-mentioned bully-victim students--one cannot just add together the numbers (or percentages) of students who are bullied and the number of students (or percentages) who bully other students if one wants to get an estimate of the total volume of bully/victim problems in a school or district. To get such an estimate, one has to use the four categories mentioned in the beginning of this document—bullies only, victims only, bully-victims, and not involved.
The students in the bully-victim group share characteristics with both the victim only and the bully only groups and have elevated levels of both internalizing problems like the victims only and externalizing problems like the bullies only. This group is usually relatively small, in particular in higher grades.
The bully-victim group often shows a prevalence pattern across grades that is similar to that of victims (i.e., decreases with age), while it tends to resemble the bullying group in terms of gender differences (i.e., there are typically more boy than girl bully-victims).
What Are Some General Cautions as You Look at Your Results?
Of course, when interpreting raw percentages of students it is important to keep in mind that if you have a small sample size of students, say less than 50 only a few students can dramatically change the percentages which can lead to misinterpretations of the results. Additionally, with a small sample size percentages can paint a picture as extremely severe when in reality only a small of students may be involved. In those cases, it best to use the student “count” and not percentages when interpreting the data.
When looking at the results for your school or district from year to year, be sure to compare changes with appropriate grade levels. For example, in such comparisons, you should compare the results for fifth graders in one year with the data for fifth graders in the next year. Or, if you want to consider possible changes for the whole school, you should compare results for participating grades the first year (e.g., grades 6-8) with students in the same grades the next year. Because of the developmental changes in students (e.g., being bullied tends to lessen as students get older), you should compare results at the same grade level or grade levels over consecutive years.
The two key questions about bullying provide important overall information about the levels of bullying problems in your school or district. If you would like to get a fuller and more detailed picture of the situation, we encourage you to consider using the complete Olweus Bullying Survey (OBQ). With the results from the complete OBQ, you will be able to answer a number of additional questions including the following: What forms of bullying are most prevalent in your school (verbal, physical, indirect/relational, digital)? How do these forms of bullying vary for boys and girls? How many (what proportion of) students in your school have been bullied for a long period of time? How many students are afraid of being bullied? Have bullied students told anyone about their experiences? If so, whom? What are the “hot spots” for bullying at your school? What are students’ attitudes toward bullying at school? How often do teachers or other adults at school intervene to stop bullying? How often do students intervene to stop bullying? How satisfied are students with school?
Furthermore, if you want to follow up the current survey with more systematic anti-bullying work, you may want to consider using the Brief Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP). OBPP is the most researched anti-bullying program in the world and has documented a number of positive effects (considerably reduced levels of bully/victim problems) in scientific evaluations of the program (e.g., Olweus & Limber, 2010; Limber, Olweus, Wang, & Breivik, 2016). OBPP was recently determined to be the best program in a large-scale, independent evaluation of all anti-bullying programs in the world conducted by prominent researchers from Cambridge University, U.K. (Ttofi & Farrington, 2009, 2011).
For more information about the OBQ or OBPP, see www.hazelden.org/illuminate.
Breivik, K. & Olweus, D. (2015). An item response theory analysis of the Olweus Bullying scale. Aggressive behavior, 41, 1-13.
Cook, R. C., Williams, K. R., Guerra, N. G., Kim, T. E., & Sadek, S. (2010). Predictors of bullying and victimization in childhood and adolescence: A meta-analytic investigation. School Psychology Quarterly, 25, 65-83.
Limber, S. P., Olweus, D., Wang, K. J., & Breivik, K. (2016). Evaluation of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program: A large scale study of U.S. students in grades 3-11. Submitted manuscript.
Olweus, D. (1993). Bullying at school: What we know and what we can do. New York: Blackwell. Olweus, D. (2013). School bullying: Development and some important challenges. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 9, 751-780.
Olweus, D. & Breivik, K. (2014). Plight of victims of school bullying: The opposite of well-being. In A. Ben- Arieh, F. Casas, I. Frønes, & J. E. Korbin (Eds.), Handbook of child well-being, (2593-2626). Dordrecht: Springer.
Olweus, D. & Limber, S. P. (2010b). The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program: Implementation and evaluation over two decades. In S. R. Jimerson, S. M. Swearer, & D. L. Espelage (Eds.), Handbook of bullying in schools: An international perspective (377-401). New York: Routledge
Solberg, M. & Olweus, D (2003). Prevalence estimation of school bullying with the Olweus bully/victim Survey. Aggressive Behavior, 29, 239-268.
Ttofi, M. & Farrington, D. P. (2009). What works in preventing bullying: Effective elements of anti-bullying programs. Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, 1, 13-23.
Ttofi, M. M., & Farrington, D. P. (2011). Effectiveness of school-based programs to reduce bullying: A systematic and meta-analytic review. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 7, 27-56.