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In order to create safe and caring learning environment, it is important to understand the effect of bullying of teenage boys in schools. Characteristics of Boy Bullies Bullying research has traditionally focused on boys. This is not surprising given the type of bullying that has primarily been studied (e.g. direct or physical). Olweus (7-10) found that physical bullying behaviors decrease with age or grade level. Whitney and Smith (24) reached the same conclusion. And in gender comparisons of this type of behavior (direct or physical attacks), the majority of researchers found that boys participated in bullying behavior by a much higher percentage than girls (Nansel et al., 2094). Olweus identified three basic boy bully types: passive bullies, followers, and henchmen. Additionally, he found that typical bullies have two or three supportive friends, and they appear average in terms of popularity, intellect, and appearance. He also states that psychologically, bullies have a need for dominance, have some hostility, and are often rewarded for their aversive behavior (Olweus 35-37). Olweus also studied the home environments of bullies, primarily boys. He found four factors of critical importance: the caretaker's (usually the mother) attitude toward the boy, the caretaker's "level of permissiveness," the childrearing methods of punishment, and the child's temperament. He concludes by stating that “too little love and care and too much freedom in childhood are conditions that strongly contribute to the development of an aggressive reaction pattern" (pp. 39-40). However, he is quick to note that these are general trends, and individual cases may vary. Olweus also studied the influence of socioeconomic levels on boy bullying behavior, and concluded that these factors do not relate. One limitation of his studies, however, is that they are based in Scandinavian countries where income is largely the same. Rigby, in his model to explain bullying behavior, included three major sources of influence for the child: genetics, family, and environment (Rigby in Juvonen & Graham 310). These influences correspond with the aforementioned factors by Olweus. The first influence refers to physical and psychological strength. The second influence, family, can produce a child who is dominating in personality and uncaring in attitude (Olweus 40-45). The importance of family on behavior is consistent in the research (Rigby in Juvonen & Graham 314). Indeed, the family can greatly influence the child's peer relationships at school. And Rigby maintains that a child of either gender from a dysfunctional family is more likely to engage in bullying behavior. Finally, the child's environment, unlike the other two influences, is something Rigby believes society can change. Olweus also examined group dynamics as related to bullying behavior. He uses the term "social contagion" to describe how some children act aggressively after witnessing another student bully. If the bully is both respected by the student and is rewarded for the behavior, this can increase the likelihood that the observing student will bully. Rigby (1996) supports Olweus' finding by stating that"… the bully remains a conflicted person, enmeshed in, and constrained by, a group" (p. 210). Effects of Victimization Olweus defines victimization as bullying behavior that occurs over a period of time. This period of time can vary, from a few days to several years. However, the psychological effects on the victim can last a lifetime (Olweus 55-60). For
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