Bullying Amongst Australian Students: An international perspective

Author Phillip T. Slee

A Part of a Poster presentation at the ISSBD Conference, Berne, Switzerland. 1998

Australian research into school bullying has identified a great deal about its (i) frequency (ii) nature (iii) impact on those involved and (iv) the effects of intervention programs. A range of Australian studies have identified the deleterious sequela to bullying. Bullying is associated with negative outcomes in terms of health, the quality of peer relations, depression, loneliness, anxiety and stress. The relationship between stress and bullying has not been extensively examined. Australian research ( Murray-Harvey & Slee,1988) involving 318 families has highlighted how pervasive stress is with 26.8% of the families interviewed indicating that they were more stressed than other families. Parents indicated the most stressful life events for adults related to issues surrounding the discipline of children, death/illness, violence within and outside the home and marital relationship issues. Primary school children interviewed as part of the survey indicated that stress related to accidents/illness, marital disharmony amongst the parents and violence at school. Secondary students were stressed by violence at school, accidents/illness and problems with school work. Teachers of the students rated victims of bullying as more poorly adjusted at school than non-victims. Further research is warranted to better understand the links between stress and school bullying.