Increased attention to bullying in recent years has created the impression among some observers that the problem has been on the rise. But at the same time, crime and violence in general, and youth violence in particular, have been decreasing overall in the US. Could this decline apply to bullying and peer victimization?
In this bulletin, we will summarize the trends, from youth surveys that have tracked bullying specifically, and also those that have tracked closely related phenomena such as school assaults, school thefts, school fighting and school hate speech.
These surveys generally show declines in bullying and peer victimization, some of it remarkably large, especially over the period since the mid 1990s. More recent trends, since 2007, also show some declines, but somewhat less dramatic.
Crimes against Children Research Center
Finkelhor, D. (2013). Trends in bullying and peer victimization. Durham, NH: Crimes against Children Research Center. Updated August, 2014.