Types of Bullies
Wang et al. delineated three classes of bullies in order to categorize and better understand the relationship between cyber bullies and traditional bullies and their potential resulting externalized problems. The categories included (1) the all-type bully, (2) the verbal/social bully, and (3) the non-involved “bully.”
The researchers utilized data obtained from a nationally represented sample provided by the 2005-2006 Health Behavior in School-Age Children Survey (HBSC; Eaton, D., Kann, L., Kinchen,S., Shanklin, M., Ross, M., Hawkins, J., William, H., Lowry, R., McManus, T., Chyen, D. Lim, C., Whittle, L., Brener, N., Wechsler, H., 2010). Youth Risk Behavior Suveillance. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Center For Disease Control, 59 (SS-5). to create these three classifications of bullying and to assess for three potential externalized behaviors: bullying behaviors, substance abuse, and weapon carrying.
Participants were assessed for bullying behaviors through questions adapted from the Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire. Substance abuse was measured through a screening on drugs, tobacco, and alcohol that accounted for use within the last 30 days; and weapon carrying was determined through questions drawn from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Wang et al. conducted this study to better understand the connection between cyber-bullies and traditional characteristics of bullying in the hopes of improving treatment interventions and mental heath outcomes of bullies and their victims.
Gender and Category Differences in Externalizing
The researchers found that Class 1, or all-type bullies, are among the highest at risk for developing externalized problems. Males were categorized as all-type bullies more frequently than females; thus, males were also more likely to abuse substances and carry weapons. Class 2, or verbal/social bullies posed a medium level of risk and Class 3, the non-involved participants, represented the least amount of risk for externalizing problems.
Wang et al. also concluded that students’ roles in traditional bullying predicted roles in cyber bullying. All-type bullies were more likely to engage in cyber bullying, which was attributed to a group of highly aggressive adolescents who practice all types of bullying and are at the highest risk for elevating externalized problems. Therefore, the investigators encourage targeting interventions toward a population that represents the highest risk for developing externalized problem behaviors: cyber bullies.
Eaton, D., Kann, L., Kinchen,S., Shanklin, M., Ross, M., Hawkins, J., William, H., Lowry, R., McManus, T., Chyen, D. Lim, C., Whittle, L., Brener, N., Wechsler, H. (2010). Youth Risk Behavior Suveillance. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Center For Disease Control, 59 (SS-5).
Wang, J., Iannotti, R., & Luk, J. (2012). Patterns of adolescent bullying behaviors: Physical, verbal, exclusion, rumor, and cyber. Journal of school psychology: p. 1-14.