Intended for healthcare professionals


Bullying: the need for an interagency response

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 07 August 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:330

Bullying is a social as well as an individual problem

  1. Rosemary Chesson, reader in health services research
  1. Faculty of Health and Food, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen AB15 4PH

    Papers pp 344 and 348

    Most readers will have experience of bullying either through their own schooldays or those of their children. But bullying may not necessarily be seen either as a social problem or one that has significant implications for health professionals. For many years bullying was the concern of teachers, educationalists, and educational psychologists. Current definitions, however, which highlight abuse, victimisation, and aggression, indicate why it requires the attention of all those who work with children. And recent research, including some in this week's issue, shows psychological effects which should command the attention of doctors.

    Over time perceptions have changed of what constitutes bullying, but it may include a range of activities including hitting, pushing, spreading slander, provoking, making threats, extortion, and robbery.1 The commonest types of bullying reported by victims are name calling, followed by being hit, threatened, or having rumours spread about one.2 Interestingly in a British investigation of teachers' views on bullying, undertaken in the mid-1990s, many did not see teasing or social …

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