Cover: No Bullies Allowed

No Bullies Allowed

Understanding Peer Victimization, the Impacts on Delinquency, and the Effectiveness of Prevention Programs

Published Apr 22, 2009

by Jennifer S. Wong

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Over the past decade, school bullying has emerged as a prominent issue of concern for students, parents, educators, and researchers around the world. Research evidence suggests nontrivial and potentially serious negative repercussions of both bullying and victimization. This dissertation uses a large, nationally representative panel dataset and a propensity score matching technique to assess the impact of bully victimization on a range of 10 delinquency outcomes measured over a six-year period. Results show that victimization prior to the age of 12 years is significantly predictive of the development of several delinquent behaviors, including running away from home, selling drugs, vandalism, theft, other property crimes, and assault. As a whole, prevention programs are significantly effective at reducing the problem of victimization in schools but are only marginally successful at reducing bullying. More work is needed to determine why programs are more successful with victims of bullying than with perpetrators, and prevention efforts should focus on the development of programs that are more likely to bring about successful reductions in both bullying and victimization.

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This document was submitted as a dissertation in March 2009 in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the doctoral degree in public policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. The faculty committee that supervised and approved the dissertation consisted of Peter W. Greenwood (Chair), Matthias Schonlau, M. Rebecca Kilburn, and Rosalie L. Pacula.

This publication is part of the RAND dissertation series. Pardee RAND dissertations are produced by graduate fellows of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, the world's leading producer of Ph.D.'s in policy analysis. The dissertations are supervised, reviewed, and approved by a Pardee RAND faculty committee overseeing each dissertation.

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