Bullying in children: The road to psychopathology?

Bullying in children is linked with long-term problems, and it isn’t only the victims who are affected. Kids who bully are more likely to develop symptoms of “antisocial personality disorder” — a condition colloquially known as “sociopathy” or “psychopathy.” You’ve probably heard that bullying can cause lasting harm. For example, children who get bullied at … Continue reading

When bullies get bullied by others: Understanding bully-victims

© 2008 – 2017 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved Bully-victims: A special type? Some kids occupy the middle of the bullying food chain. They get bullied by dominant individuals, but they also perpetrate bulling themselves. Rejected, victimized, and aggressive, these “bully-victims” tend to have more psychological problems than either “pure bullies” or “pure victims.” We … Continue reading

How to prevent bullying: What studies tell us about empathy and laying blame

How to prevent bullying? We need to change the behavior of bystanders, and we need to understand what causes kids to repeatedly intimidate, harass, or physically harm their peers. What works? Condemning the behavior, and arousing empathy for the victims. What doesn’t work? Condemning the bully as a person, and attempting to shame him or her.  Whether … Continue reading

Bullying in school, at home, and on the savanna

© 2008-2013 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved In the old days, people took a laissez-faire approach to bullying in school. Bullying was considered a normal part of growing up. Kids were left to work things out for themselves. But the evidence suggests that bullying isn’t a healthy part of childhood. Yes, bullying is found … Continue reading

Pure bullies: Aggressors who are socially-savvy, popular, and smart

© 2008 – 2013 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved Pure bullies are a distinctive group In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter learns a terrible truth: His late father had been a school bully. How disturbing. After all, Harry Potter’s father hadn’t been a social oaf—a slow-witted outsider who couldn’t … Continue reading