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Model Programs Guide Literature Review: Bullying

NCJ Number
Date Published
Development Services Group, Inc.
Based on a literature review, this paper first distinguishes bullying from other types of aggression or violence and then presents sections on the following bullying-related topics: 1) prevalence; 2) impacts and predictors; 3) related laws; 4) theoretical foundation for anti-bullying programs; 5) types of anti-bullying programs; and 6) outcome evidence for anti-bullying programs.
Bullying is repetitive behavior intended to cause fear, distress, or harm (physical or emotional) against targeted individuals. Victims typically have a physical trait, social status, or behavioral pattern that stimulates targeting by bullies, i.e,, those who relish aggressive behavior that intimidates or demonstrates power over those perceived as inferior or as threats to the bully’s self-esteem. The most recent U.S. data (2010-2011 school year) indicate that 27.8 percent of students ages 12-18 reported having been bullied at school. The scope of various types of bullying are also reported. Research has documented multiple adverse outcomes of being bullied, including increased risk for psychosomatic problems, which can persist into adulthood. The scope and adverse effect of bullying have led to anti-bullying State laws and model policy proposals. Although numerous anti-bullying programs have been developed, most “seem to be based on common-sense ideas about what works in preventing bullying rather than on specific theories of bullying” (Ttofi and Farrington 2009). The types of anti-bullying programs discussed include awareness-raising efforts, school suspension, treatment for bullies, mediation and conflict resolution, and comprehensive approaches. Meta-analyses that have examined the impact of anti-bullying programs have produced mixed findings; however, the preponderance of analyses have concluded that programs have a positive impact in reducing bullying and victimization. Some of the more effective programs include parent training, improved playground supervision, disciplinary methods, school conferences, information for parents, and classroom rules and management. 34 references
Date Created: February 4, 2016