FACT: Bullying isn’t about resolving conflict; bullying is about control.
- In conflict, children self-monitor their behavior and generally stop when they realize they are hurting someone.
- When bullying, children continue their behavior when they realize it is hurting someone, and are satisfied by a feeling of power and control.
- Bullying does not occur between evenly matched opponents; the child bullying has more power in some way than the target (Salmivalli, 2010 ).
- Rigby (2008)identifies six of the most common power resources:
- Being able to physically hurt others, often due to being superior in size, strength, or physical capabilities.
- Being numerically superior, such as a group of three individuals ganging up on one individual.
- Being more confidentand assertive than others, which can propel someone to directly make fun of another individual without worrying how that will influence themselves or their reputations.
- Having superior social ormanipulation skills, which can provide the ability to turn people against someone or have them excluded.
- Having greater social status andthe ability to influence others, or access to embarrassing or private information.
- Being able to sophistically threatenor hurt others, such as making fun of someone in a subtle way that goes unnoticed by adults in schools, which allows the bullying to continue.
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