Teachers' perspectives on effective responses to overt bullying

Nicole Sokol*, Kay Bussey, Ronald M. Rapee

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    School communities worldwide are tackling the pervasive problem of school bullying. Teachers hold an important responsibility to prevent and manage bullying problems in the school environment and often play a key role in advising students about how to respond to bullying. This study examined teachers' perspectives on the most effective ways to respond to overt bullying. Australian primary and secondary school teachers (N = 289; Mean age = 41.22 years, 59 males) completed online questionnaires about four hypothetical videotaped scenarios portraying different victim responses (angry, sad, confident, ignoring) to physical or verbal bullying. Qualitative measures assessing teachers' recommendations to victims about how to respond to bullying and the rationales underlying their suggested approaches were also obtained. Teachers considered confident and ignoring victim responses to be more effective than sad and angry responses. Furthermore, sad victims were perceived to be at greatest risk of future victimisation, while confident victims were considered to be at lowest risk. Teachers reported a broad range of victim response recommendations and rationales that at times varied depending on the type of bullying but did not differ according to students' gender. Understanding teachers' views about effective victim responding may inform professional education programmes aimed at guiding teachers in how best to support and advise victims of bullying.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)851-870
    Number of pages20
    JournalBritish Educational Research Journal
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016


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