News Feed Item

6 in 10 Americans Say They or Someone They Know Have Been Bullied

Vast majority of Americans believe that technology has made it easier to bully someone

NEW YORK, Feb. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- School bullying, unfortunately, continues to make regular appearances in both local and national headlines. While several prominent bullying incidents in recent years have led to an increase in efforts to combat the issue, it seems to persevere; use of social media and texting to bully peers adds to the complexity which communities face when trying to address the matter. And with six in ten U.S. adults (61%) feeling that bullying in schools today is more common than when they were in school, we as a society still clearly have our work cut out for us.

Harris Poll Logo.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,250 adults surveyed online between November 13 and 18, 2013. (Full results, including data tables, can be found here)

"This is an issue affecting a great many Americans, and there's a very real perception that it's getting worse," says Jen Loukes, vice president of the Harris Poll School Pulse, Harris Interactive's longstanding School Satisfaction study. "In our continued research into the many relationships and experiences which affect the scholastic 'ecosystem' – which we first examined in our recent study on respect between teachers, students and other K-12 'stakeholders' – we feel it's essential to discuss bullying and related issues which can so negatively impact the school experience."

School bullying hits home
Six in ten (60%) say that either they or someone they know have experienced (or are currently experiencing) bullying in school. This includes saying they personally recall being bullied when they were in school (44%), knowing someone else who either was (36%) or is currently being (6%) bullied in school, or having/being at least partly responsible for a child who has been or is being bullied in school (9%; 19% among those with school aged children).

What's more, among U.S. adults with children in school at the K-12 grade levels, over a third (35%) believe that bullying is a problem at their child's school.

Technology makes it easier – to make someone else's life harder
As several recent cases have demonstrated, bullying by proxy – whether via texting, social media or other methods – can be devastatingly effective without bullies even being in the same room as their targets. As such, it's perhaps not surprising that three-fourths of Americans (76%) believe that bullying in schools today is more emotional than physical. What's more, an overwhelming majority of U.S. adults (85%) agree – 65% strongly so – that technology has made it easier to bully someone.

But while students may be using tech to bully their peers while outside of school, and there are complex legal implications to consider when it comes to policing student activity off school grounds, a majority of Americans (59%) nonetheless believe that if a child is bullied outside of school, it is still the school's responsibility to address the situation.

Whose responsibility is it?
This leads to one of the issue's biggest challenges: whose responsibility is it, ultimately, to prevent or combat bullying? And does the answer to this question change based on whether it's bullying in schools or bullying via texts or social media that's under discussion?

When Americans are asked to identify the party or parties they feel should be most responsible for opposing bullying in these ways, the top response for both types of bullying is parents of children who bully (46%). Perceptions of the most responsible parties diverge from there:

  • When discussing bullying in schools, teachers (41%) and school administrators (34%) are the next most prevalent responses, followed by all students in the school (31%), students who bully (25%), all parents in the community (22%) and the parents of children being bullied (19%)
  • For bullying via social media or text, the next most common perspective is that social media sites (34%) should be among those most responsible for preventing or combating this type of bullying, followed by students who bully (25%), all parents in the community (24%), parents of children being bullied ((24%) and all students in the school (20%).

Taking a stand
A majority of Americans (59%) agree that there is more adult intervention for bullying in schools today than when they were in school, but whether this is perceived as a positive or a negative is unclear. In fact, just over half of U.S. adults (53%) believe that over-protecting school aged children could be bad for their ability to stand up for themselves.

But while exactly how to address the situation may still be under discussion, there are a few things Americans seem to consider off the table in this regard.

Few Americans seem to believe that bullying, particularly in schools, is a problem best addressed by attempting to legislate it away. When choosing up to three parties they see as most responsible for preventing or combating bullying in schools, local government (4%) state government (3%) and the federal government (3%) are the parties with the fewest finger pointing their way.

And while many bullying victims over the years have heard the old refrain that they should simply try to ignore their tormentors, there appears to be a consensus that this is not the right approach, with only 26% agreeing that a good strategy for handling bullying is to ignore it and nearly two-thirds (65%) disagreeing (46% strongly so).

For information regarding Harris Interactive's Harris Poll School Pulse satisfaction management tool, please contact [email protected].

To view the full findings, or to see other recent Harris Polls, please visit the Harris Poll News Room.

Want Harris Polls delivered direct to your inbox? Click here!

This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between November 13 and 18, 2013 among 2,250 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, The Harris Poll avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of The Harris Poll.

Product and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

The Harris Poll® #17, February 19, 2014
By Larry Shannon-Missal, Harris Poll Research Manager

About Nielsen & The Harris Poll
On February 3, 2014, Nielsen acquired Harris Interactive and The Harris Poll.  Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.

Press Contact:
Corporate Communications
The Harris Poll
[email protected]

Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100517/NY06256LOGO

SOURCE Harris Poll

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
@DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises - and delivering real results.
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Dez Blanchfield joined the faculty of CloudEXPO's "10-Year Anniversary Event" which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City. Dez is a strategic leader in business and digital transformation with 25 years of experience in the IT and telecommunications industries developing strategies and implementing business initiatives. He has a breadth of expertise spanning technologies such as cloud computing, big data and analytics, cognitive computing, m...
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Kevin Jackson joined the faculty of CloudEXPO's "10-Year Anniversary Event" which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City. Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized cloud computing expert and Founder/Author of the award winning "Cloud Musings" blog. Mr. Jackson has also been recognized as a "Top 100 Cybersecurity Influencer and Brand" by Onalytica (2015), a Huffington Post "Top 100 Cloud Computing Experts on Twitter" (2013) and a "Top 50 C...
There is a huge demand for responsive, real-time mobile and web experiences, but current architectural patterns do not easily accommodate applications that respond to events in real time. Common solutions using message queues or HTTP long-polling quickly lead to resiliency, scalability and development velocity challenges. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ryland Degnan, a Senior Software Engineer on the Netflix Edge Platform team, will discuss how by leveraging a reactive stream-based protocol,...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
Daniel Jones is CTO of EngineerBetter, helping enterprises deliver value faster. Previously he was an IT consultant, indie video games developer, head of web development in the finance sector, and an award-winning martial artist. Continuous Delivery makes it possible to exploit findings of cognitive psychology and neuroscience to increase the productivity and happiness of our teams.
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory? In her Day 2 Keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Aruna Ravichandran, VP, DevOps Solutions Marketing, CA Technologies, was jo...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...