Literature Review: Bully-Victims

Topics: Bullying, Victim, Abuse Pages: 5 (1409 words) Published: August 23, 2013
Literature Review
Caarne L. White
Capella University

Authors Note
Caarne L. White, Department of Counseling,
Capella University, Minneapolis, MN

The purpose of this paper is to provide the reader with a literature review of the topic proposed for completion of the final project. Bullying has become an ongoing global phenomenon. In particular are bully/victim behaviors and its impact on bully-victim cycles with K-12 students. This project intends to explore the research regarding the dichotomy of bullying and victim behavior, specifically bullies who have previously been victim or are currently victims of bullying.

Research has demonstrated that more often than not hurt people often hurt other people. The purpose and goal of this study is to demonstrate how bully victims potentially evolve into bullies thereby causing a cyclical bully-victim phenomena. "Bullying has been conceptualized as a distinct type of aggression displayed through physical, verbal, relational and cyber interactions (Cook, Williams, Guerra, Kim and Sadek, 2010). Early research tended to only view bullying from two angles: the bully and the victim (Cook et al., 2010). However there is a third group emerging who bully and are bullied. These individuals are what the Edmonson and Zeman (2009) termed as "bully-victims", as they experience both realities in different circumstances.

In their qualitative research on female bully-victims Edmondson and Zeman (2009) interviewed a small sampling of school aged girls and women in a university and after-school group about why they hit boys, their first experiences in fights and how they strike back when threatened. Their findings indicated what previous studies reported, which was victimization and aggression often begins at home by siblings thereby extending bullying behaviors to peers at school and possibly simultaneously experiencing victimization at school (Edmondson and Zeman, 2009). The study revealed the complex nature of bully-victims. The authors found anger is a dominant factor in this continuum and thereby feeds both the victim and bully reaction/response.

The United States government has taken a closer look at this dichotomous nature on the website (2012), which references research conducted by Olweus and Linber (2010) revealing less than five percent of both boys and girls experience this phenomena. However, research may be excluding the impact of home and community factors that instigate bullying victimization as explored in the Edmondson et al. (2009) study. This present research seeks to explore bully-victim as not simply a school-based created phenomena, but developing from other organic experiences within the home and the community.

This kind of research makes an impact on the work of school counselors and the counseling profession at large by helping these professionals serve youth identified as bullies and determine if the behavior is directly impacted by a hurt me/hurt back attitude. In a study examining variation in attitudes toward aggressive retaliation and perceptions of safety among bullies, victims and bully-victims using data from a large school-based survey of grades 6-10, Bradshaw, O'Brennan and Sawyer (2008) hypothesized that like bullies, bully-victims would also believe that retaliating aggressively was appropriate. This expectation turned out to be true when compared to the low-involvement in bullying group studied (Bradshaw et al., 2008). The authors also discovered among the low-involvement, bully, and bully-victim groups, the bully-victims reported feeling the least safe at school (Bradshaw et al. 2008). Further, bully-victims were more likely to have witnessed bullying acts than any other group studied. This raises awareness to the social support students feel from parents, teachers and peers. In a study on perceived social support and bullying in...

References: Cook, C. R., Williams, K. R., Guerra, N. G., Kim, T. E., & Sadek, S. (2010). Predictors of bullying and victimization in childhood and adolescence: A meta-analytic investigation. School Psychology Quarterly, 25(2), 65-83. doi:10.1037/a0020149
Edmondson, L., & Zeman, L. D. (2009). Hurt people hurt people: Female bully-victims. Reclaiming Children and Youth, 18(3), 24-28. Retrieved from
Stopbullying.Gov (2012). Bully prevention and response base training module. Retrieved from
Bradshaw, C. P., O 'Brennan, L. M., & Sawyer, A. L. (2008). Examining variation in attitudes toward aggressive retaliation and perceptions of safety among bullies, victims, and Bully/Victims. Professional School Counseling, 12(1), 10-21. Retrieved from
Demaray, M. K.& Malecki, C. K. (2003). Perceptions of the frequency and importance of social support by students classified as victims, bullies, and bully/victims in an urban middle school. School Psychology Review, 32(3), 471-489. Retrieved from
Solberg M. E., Olweus, D. and Endresen, I. M. (2007). Bullies and victims at school: Are they the same pupils? The British Psychological Society, 77(2), 441-464. doi:
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