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Survey of Bullying Behavior Among Maine Third Graders, Technical Report

NCJ Number
Zhaoxia Yang; Holly J.P. Kopp; A. Mavourneen Thompson
Date Published
13 pages
This study attempted to assess the frequency of bullying activities among third graders under the Maine Project Against Bullying through a series of survey questions related to bullying.
In an attempt to understand how often primary grade children report being bullied by their classmates, the Maine Project Against Bullying in association with the Maine Department of Education conducted a survey in 1999 of 4,496 third graders from 127 schools. An understanding of hostile acts by elementary school children was viewed as helping to reveal important and timely information about Maine children. Bullying was described to the third grade participants as being teased in a mean way, called hurtful names, being left out of things on purpose, being threatened, and hit, kicked or pushed. Survey results were analyzed based on the following questions asked of the children: (1) how did children feel at their schools regarding safety and happiness; (2) how often were children bullied; (3) how often did children bully others; (4) who did the bullying; and (5) how did children react to the bullying and what happened then? Results of the study indicated: (1) approximately 75 percent of the children reported feeling very happy or sometimes happy at school, while 6.3 percent felt very sad; (2) most children experienced only mild forms of bullying on an infrequent basis, but more than one-third reported being hit, kicked or pushed frequently; (3) most children reported that they did not bully others; (4) generally, both boys and girls reported that it was a boy who was most often responsible for committing bullying; and (5) in response to bullying acts, 91.3 percent of the third graders took some action, such as telling an adult or telling the bully to stop, with half of the children perceiving the reporting of a bully as improving the situation. The results suggest some actions are needed to insure that all young children in Maine’s schools feel safe and secure. 5 References, 1 appendix