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Sense of Normative Behavior and Bullying 5 (1995)

Source: Monograph vol.54 edited by Educational Research Center, Benesse Corporation
(Supervising Editor : Dr. Masashi Fukaya, professor, Tokyo Seitoku Junior College)


5. RELATION TO BULLYING

1. Bullying and being bullied
The problem of bullying has been the focus of much social interest. This chapter concerns the relationship between bullying and the sense of normative behavior and rules.
Bullying ranges from such acts as joking around to delinquency. In researching bullying, one method would be to obtain a definition of the term from students, but here, we have decided not to limit the meaning and have deliberately chosen a vague term.
In table 30, students were asked about whether there was bullying in school. Over 10% answered that there is bullying, including those who answered "very much" (5.3%) and "much" (5.3%). Table 31 establishes that 7.2% of students have bullied before, with more boys and seventh graders replying that they had done so. As shown in table 32, 11.8% of students claim to have been bullied. 
Table 33 shows the relationship of students who bully and those who have been bullied. According to this table, of the students who have been victims of bullying many times, 47.6% have not bullied anyone, but 14.3% have bullied many times. This indicates that bullies and bully victims co-exist.
Table 34 shows the correlation between students who have bullied and students who have been bullied.


Nothing to do with bullying or being bullied 36.9%
Little to do with bullying or being bullied 45.9%
Have bullied, but not been bullied 5.4%
Have been bullied, but not bullied 10.1%
Have bullied and have been bullied 1.7%
 
Even when there is bullying in one grade, there are some students who are deeply involved and others who chose not to get involved.

 
2. Bullying and self-evaluation
What effect does bullying and being bullied have on other attitudes and feelings? As table 35 demonstrates, students who bully enjoy going to school more than students who are bullied. 

have been bullied have bullied
Many times 28.7% 41.5%
Sometimes 33.4% 33.9%
Never 44.0% 40.0%
* % who enjoy going to school "very much" and "somewhat"

Next, does bullying and being bullied have an effect on the how students express themselves? (Table 36)

have been bullied have bullied
(1)During class many times 21.2% * 23.1%
sometimes # 12.9% 13.9%
never 16.4% 16.4%
(2)During club activities many times # 39.2% * 53.8%
sometimes 42.2% 44.7%
never 47.3% 41.8%
(3)When with friends many times # 56.7% 70.3%
sometimes 69.6% 67.8%
never * 72.8% 66.9%
* % who express themselves "very much" and "pretty much"
* highest % in the 6 categories
# lowest % in the 6 categories

As the figures show, bullying students believe they express themselves during club activities, but the students who are being bullied do not appear to be expressing themselves in club activities or in relationships with friends.
Table 37 indicates the results of the correlation with self-evaluation. The findings are not very distinct, but there are differences between the tendencies of students who have bullied many times and those who have been bullied many times. Students who were bullied were inclined to follow school rules and like their families. Students who bullied were inclined to be good athletes, be trusted by friends, and have a sense of humor.
Furthermore, the replies of students who have bullied and those who have been bullied are correlated with their visions for the future in table 38. Bullying students share an optimistic outlook for all items. Students who are bullied have confidence in their life in old age and feel they will be successful in their professions.
Table 39 indicates a high percentage of both students who bully and those who are bullied claim to have trouble in their relationships with their parents.
While these findings need to be analyzed in detail, first it is necessary to summarize the tendencies pointed out above. Bullying students have a bright and optimistic self-evaluation and future outlook. This research does not give a strict definition of bullying, but students who bully may be the type who joke around as leaders of the pack. In comparison, students who are bullied do not enjoy school very much, but they are studious and try to follow school rules. They also are optimistic about their jobs in the future. Many of those being bullied seem to be the serious hard-working type.

 

3. School rules and bullying

How do bullying and being bullied affect students' feelings toward school rules?
Table 40 correlates the experience of deviant behavior and bullying. The high percentages indicate that students who are bullied often engage in more deviant behavior than those who are bullied sometimes, but bullying students engage in a far greater incidence of deviant behavior than those who are bullied.
We also correlated bullying with what students feel is wrong. Students who are bullied have a tendency to feel that wrong conduct is wrong. In comparison, the percentage of students who bully and think that wrong conduct is wrong has declined, as shown in table 41. Also, students who are bullied think smoking and drinking alcohol are very wrong. However, the percentage of bullying students who think so is decreasing. Does bullying arise from the lack of this notion of what is right and wrong?
Lastly, this report studied the feeling toward school rules. Table 42 shows that students who are bullied often feel less compelled to follow school rules than those who have never been bullied. Also, students who have bullied many times feel less inclined than those who have never bullied. Students who have bullied many times seem to be the least inclined to follow school rules.
Judging from these results, it appears that students who are bullied understand right and wrong, but when it comes to their actual conduct, they easily engage in deviant behavior. In this sense, they seem to be weak-willed. In comparison, bullying students not only demonstrate an eroding sense of right and wrong, but they also show a high likelihood of engaging in deviant behavior. Could this be the reason that these students tend to bully others? Also, students who are bullied tend to engage in deviant behavior with the feeling that their actions are wrong, and perhaps this kind of weakness is one of the factors that makes them a target.
I have studied bullying and being bullied in relation to a sense of normative behavior and rules. It may be important to study the background of bullying from such perspectives as well, but this time, I will go no further than to point out the problem.

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