Targets of Peer Mistreatment: Do They Tell Adults? What Happens When They Do?

Sheri A. Bauman, University of Arizona
Diana Jill Meter, Utah State University
Charisse Nixon, Pennsylvania State University
Stan Davis, Stop Bullying Now


Using data from 3305 students mistreated by peers two to three times per month or more often, we examined predictors of targets' telling adults at home and school about what happened. Grade, being in special education, having lower socioeconomic status, and physical and forms of social mistreatment were predictors of telling an adult at school. Grade, being in special education, race/ethnicity, experiencing some forms of social mistreatment and specific foci of mistreatment were related to telling an adult at home. We also report how helpful targets found 14 specific adult responses to be (things got better, things stayed the same, things got worse). The helpful responses from teachers most often leading to reports that things got better including showing concern and care for the targeted child.