Risk factors


Risk Factors

 Bullying is a multidimensional social phenomenon which influences students, parents, educators and  it is based in a multi-factorial frame, which consists of personal/individual, familiar and social factors (Espelage & Horne, 2008 for a review).

Current bibliography refers that bullying phenomenon is the top of an iceberg in a frame of combined personal/individual and external “environmental” characteristics, such as school and family environment, as well as peer to peer relationships (proximal relation)s.  This combination defines the length and the nature of bullying behavior at school (Espelage & Horne, 2008 for a review).

In the frame of School Bullying and violent behaviors there are found prognostic factors, which are separated in risk and protective factors (Coie et al., 1993; Durlak, 1998). More specifically risk factors define the possibility for a child to develop problematic/violent behaviors, whereas protective factors the possibility not to present those behaviors. It is very important to underline that as the number of risk factors is increased, the possibility for a child to develop problematic/violent behavior is increased.




Personal risk factors consist of “internal” and interpersonal risk factors. The former is a mix of characteristics which apply in the ability of a person to manage “difficult” situations, issues in life. The reduced perception and reduced ability of emotional recognition, the low frustration tolerance, the low level social competence, the low school performance as well as academic difficulties; inadequate moral perception and attitudes and beliefs which reinforce the presence of violent behaviors and finally the internet related  skills, occur a special position in the causality of school bullying behaviors.

Other factors which influence the presence of bullying behaviors are:

  • Gender
  • Genes
  • Religion
  • Ethnicity & Culture
  • Educational Level
  • Mass Media/Social Media
  • Internet use (cyber-bullying)


Family and peers and school environment have become important key factors in the frame of the Ecological model of Bullying, for the presence and minimization of violent behaviors, which interchange with protective factors respectively: Peer-to-peer relationships and dynamics (communication, behavioral and social skills), school environment (educational system and policies, relations and dynamics in the family context (e.g. cultivation of aggressive behaviors as in case of solving familiar issues, block of self-growth and independence of child),  as well as  parental response and interaction.


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