Ask Your Mother Not to Make Yummy Sandwiches: Bullying in New Zealand Secondary Schools

Vivienne A. Adair, Robyn S. Dixon, Dennis W. Moore, Carolyn M. Sutherland

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26 Citations (Scopus)


Evidence from international research has shown that bullying in schools is a common experience for secondary school aged students. This study of 2066 students in Years 9 to 13 from coeducational schools in the upper North Island showed that on two measures of being bullied, (a) during their time at school according to their own definition of bullying, or (b) during the current year in response to listed bullying behaviours, 58% and 75% respectively reported having been a victim of bullying. Similarly 44% reported they had bullied others at some time in their school career. Age, gender and ethnic differences are apparent in the reported incidence of bullying; when victims of bullying described the people who had bullied them, boys were involved either alone or with others in 76% of incidents. Both bullies and victims had a more negative attitude towards school than those not involved. Only 21% of victims had reported bullying at school, and when bullying was observed by other students they were as likely to ignore it as to take action. Nearly half of the students appeared to believe bullying could not be stopped at school or did not have any strategies to deal with it. Implications of these findings for secondary school students and staff are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-221
Number of pages15
JournalNew Zealand Journal of Educational Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Bullies
  • Bullying
  • Coeducation
  • Victims

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