Skip navigation and jump to content
Welcome to Ireland's Youth Information Website
Follow us
Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Snapchat

Accessibility Options

High Contrast Text Size

Why do people bully?

Find out what the research says


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in health


Share this article -

If you’ve ever been bullied, you’ll probably have wondered what it is that makes people bully and why they do it.

The Anti Bullying Centre at DCU conducts a variety of research into bullying, as well as offering resources to victims. As part of their work, they have identified the most common reasons why people bully.

Some people seem to be born with a tendency towards aggressive behaviour, but this aggression can be aggravated by their home life, school life or even wider society.

Aggressive behaviour (like bullying), needs to be dealt with when a person is young, otherwise there is a danger that the aggression could worsen with age and that the person could even enter a life of crime.

Home factors increase the likelihood of bullying/aggression

  • Abuse in the form of cruelty or neglect.
  • Physical violence in the home between parents or other adults.
  • Excessive physical punishment.
  • Lack of love and attention.
  • Lack of discipline.
  • Excessive amounts of freedom.
  • Parents not dealing with the aggression.

School factors increase the likelihood of bullying/aggression

  • Lack of supervision.
  • Harsh or humiliating punishment.
  • Low staff morale.
  • Lack of rewards for good behaviour.
  • A school curriculum that doesn’t allow students to feel proud or successful.
  • Research has also demonstrated that wider societal factors play a part in bullying, such as violence on TV and in the movies. In fact, children who regularly watch violent scenes on TV are more likely to be aggressive.

If you’d like to read more about this topic, click here to go to the Anti Bullying Centre website.

Share this article -

Published December 18th, 2012
Last updated October 28th, 2015
Tags bullying mental health
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

Need more information?

Request to speak with a youth worker in your area over the phone, by email or text. They may be able to assist you by providing further information specific to your needs.

Youth Work Ireland - Crosscare - YMCA

Contact via: Phone E-mail Text
By clicking submit you agree to our terms and conditions. ​Please note that this service is run by Youth Work Ireland and Crosscare​.​ E​nquiries are not handled by SpunOut.ie directly.
Jump to related articles
Was this article helpful?