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Childhood Bullying: A Review of Constructs, Concepts, and Nursing Implications


Correspondence to:

Jianghong Liu, School of Nursing and School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 418 Curie Blvd., Room 426, Claire M. Fagin Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6096. E-mail:


Bullying among children as a pervasive problem has been increasingly recognized as an important public health issue. However, while much attention has been given to understanding the impact of bullying on victims, it is equally important to examine predictors of bullying and potential outcomes for bullies themselves. The current literature on bullying lacks consensus on a utilizable definition of bullying in research, which can vary by theoretical framework. In an attempt to bridge the gaps in the literature, this article will provide a review of the state of the science on bullying among children, including the major theoretical constructs of bullying and their respective viewpoints on predictors and correlates of bullying. A secondary aim of this article is to summarize empirical evidence for predictors of bullying and victimization, which can provide strategies for intervention and prevention by public health nursing professionals. By calling attention to the variability in the bullying literature and the limitations of current evidence available, researchers can better address methodological gaps and effectively move toward developing studies to inform nursing treatment programs and enhance public health initiatives that reduce violence in school settings.

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