Many students are not experiencing safe environments. The sense of safety for many children is being threatened by the bully/victim dyad. Research on bullying has come to the forefront with national media coverage of violent incidences in schools. It is the purpose of this literature review to investigate prior research and information that has been accumulated concerning victimization and bully prevention programs. The focus is on the victim regarding emotional stability and academic achievement as well as looking at the effectiveness of present bully prevention programs within the United States.
There are different degrees and types of bullying, and all of them can have an adverse effect on academic achievement. "Bullying is a form of aggressive behavior with an imbalance of power; the dominant person(s) intentionally and repeatedly causes distress by tormenting or harassing another less dominant person(s)" (Atlas & Pepler, 1998, p.86).
Students can become the victim of direct bullying, a term that describes open attacks on the victim (i.e., kicking, pushing, hitting, teasing, taunting, mocking, threatening and intimidating); by contrast, indirect bullying describes behaviors that promote the social isolation, ostracism, or exclusion of the intended victim, as well as rumors and gossip: "Indirect bullying involves manipulating the social status of an individual within his or her peer group by changing the way others perceive and respond to the individual" (Atlas & Pepler, 1998. p.86). Not surprisingly, then, students that become victims of bullying in school are not able to freely pursue their academic goals compared