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Bullying as a Response to Peer Pressure

The theory of peer pressure initiating bullying behavior recognizes the importance of relationships formed within a friendship group operating within the wider school context, and the influence that group membership can have on an individual and school community. Anti-bullying methods best suited to bullying through peer pressure include group interventions such as the ‘support group’ method, the method of ‘shared concern,’ or social skills training of bystanders. Indeed, the power of the peer group impacts on many aspects of adolescent behavior in school and is predictive of bullying incidents, more so than the individualthemselves.

Bullying can be viewed as an interactive group process involving the interplay of individual role characteristics. Maintaining a sense of belonging to a group by supporting the values, beliefs and attitudes held by its members can encourage an inclination toward bullying behavior.