Significant Identifying Characteristics for Victims

Researchers sought to determine which of 70 characteristics were seen by an international group of experts as being most applicable to bullies and victims. There was strong agreement among the 14 experts on the following 21 characteristics for victims:

 Believe that they cannot control their environment

 Have ineffectual social skills  

 Have poor interpersonal skills  

 Less popular than others  

 Have underlying fears of personal inadequacy  

 Blame themselves for their problems

 Given labels suggesting inadequacy

 Isolated socially

 Afraid of going to school  

 Are physically younger, smaller, and weaker than peers  

 Have limited skills for gaining success and acceptance

 Run out of communication capabilities during high-stress incidents  

 Have a poor self-concept  

 Show physical mannerism associated with depression  

 Have frequent feelings of personal inadequacy

 Perform self-destructive actions

 Believe others are more capable of handling various situations

 Have difficulty relating to peers

 Have family members who are overinvolved in the student's decisions and

 Perceived progressive failures cause this person to put forth less effort with
each presenting opportunity

 Feel external factors have more of an impact on them than internal control


Hazler, R. J., Carney, J. V., Green, S., Powell, R., & Jolly, L. S. (1997). Areas of Expert Agreement on Identification of School Bullies and Victims. School Psychology International, 18, 3-12.