Preservice teachers' responses to bullying scenarios: Comparing physical, verbal, and relational bullying

Sheri A Bauman, Adrienne Del Rio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

187 Scopus citations


In the present study, 82 undergraduate students in a teacher education program responded to 6 written vignettes describing school bullying incidents. Scenarios described physical bullying, verbal bullying, and relational bullying events. Respondents rated relational bullying as the least serious of the 3 types. Participants had the least empathy for the victims of relational bullying and were least likely to intervene in relational bullying incidents. When asked to describe interventions they would use in these cases, the preservice teachers proposed the least severe actions for both perpetrators and victims of relational bullying compared with other forms of bullying. Results were compared with those of practicing teachers in a previous study. Implications for teacher education programs are discussed. Two supplemental studies, conducted to address concerns about seriousness of bullying scenarios, are also described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-231
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006



  • Preservice teachers
  • Relational bullying
  • School bullying
  • Teacher interventions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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