Open Access Peer-reviewed Commentary

Detection and first step intervention for child victims of bullying

Main Article Content

John S. Saroyan corresponding author
Lynn Saroyan Skaff


Bullying behavior towards young children and adolescents can occur in schools, neighborhoods and structured group activities, including sports teams or after school programs.  While some children manage to avoid harmful negative contacts prompted by their peers, other children suffer repeated verbal abuse, physical assaults, gossip, harassment and/or group rejection. Ultimately this can affect their self esteem and social interactions.  Such victims commonly develop symptoms related to depression and anxiety that are not easily observable to teachers and parents or other concerned adults.  Family physicians and pediatricians may however carry the role as a child’s trusted and caring support, to help uncover issues related to a child as a victim.  They may provide opportunities for a child to open up and share personal problems related to bullying along with other related mental health concerns needing attention.  Detecting victimization may be recognized after viewing initial prompts or questionnaires given at intake.  The addition of a quantifiable instrument related to bullying may also aid in discerning whether a problem exists.  Recognizing symptoms of bullied children provides an opportunity for physicians to further inquire about the emotional impact bullying has on the child.  Children and parents should both experience support during this process.  The addition of educational resources, group referrals and individual/family counseling should also be recommended with follow ups to review progress.

bullying identifiers, childhood depression, core self, family physician, pediatrician

Article Details

How to Cite
Saroyan, J. S., & Skaff, L. S. (2022). Detection and first step intervention for child victims of bullying. Advances in Developmental and Educational Psychology, 4(1), 143-146.


  1. Fox, C. L., Jones, S. E., Stiff, C. E., & Sayers, J. (2014). Does the gender of the bully/victim dyad and the type of bullying influence children’s responses to a bullying incident? Aggressive Behavior, 40(4), 359-368.
  2. Gage, N. A., Katsiyannis, A., Rose, C., & Adams, S. E. (2021). Disproportionate bullying victimization and perpetration by disability status, race, and gender: A national analysis. Advances in Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 5, 256-268.
  3. Hamburger, M. E., Basile, K. C., & Vivolo, A. M. (2011). Measuring bullying victimization, perpetration, and bystander experiences: A compendium of assessment tools. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Violence Prevention.
  4. Hawley, P. H. (2014). The duality of human nature: Coercion and prosociality in youths’ hierarchy ascension and social success. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23(6), 433-438.
  5. Herd, T., & Kim-Spoon, J. (2021). A systematic review of associations between adverse peer experiences and emotion regulation in adolescence. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 24, 141-163.
  6. Hickner, J. (2017). It’s time to screen for bullying. The Journal of Family Practice, 66(2), 66.
  7. Kann, L., McManus, T., Harris, W. A., et al. (2016). Youth risk behavior surveillance—United States, 2015. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Surveillance Summaries, 65(6), 1-174.
  8. Kann, L., McManus, T., Harris, W.A., Shanklin, S. L., Flint, K. H., et al. (2018). Youth risk behavior surveillance—United States, 2017. Morbidity and MortalityWeekly Report, Surveillance Summaries, 67(8), 1-114.
  9. McClowry, R. J., Miller, M. N., & Mills, G. D. (2017). What family physicians can do to combat bullying. The Journal of Family Practice, 66(2), 82-89.
  10. Santre, S. (2022). Cyberbullying in adolescents: A literature review. International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health.
  11. Saroyan, J. (2019). Bullying affects the core self of children. Peace Review, 31(1), 24-33.
  12. Srabstein, J., & Piazza, T. (2008). Public health, safety and educational risks associated with bullying behaviors in American adolescents. International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 20(2), 223-233.
  13. Underwood, M. U., Brener, N., Thornton, J., Harris, W. A., Bryan, L. N., et al. (2020). Youth risk behavior surveillance — United States, 2019. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Surveillance Summaries, 69(1), 1-83.