Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 53–75 | Cite as

The Path through Bullying—A Process Model from the Inside Story of Bullies in Hong Kong Secondary Schools

  • Debbie O. B. Lam
  • Arthur W. H. Liu


The process of how youngsters become bullies and slowly withdraw the behavior was explored through in-depth interviews of eight bullies in a secondary school in Hong Kong. Most respondents sympathized with the victims initially. They started to bully others for various reasons. Gains of security, power, material benefit, fun, and emotional release reinforced the behavior. Inhibition was influenced by school discipline and family response. The relative forces of the encouraging and inhibiting factors in the process determined the perpetuation or termination of the behavior. A four-phase model is developed to explain the dynamics. The implications of the findings are discussed.


Bully Victim School Violence Gang Aggression 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social Work and Social AdministrationUniversity of Hong KongHong KongChina

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