Roles Youth Play in the Bullying Dynamic and Theoretical Explanations for Why Bullying Happens

  • Paul R. Smokowski
  • Caroline B. R. Evans


This chapter provides an overview of roles inherent in the bullying dynamic and how these roles are related to peer social groups. Youth can be involved in the bullying dynamic as a bully, victim, bully-victim, or bystander. Sociometric status provides a window to view child and adolescent peer relationships and hierarchical group formation. A detailed discussion of sociometric status and its relationship to bullying is provided. An in-depth discussion of theoretical explanations for why bullying happens is provided, applying several theories from evolutionary psychology and sociology. Implications for practitioners are also provided.


Bullying Victimization Bystander Social capital Dominance theory Humiliation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul R. Smokowski
    • 1
  • Caroline B. R. Evans
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Social WelfareUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA
  2. 2.Rhode Island CollegeProvidenceUSA

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