The Systematic Application of Network Diagnostics to Monitor and Tackle Bullying and Victimization in Schools

Tessa M L Kaufman*, Gijs Huitsing, Rick Bloemberg, René Veenstra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
24 Downloads (Pure)


Despite increased attention to tackling bullying and the use of effective anti-bullying programs that can reduce victimization for many, some children remain victimized. Preventing persistent victimization requires that teachers identify victims and intervene at an early stage, but this is often difficult because teachers cannot always recognize victimization or the underlying social dynamics that determine what kind of interventions are necessary. This proposal discusses how network diagnostics of the social structure of the classroom can help teachers to recognize and reduce victimization more systematically. First, it discusses research that shows promising effects of the use of network diagnostics to reduce health problems. It describes how these diagnostics (for bullying and victimization, social position, and school well-being) can help in recognizing victimization and tailoring interventions to the most relevant students. Second, this proposal discusses a systematic stepwise approach for teachers to interpret the diagnostics and translate them into structural actions. Overall, this proposal aims to raise awareness of the potential of network information to facilitate the daily practice of reducing bullying and gives researchers directions for further empirical research on teachers’ role in tackling bullying and on the situations that may affect whether their approaches are effective. Moreover, it discusses potential barriers to teachers’ use of network diagnostics, such as a lack of time and resources at school.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75–87
Number of pages13
Journal International Journal of Bullying Prevention
Issue number1
Early online date15-Feb-2020
Publication statusPublished - Mar-2021

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