Girl Bullying

Do I Look Bothered?

By: Dr Sam


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Products specifications
Attribute name Attribute value
Size: 140 x 180mm
ISBN : 9781845909536
Format: Paperback
Published: September 2015

We have to change the perception of girl bullying as just girls being girls' and a normal part of growing up; in Girl Bullying, Dr Sam offers practical suggestions to do just this. As a society we can work towards a truly embedded anti-bullying ethos, through policies, education, socialisation and involving everyone. We all know that bullying can have a detrimental effect on the academic attainment, self-esteem and day-to-day lives of all the individuals involved; the victims, bystanders and, of course, the bullies themselves. The voices of the young people who have informed Dr Sam's research are testimony to this. Relational aggression, social exclusion, cyberbullying, these are just some of the issues which can affect girls' peer relationships and severely impact on their own self-esteem. Healthier coping strategies are skills that help us all to function effectively not just in a school environment, but throughout life.

Dr Sam's aim is to help adults working with girls to develop a toolbox of pro-active, pro-social strategies and understanding. This book does not offer a one-size-fits-all solution of how to stop girl bullying; indeed, such a thing does not exist. Dealing with these issues takes the time and patience, trust and knowledge of those involved, and most of all it takes the willingness to appreciate the world around girls today. Increase your understanding of modern girl bullying, including the fallout and psychological impact for both victims and perpetrators.

The essential guide for school staff, parents or any adult working with girls of all ages.

Read an extract from the book, entitled 'She knows how to create fear in others', published on here.

"This book helps people working with girls to develop a toolbox of proactive strategies to tackle bullying. It explores the world that today's young women grow up in, and investigates the impact of bullying on victims and perpetrators." - TES, Hot Off The Press


Picture for author Dr Sam

Dr Sam

Dr Sam is a child psychologist and has extensive experience of working closely on government policy, school approaches to bullying and anti-bullying strategies in over 3000 schools. She has worked with many of the country's leading children's charities on welfare and safeguarding research, supported young people in court and run private child behaviour clinics in the UK, including London's Harley Street, working with children, young people and their families.

Dr Sam discusses how Girl Bullies Could be Great Leaders' with The Telegraph. Read the article in full here.

Click here to read Dr Sam's feature, titled Controlling the Pack with Fear and Threats', published on


  1. I read the book in light of one of my doctoral students just completed her dissertation on bullying and thus this book was a nice timely read. My impressions are that this is a book that should be in every school and guidance counselors office.  Parents would benefit from reading this book as it is readable and the breadth of coverage is comprehensive without being overwhelming, and the author captures the extant literature well. The stylistic approach makes it useful for individual as well as group work on the issues raised. I think there is a very wide audience appeal and I mentioned it should be in schools as a resource.
  2. Do girls bully differently from boys? Most parents and teachers would say that they do - and probably describe a greater emphasis on social manipulation and exclusion, a well as attacks on self-esteem, than tends to be the case amongst young males. Here, child psychologist Dr Sam examines these kinds of behaviours, explains the narratives behind them, and suggests strategies that could be implemented by schools for supporting victims and perpetrators alike as they work to develop a culture in which bullying of any kind simply isn't tolerated. The voices of real young people are given a chance to be heard throughout; and the author concludes her thoughtful overview with a clear call for strong, collaborative leadership; pointing out that this is the essential foundation for any effective anti-bullying policy.
  3. With the focus in all educational and training establishments on -˜prevent' strategies to safeguard the welfare of learners from grooming, radicalisation and bullying, this is an essential text for all establishments of learning. Dr Sam has utilised her breadth of skills and experience to hear the views and opinions of young people who have experience as victims, perpetrators and bystanders of bullying. Her analysis of Jodie's story gives the reader practical insight and skills in analysing the wider picture, the dynamics of power and the fall-out from confrontations. The damage caused to and by girls as a result of bullying, in all its forms, and the ramifications are discussed at length. Readers will find the section on the way forward and systems to develop an effective policy to reduce bullying particularly helpful. This is an outstanding book which addresses a key issue within educational establishments, the community and workplace.
  4. This book helps people working with girls to develop a toolbox of proactive strategies to tackle bullying. It explores the world that today's young women grow up in, and investigates the impact of bullying on victims and perpetrators. 
  5. Dr Sam has a wealth of experience in responding to bullying and in providing support, training and development to parents and those working with young people. Her warmth, empathy and knowledge are evident in Do I Look Bothered? This will be reassuring to readers who are seeking to understand and tackle the complex and dark world of bullying. Readers will be given confidence to tackle this difficult subject.

    In Do I Look Bothered? Dr Sam takes a fresh approach in focusing on girl bullying and analysing the experience of both girls who are victims and those who are perpetrators. Gender is a key factor in social interactions and it is helpful to consider this in the context of bullying. It is also useful to point the spotlight on girls because we know from the children and young people contacting ChildLine that more than twice as many girls were counselled by the helpline as boys about bullying and online bullying. ChildLine has seen a very significant increase in the number of girls talking about feeling excluded or isolated as a result of being bullied. Confirming Dr Sam's approach, ChildLine has also seen a large increase in concerns about cyberbullying. Do I Look Bothered? addresses these issues in detail in relation to girls, emphasising that young people do not differentiate between the online and offline worlds.

    A strength of Do I Look Bothered? is that the author relates the experience of bullying to child and adolescent development. This provides important insights into why bullying can have such a significant and devastating impact on the well-being of those affected. Bullying can affect a child's development, self-esteem, confidence, and capacity to form relationships. Sadly, too many professionals and others working with young people lack a good understanding of chid development and Do I Look Bothered? will help meet a real need.

    Using case studies and the results of consultations with children and young people, Dr Sam offers a comprehensive approach to tackling bullying. She rightly argues that bullying needs to be addressed holistically at a number of different levels and demonstrates the vital need to be proactive in preventing bullying happening in the first place. Dr Sam provides detailed strategies based on placing the views and experiences of the girls affected at the centre.
  6. Recently, my school had training from Dr Sam on Girl Bullying much of which is covered in her book. The ideas presented challenged staffs perceptions of girl bullying and made people knowledgeable of the multi layered elements of this issue. The impact since has been quite incredible. This book, like the outstanding training, will have an immediate impact on how you view girl bullying and how you deal with it effectively as a members of staff in schools. After the training, we re-evaluated our whole school approach to how we deal with bullying and brought in all stake holders to be part of this. As a result, we now have created a culture where all stakeholders are not only aware of bullying, but are also doing their part to prevent it from happening.
  7. This amazing book is an extraordinary and very much an easy read, with its chapters and subheadings. It goes all out to highlight not only the victims but the bullies themselves. Dr Sam has spent 18 years researching the impact of girl bullying and has given us in-depth understanding of why it happens and what scars are left with the victims. This book isn't about the authors view or just her clinical input but the voices of 78 children, young people and adults who participated in a project called “Do I Look Bothered”. The book talks in depth about the alpha female, the role she holds and all the behaviour traits associated. When bullying leads to death, then concerns have to be raised as to safeguarding and anti-bullying laws. There is also a chapter on bullying and the law, which for those who don't know their legal position, will gain so much information and what resources are available. I must say that I was more aware of the tell tale signs after reading this book but it also highlights strategies to change, she has not only highlighted victims but also the bullies persona, so that we are made more aware if our children aren bullying anyone. Dr Sam highlights that parents/carers  or people in responsible positions can teach their children empathy, so that they understand another's hurt. 

    Statistics are also provided on different effects that bullying has had on individuals and also ratio of those who have committed suicide due to girl bullying. Whilst reading this book, I was very much surprised how high these ratios were. Parents shouldn't be under the illusion that having some sort of trouble at school is a part of growing up, but  to be aware that when it becomes ingrained as fear in the mind of a child, who then feels worthless and isolated, it can have triggering psychological effects which can create longterm damage, which can lead into adulthood.

    Dr Sam has highlighted tell tale signs for adults to know when their child is going through a turbulent time, which can be identified in depression, self-harm, absences from school, change of behaviour etcetera. Dr Sam goes on to described to a tee in one sentence what bullying is "Bullying is behaviour by an individual or group, repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally”.  It couldn't have been put in simpler terms.

    Dr Sam provides perfect examples, of children who grow to be bullies and mistake it for leadership skills. Thats why the role of parents or carers is essential in providing guidance. She further touches upon every angle to provide a good read and educate those who are in a position to reduce any sort of bullying. Cyber bullying is the new trend, but how can parents/careers monitor these.There is an in depth chapter high lightening this.
  8. The negative impact of bullying on both bully and victim is well documented. It permeates their emotional states, academic progress and future behaviours. The subtleties of girl bullying are rarely unpacked in such detail. Dr Sam has got to the very heart of the matter in this very practical book. As we strive towards a more enlightened age and to understand the nuances of human behaviour this gem is certain to guide us on our way. Thank you for the focus this book brings.
  9. This book makes for urgent reading. Dr Sam dissects the issue of girl bullying with chilling clarity and takes us from understanding the issue through to her compelling rallying-cry for action. The author is an expert who writes with extraordinary power in a style that is as illuminating as it is readable. We finish the book knowing that here is an issue in multiple guises that we need to address. Girl Bullying is a book that all of us working in schools should read and act upon.
  10. Bullying is a thorny subject that can make or break a school's reputation. Reading -˜Girl Bullying' has given me a greater insight into the issue and enabled me to look at my school's policies and their effectiveness with fresh eyes. The book takes much more than a reactive approach and offers suggestions and ideas for developing and maintaining a supportive and healthy school community where young people thrive.  As a whole school community we will certainly be working together to develop our policy and ensure it is embedded in all that we do.
  11. Girl Bullying is a good book.

    Some may question why this singular view on bullying is necessary in an age of "equality of opportunity" and "equal rights"? The book goes straight to the heart of the matter: girls practice and rehearse social relationships with an intensity unmatched by your average boy. Personal and intimate information exchanged "in confidence" and "in friendship" can then become a weapon more brutal than a fist or a hammer.

    The author also develops compelling imagery of girl-on-girl bullying through the enrolment of others as akin to how a wolf pack operates. This may seem extreme; in my opinion, it needs to be said. Bullying is personally experienced and personally wounding. The psychological damage profound, life-lasting and life-changing.

    The author goes on to explore the impact of bullying when "manipulation of friendship" seeps into cyberspace. The number of young females taking their lives because of cyber-bullying is increasing: we must develop a sharper and more nuanced view of the problem before we work towards effective solutions.

    The book does a good job in this respect. A call for the modelling of pro-social behaviours, building a school or college community with built-in reporting structures, proactive peer support, victim support and developing an ethos that breaks the code of silence are all sound anti-bullying strategies.

    I also agree wholeheartedly with the moral imperative that runs through this book: some schools are frightened to exert their influence and authority beyond the classroom, the playground or the school gate. It is time for courageous open leadership to reduce the impact and incidence of bullying on a well-being, life-course and achievement of young people. This book will help.

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