When a person is subjected to bullying a common thing to do is to focus on the individual and ask why he or she is treated badly or why the offender is bullying. We look for explanations on an individual level both when it comes to the person who bully and the person who is being bullied. Friends’ multidisciplinary approach is that psychological mechanisms on an individual level can integrate with other mechanisms which in turn create harassments and degrading treatment, but the individual factors should not be seen as the only explanation. It is also important to investigate and analyze the peer and group context. Bullying can occur in groups because of different mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion. For example, a bad atmosphere in a class can be explained by referring to negative group mechanisms and negative peer pressure. It can also be explained by looking at participation and belonging; to be heard and seen in the group or the lack of this. Different roles and hierarchy within groups can also explain why harassments or bullying occur.

It is also important to reveal the organizational level in the school, preschool or sports club. The lack of adult leadership within an organization or an environment where the staff and students feel under stimulated and frustrated may contribute to the situation. Other contributing factors affecting the social situation are limited adult presence, deficient steering documents, low student participation and school culture.

On the societal and structural level we can find factors that permeate the whole society and among these factors we can find social norms. Norms are not negative per se but are sometimes difficult to discover since most of society, school or the group follow these unwritten rules. Structured norms are created in a context far away from the individual person, more on a societal level and this can make it hard to see the norms and reflect on them. When working preventative it is important to analyze the particular and specific situation in every social context based on these different analytical perspectives. Therefore, it’s also important to develop preventative measures targeting each potential influencing factor in the bullying situation.