THE claim "Bullies are looking for attention. Ignore them and the bullying will stop" is considered to be a myth since research shows that bullies are looking for control, and they rarely stop if their behavior is ignored. The level of bullying usually increases if the bullying is not addressed by adults since researchers in 2010 showed that recourse to "avoidance" type strategies would lead to an increase in the frequency of bullying while recourse to "approach"-type strategies would lead to a reduction in it.
Referring to Clara Clark in 2015, avoidance creates anger in the bullied individual which might impact in the futureand does not resolve the current conflict completely.
Research has shown that the majority of children who attempt to ignore a bully only success in pretending to do so. Ultimately, this may be the process by which increased anger manifests itself in the victims despite on the surface seeming to avoid and ignore the bully. Whats more is that avoidance strategies also train children to avoid interpersonal conflict and ignore it, as opposed to resolving the conflict, which may have negative implications for both school life and beyond.
Research in 2002 also showed that bullying as a continuum in which many students engage in these behaviors at various levels and research by Nancy Gropper et.al. indicates that when asked about bullying in schools, students expressed a desire for teachers and others to intervene rather than ignore it.
Referring to APA, large-scale evaluations over a period of more than 20 years of Olweus Bullying Prevention Program which is offered to all of Norway's public schools have yielded quite positive results such as substantial reductions typically in the 30-50 percent range in the frequency with which students report being bullied and bullying others, significant reductions in students' reports of general antisocial behavior and Improvements in students' satisfaction with school life. Partial replications of the program in England and the United States have also yielded positive, though somewhat weaker results.
The intervention program is built on four key principles. These principles involve creating a school - and ideally, also a home - environment characterized by:
(1) warmth, positive interest, and involvement from adults;
(2) firm limits on unacceptable behavior;
(3) consistent application of non-punitive, non-physical sanctions for unacceptable behavior and violation of rules, and
(4), adults who act as authorities and positive role models.
The above program also has similar characteristics of the CDC bullying prevention points mentioned here.