Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance.

The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.  Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.”  – stopbullying.gov

There are four key elements of bullying:

  • aggression

  • repetition

  • power imbalance

  • intentional cruelty

There are three types of bullying:

  • verbal

  • physical

  • relational aggression (social or emotional)

“Bullying is not always easy to detect. The behavior is often covert and perpetrated in situations where adults aren’t present. Bullying behaviors can be subtle and difficult to recognize. It’s also important to note that not every peer confrontation is bullying: social tiffs, arguments, teasing, and conflicts are inevitable among youth, and are normal.” – The 6Rs of Bullying Prevention – Michele Borba, Ed.D.

“Bullying occurs when a victim is exposed to serious ‘negative experiences’ created by, or due to, another individual (or group), the bully or bullies. These negative experiences often involve physical discomfort or pain, but can also be social or emotional in nature and involve psychological pain.

In bullying, negative experiences occur over a period of time. There is always an imbalance of power between the victim and the bully, and this power imbalance can also be physical, psychological, or social.” – Dan Olweus