Bullying is a form of abuse at the hands of peers that can take different forms at different ages. It is targeted and repeated. It involves power, aggression, intimidation and shame. It preys on vulnerability and exposes both children who bully, and those who are bullied, to a number of social and mental health problems and a lifetime pattern of abuse. Any abuse - in particular the kind of abuse that can lead a child to contemplate suicide - is anything but harmless.
See Signs of Bullying and Dangers of Bullying. When children bully, they learn to use power and aggression to control and hurt others. The children who are being hurt become increasingly powerless and find themselves trapped in relationships in which they are being abused. The children who watch bullying happen learn how power is gained by intimidation, and how control is gained through fear. Adults must intervene and teach children how to connect with people respectfully, in positive, healthy ways.
Without healthy relationships, children cannot develop in healthy ways. Read more on what parents and educators need to know about bullying. To truly understand bullying as a relationship problem, we need to ditch the labels and focus on the whole child: their strengths and challenges, their environment as well as their relationships within the family, peer group, school and community. Are you afraid of being bullied, or have you bullied others?
Maybe you have watched others bully? We can help!
Read more for kids. Read more for teens. Read summaries of PREVNet's comprehensive research on bullying and our understanding of it as a relationship problem.
Find useful resources , tools, books and videos and learn more about how to create a world free from bullying. We all have a voice in how to stop bullying and promote healthy relationships.
Let us know what matters to you! Tell us what you think of the site, is there anything you would like to read more about, any issues we haven't covered? And they can have life-long implications for the victims.
That picture is now changing. There are several definitive types of school bully that have been identified by psychologists Credit: Getty Images. It perhaps fails to capture the terrible toll it can have on victims or the complex reasons why people become bullies in the first place. But one key element is the difference in power.
Aside from the blunt and open aggressor, another more Machiavellian kind of bullying has come to be recognised. Crucially, these children can turn on and off their bullying to suit their needs. Bullying is often more about the bully than the victim, according to studies into how children feel when they bully others Credit: Getty Images. Other research backs up this idea that bullying is often more about the bully themselves, rather than their victims. In a study of school children in Italy and Spain, pupils took part in an exercise that entailed thinking about a bullying situation from the point of view of the bully.
The researchers also gave the children a questionnaire about their peers to categorise each child as either a bully, a victim or an outsider. Bullying has also taken on new forms in recent years.
One common characteristic of bullying as previously defined by academics is that the aggression towards the victim is repeated. But the online world is blurring this due to the potential impact that just one instance of cyberbullying can have.
Noticeable increases or decreases in device use, including texting. They see other people bullying. Clara Wajngurt writes, "Other than organizing events, calling for social media sites to take charge could make the difference between life and death. Teens who bully are more likely to : Drop out of school Use drugs, tobacco, or alcohol Get into fights Vandalize property Be convicted of a crime, especially if they are male Abuse their spouse or children The victims of school bulling may also suffer long-term negative effects from being bullied. If the bullying continues, they should tell an adult who will listen to them. With the survey showing that cyberbullying can start when children are in their pre-teen years, with victims as young as eight years old, Ms Ng believes it is time for parents to step up as the strongest line of defence.
Cyberbullying is making some researchers rethink the definition of what it means to bully Credit: Getty Images. Getting to the bottom of their motivations is a good first step. Why are you doing this?
One way to address school bullying could be a buddy system designed to foster peer support , where younger students are assigned an older mentee to show them the ropes when they start school. Being a victim of bullying in childhood can have life-long effects on a persons self-esteem and mental health Credit: Getty Images. But having a supportive school environment in general is also important when it comes to tackling bullying.
Espelage agrees that strong relationships between teachers and among peers are key.