> 2/17/2006 11:36:11 AM

Bullying involves repeated acts of physical, emotional, or social behavior that are intentional, controlling, and hurtful. Bullying is a learned behavior, evident as early as two years of age. Bullying can be either direct or indirect. Direct bullying usually is seen and felt readily. Indirect bullying (deliberate exclusion, name calling, etc.) is much more difficult to identify, often is more difficult to remedy, and should be clearly seen as different from direct bullying. Boys are more typically engaged in direct bullying and girls in indirect bullying, but that is not always the case. Just be alert and consider the following:

  • Bullying is defined by a power imbalance between the bully and the target.
  • A bully's power can be derived from physical size, strength, verbal skill, popularity, or gender.
  • A bully's target feels tormented, helpless, and defenseless.
  • Bullying can include hitting, name-calling, threatening, intimidating, kicking, spreading rumors, teasing, pushing, tripping, excluding someone from a group, or destroying someone's things.


  • Bullying interferes with learning in school and may lead to increased absenteeism and dropout rates.
  • Students feel less safe and less satisfied in school when there are high levels of bullying in the school.
  • Bullying children may become bullying adults and are more likely to become child and spouse abusers.
  • The longer bullying lasts, the harder it is to change. Bullies identified by age 8 are six times more likely to have a criminal conviction by age 24.
  • Bullying may be linked to other delinquent, criminal and gang activities, such as shoplifting, drug abuse, and vandalism.
  • The targets of bullies grow socially insecure and anxious with decreased self-esteem and increased depression rates, even into adulthood.

Excerpt from www.samhsa.gov

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