Bullying is aggressive behavior that is intentional, repeated over time, and involves an imbalance of power or strength. A child who is being bullied has a hard time defending himself or herself.
There are a number of reasons why adults should be concerned about bullying among children and youth. These reasons range from the prevalence of the problem to the impact on children who bully.
A review of bullying prevention programs and feedback from educators in the field led us to suggest 10 strategies that represent "best practice" in bullying prevention and intervention.
Bullying can take many forms such as:
Children and youth also may be involved in cyberbullying, which occurs when children or teens bully each other using the Internet, mobile phones or other cyber technology. This can include:
What are the consequences of bullying? Children and youth who are bullied are more likely than other children to be depressed, lonely, anxious; have low self-esteem, feel unwell, and think about suicide.
How aware of bullying are adults? Adults are often unaware of bullying problems. In one study, 70% of teachers believed they intervene "almost always" in bullying situations; only 25% of students agreed with this assessment. (Charach et al, 1995)
It is important to remember that not only do children bully each other, but adults can bully children, too. For example, a study of urban elementary school teachers in the U.S. (Twemlow et al., 2006) found that 40% admitted that they had bullied a student, and 3% said they did so "frequently." A Norwegian study of 2,400 students in grades 6-9 found that 2% of students had been victims of teacher bullying (Olweus, 2005). Adults must not only be watchful for signs of bullying among the children and youth that they work with, but they should also be sensitive to possible bullying of children by adults, as well.