Definition of bullying

Who is at Risk

Bullying can happen anywhere, but depending on the environment, some groups may be at an increased risk. Learn what factors increase the risk of children being bullied or children more likely to bully others and what warning signs can indicate that bullying may be happening. You can also find out how bullying can negatively impact kids.
 
No single factor puts a child at risk of being bullied or bulling others. Bullying can happen anywhere—cities, suburbs, or rural towns. Depending on the environment, some groups—such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) youth, youth with disabilities, and socially isolated youth—may be at an increased risk of being bullied.

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.

Effects of Bullying

Bullying can affect everyone—those who are bullied, those who bully, and those who witness bullying. Bullying is linked to many negative outcomes including impacts on mental health, substance use, and suicide. It is important to talk to kids to determine whether bullying—or something else—is a concern.
 
Bullying can affect you in many ways. You may lose sleep or feel sick. You may want to skip school. You may even be thinking about suicide. If you are feeling hopeless or helpless or know someone that is, please call the LIFELINE at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)


Most School Shooters
          Are Victims of Bullying

 

For years, anti-bullying groups have drawn a connection between bullying and school shootings. The Department of Health and Human Services's Stopbullying.govwebsite reports that the perpetrators of 12 of 15 school shootings in the 1990s had a history of being bullied. Witnesses of a 2013 shooting at Sparks Middle School in Nevada recall the 12-year-old shooter telling a group of students, "You guys ruined my life, so I'm going to ruin yours."

Stop Bullying on the Spot

When adults respond quickly and consistently to bullying behavior they send the message that it is not acceptable. So don't be a by stander. If  Research shows this can stop bullying behavior over time. There are simple steps adults can take to stop bullying on the spot and keep kids safe.


1 (800) 273-8255
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

What is Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites.
Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.
 
Kids who are being cyberbullied are often bullied in person as well. Additionally, kids who are cyberbullied have a harder time getting away from the behavior.
 
Cyberbullying can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and reach a kid even when he or she is alone. It can happen any time of the day or night.
 
Cyberbullying messages and images can be posted anonymously and distributed quickly to a very wide audience. It can be difficult and sometimes impossible to trace the source.
 
Deleting inappropriate or harassing messages, texts, and pictures is extremely difficult after they have been posted or sent.

What We Know about Bullying and Suicide Together

  1. We know that bullying behavior and suicide-related behavior are closely related. This means youth who
  2. report any involvement with bullying behavior are more likely to report high levels of suicide-related
  3. behavior than youth who do not report any involvement with bullying behavior.
  4. •We know enough about the relationship between bullying and suicide-related behavior to make​evidence-based recommendations to improve prevention efforts. 

What We DON’T Know about Bullying and Suicide

  • We don’t know if bullying directly causes suicide-related behavior. We know that most youth who are
  • involved in bullying do NOT engage in suicide-related behavior. It is correct to say that involvement in
  • bullying, along with other risk factors, increases the chance that a young person will engage in suicide related
  • behaviors.