Bullying Awareness FAQ
Q: What Is Bullying?
A: 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.
Q: What Does Bullying Look Like?
A: There are many warning signs that could indicate that someone is involved in bullying. If you suspect that someone you know is being bullied or is bullying others, check out the warning signs on stopbullying.gov so you can help.
Q: Why Should Adults Care about Bullying?
A: 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.
Q: What Are the Best Practices in Bullying Prevention & Intervention?
A: 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:
- Physical bullying, such as hitting or punching
- Verbal bullying, such as teasing or name-calling
- Nonverbal or emotional bullying, such as intimidating someone through gestures or social exclusion
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:
- Sending mean text, email, or instant messages
- Posting nasty pictures or messages about others in blogs or on websites
- Using someone else's user name to spread rumors or lies about someone
Q: Who Is Bullied?
- Studies show that between 15-25% of U.S. students are bullied with some frequency ("sometimes or more often") while 15-20% report that they bully others with some frequency. (Melton et al, 1998; Nansel et al, 2001)
- Boys are more likely than girls to bully others.
- Girls frequently report being bullied by both boys and girls, but boys are most often bullied only by other boys.
Q: What is Cyberbullying?
A: Cyberbullying, instead of happening face-to-face, happens through the use of technology such as computers, cell phones and other electronic devices. Cyberbullying peaks around the end of middle school and the beginning of high school.
Q: What are the consequences of bullying?
A: 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.
Q: How aware of bullying are adults?
A: 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)
Q: Can Adults Bully Children?
A: 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.
References for Articles Cited Above:
- McEvoy, A. (September, 2005). Teachers who bully students: Patterns and policy implications. Paper presented at the Hamilton Fish Institute’s Persistently Safe Schools Conference. Philadelphia, PA, September 11-14, 2005.
- lweus, D. (1996). Bullying of students by teachers. Bergen, Norway.
- Twemlow, S. W., Fonagy, P. ., Sacco, F. C., & Brethour, J. R., Jr. (2006). Teachers who bully students: A hidden trauma. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 52, 187-198.
This information courtesy of Stop Bullying Now! For more information about bullying, visit the
Stop Bullying Now! Website