Information About Bullying

What Is The Definition of Bullying?

A lot of young people have a good idea of what bullying is because they see it every day! Bullying happens when someone hurts or scares another person on purpose and the person being bullied has a hard time defending himself or herself. Usually, bullying happens over and over.

  • Punching, shoving, and other acts that hurt people physically

  • Spreading bad rumors about people

  • Keeping certain people out of a "group"

  • Teasing people in a mean way

  • Getting certain people to "gang up" on others

Bullying also can happen online or electronically. Cyberbullying is 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 Web sites

  • Using someone else's user name to spread rumors or lies about someone

Stop Bullying Now, (2010).


Bullying is aggressive behavior that is intentional and involves an imbalance of power or strength. Usually, it is repeated over time. Traditionally, bullying has involved actions such as: hitting or punching (physical bullying), teasing or name-calling (verbal bullying), or intimidation through gestures or social exclusion. In recent years, technology has given children and youth a new means of bullying each other.​

Cyberbullying, which is sometimes referred to as online social cruelty or electronic bullying, has been defined as "an aggressive, intentional act carried out by a group or individual, using electronic forms of contact, repeatedly and over time against a victim who cannot easily defend him or herself" (Smith et al., 2008, p. 376).​

Cyberbullying can involve:

  • Sending mean, vulgar, or threatening messages or images

  • Posting sensitive, private information and/or lies about another person

  • Pretending to be someone else in order to make that person look bad

  • Intentionally excluding someone from an online group (Willard, 2005)

Children and youth can cyberbully each other through:

  • Emails

  • Instant messaging

  • Text or digital imaging messages sent on cell phones

  • Social networking sites

  • Web pages

  • Blogs

  • Chat rooms or discussion groups

  • Other cyber technologies

Bullying via instant messaging appears to be particularly prevalent (Dehue et al., 2008; Kowalski et al., 2008).

Stop Bullying Now. (2010).

Children Who Bully

Community Based Bullying Prevention

Warning Signs of Bullying

Myths About Bullying

What We Know About Bullying