What is Bullying?
Bullying is “any unwanted aggressive behavior(s) by another youth or group of youths, who are not siblings or current dating partners, involving an observed or perceived power imbalance. These behaviors are repeated multiple times or are highly likely to be repeated.” 1
1 in 5 high school students reported being bullied on school property in the last year.2
Effects of Bullying
Bullying can result in physical injuries, social and emotional problems, and academic problems for all children involved – the children who bully, those who are bullied, those who bully and are bullied, and those who witness the bullying (“bystanders”). The harmful effects of bullying can be felt by friends and families and can hurt the overall health and safety of schools, neighborhoods, and society.
Types of Bullying
The three types of bullying are verbal, physical, and social bullying. These can occur at school or somewhere else and can happen in-person and through technology. Electronic aggression, or “cyberbullying,” is bullying that happens through technological devices and mechanisms such as email, instant message, a website, text message, social media, and other digital applications.3
Bullying Prevention and Research
For more information on bullying research, and how bullying can be prevented in your school, visit CDC’s Youth Violence Bullying Research page.
For possible warning signs of children involved in bullying, special concerns, laws and policies, and trainings regarding bullying, visit StopBullying.gov.
- Become an Upstander and #Stopbullying
- StopBullying – English website
- Espanol.StopBullying.gov – Spanish website
- StopBullying.gov’s Bullying Prevention Training Center
- StopBullying.gov’s Online Bullying Prevention Course (FREE continuing education available)
- Gladden RM, Vivolo-Kantor AM, Hamburger ME, Lumpkin CD. Bullying Surveillance Among Youths: Uniform Definitions for Public Health and Recommended Data Elements, Version 1.0. Atlanta, GA; National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Department of Education; 2013. Available from Bullying Definition [PDF – 8.64 MB].
- Kann L, McManus T, Harris WA, et al. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance — United States, 2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Surveil Summ. 2016;65(SS-06):1-174. Available from http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/ volumes/65/ss/pdfs/ss6506.pdf [PDF – 2.72 MB].
- National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Preventing Bullying Through Science, Policy, and Practice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2016. Available from http://sites.nationalacademies.org/DBASSE/BCYF/Science_on_Bullying/index.htm