Facts About Bullying (List)

Bullying is a pervasive issue that affects children and adolescents across the United States. It involves unwanted aggressive behavior, often with a power imbalance and repetition. Bullying can have significant negative effects on both the victims and the bullies themselves. Understanding the facts about bullying is essential in order to prevent and combat this harmful behavior.

facts about bullying

Key Takeaways:

  • Bullying is defined as unwanted aggressive behavior with a power imbalance and repetition.
  • Approximately 20% of students ages 12-18 experience bullying in the United States.
  • The most common types of bullying are rumors and insults.
  • Bullying can also occur online, with around 15% of students reporting cyberbullying.
  • Bullying prevention approaches involve the entire school community and zero tolerance policies are not effective.

Definition of Bullying

It is crucial to have a clear understanding of what constitutes bullying. The Centers for Disease Control and Department of Education released the first federal definition of bullying in 2014, which helps differentiate this form of aggressive behavior from others. According to this definition, bullying encompasses three core elements:

  1. Unwanted aggressive behavior: Bullying involves intentional acts or gestures that aim to harm or intimidate others. It can take various forms, such as physical aggression, verbal abuse, or cyberbullying.
  2. Observed or perceived power imbalance: Bullying typically occurs within a relationship where there is a perceived power imbalance. This means that the perpetrator exerts control or possesses an advantage over the target.
  3. Repetition or high likelihood of repetition: Bullying is characterized by repeated incidents or a high probability of recurrence. It is not a one-time event but involves persistent or ongoing behavior.

Bullying involves intentional acts of aggression, a power imbalance, and repetition or high likelihood of repetition.

This definition is comprehensive and helps to distinguish bullying from other forms of conflict or aggression. By identifying these core elements, schools, communities, and individuals can work together to prevent and address bullying effectively.

Legal Perspective on Bullying

Bullying is not just a social issue; it also carries legal implications. Many states in the United States have enacted anti-bullying legislation, and schools have a legal obligation to respond to bullying incidents according to federal laws. These laws are in place to protect students and ensure their safety. It is essential for schools to take proactive measures in combating bullying and creating a safe and inclusive environment for all.

Type of Bullying Description
Physical bullying Includes physical acts of aggression such as hitting, kicking, or damaging personal property.
Verbal bullying Involves using words, insults, or derogatory language to demean, mock, or intimidate others.
Relational aggression Refers to behaviors aimed at damaging a person’s social status or relationships, including spreading rumors or excluding individuals from social groups.
Cyberbullying Occurs through electronic means, such as social media platforms or text messages, enabling perpetrators to harass, threaten, or humiliate others online.
Sexual bullying Involves unwelcome sexual advances, comments, or behaviors that target an individual’s gender or sexuality.
Prejudicial bullying Targets individuals based on their race, religion, ethnicity, or other protected characteristics, reinforcing discriminatory attitudes or beliefs.

Bullying Statistics

Bullying is a prevalent issue that affects a significant number of students across the nation. According to federal statistics, approximately 20% of students aged 12-18 experience bullying in the United States. These distressing numbers highlight the urgent need for effective bullying prevention strategies.

When it comes to the types of bullying reported, some common forms emerge. Students frequently face being the subject of hurtful rumors, enduring insults or derogatory remarks, and even physical aggression. Bullying is not confined to a single location and can occur in various places within the school environment. The hallway and classroom are the most commonly identified locations where bullying takes place.

“Approximately 15% of students experience cyberbullying, with technological advancements leading to new avenues for harassment.”

Regional aggression predominantly targets girls:

Relational aggression, characterized by manipulation, exclusion, or damaging relationships, is an alarming trend. Girls are more likely to be targets of this insidious form of bullying compared to boys, making it crucial to address and combat relational aggression effectively.

To provide a more comprehensive understanding of the statistics surrounding bullying, consider the following table detailing the different types of bullying:

Type of Bullying Prevalence
Rumors and Gossip 30%
Verbal Insults or Name-calling 25%
Physical Aggression 20%
Cyberbullying 15%
Relational Aggression 10%

These statistics shed light on the widespread prevalence of bullying in schools and the urgent need for effective prevention strategies. It is crucial for parents, educators, and the community as a whole to work together in creating a safe and inclusive environment for all students.

Bullying and Suicide

The relationship between bullying and suicide is complex. While it would be incorrect to state that bullying directly causes suicide, persistent bullying can contribute to negative mental health outcomes that may increase the risk of suicidal behavior.

Bullying can lead to feelings of isolation, depression, and anxiety in the victim. The constant harassment and humiliation experienced by individuals can create a sense of hopelessness, making them more vulnerable to suicidal thoughts and actions.

It is crucial to address bullying and provide support to those affected in order to prevent the devastating consequences it can have on mental well-being. By creating safe and inclusive environments, promoting empathy, and teaching conflict resolution skills, we can work towards reducing the incidence of bullying and its impact on individuals.

“Bullying builds a climate of fear and disrespect that can harm everyone involved—bystanders, targets, and those who bully. All students can thrive academically, socially, and emotionally in supportive, nurturing environments that are free from bullying, harassment, and violence.” – National Association of School Psychologists

When it comes to preventing bullying-related suicide, taking a holistic approach is crucial. This involves educating students, parents, and educators about the warning signs of bullying and the importance of early intervention. By fostering a culture of acceptance, empathy, and open communication, we can create an environment where victims feel safe and empowered to seek help.

Key Points:
Bullying can contribute to feelings of isolation, depression, and anxiety.
Persistent bullying can increase the risk of suicidal behavior.
Addressing bullying and providing support is crucial to prevent negative mental health outcomes.
Creating safe and inclusive environments can help reduce the incidence of bullying and its impact on individuals.

Anti-Bullying Laws

All states in the United States have implemented comprehensive anti-bullying legislation to address the pervasive issue of bullying in schools. These laws aim to protect students from bullying and create a safe learning environment for everyone. Schools have a legal obligation to respond to bullying incidents and take necessary actions to prevent further harm.

By enacting anti-bullying laws, policymakers recognize the detrimental impact of bullying on students’ well-being and academic performance. These laws establish guidelines for schools to follow when dealing with bullying cases, ensuring that appropriate measures are taken to address the issue effectively.

Anti-bullying laws encompass various aspects, including clear definitions of bullying, reporting procedures, investigation processes, and disciplinary actions. They require schools to implement anti-bullying policies and provide training to teachers and staff on how to identify and respond to bullying incidents.

Additionally, anti-bullying laws emphasize the importance of prevention and education. They promote the implementation of anti-bullying programs and initiatives that focus on fostering a culture of respect, empathy, and inclusion within the school community.

Benefits of Anti-Bullying Laws Key Components of Anti-Bullying Laws
  • Creates a safer school environment
  • Reduces the prevalence of bullying incidents
  • Protects victims from further harm
  • Encourages reporting and intervention
  • Promotes a positive school climate
  • Clear definition of bullying
  • Establishment of reporting procedures
  • Guidelines for investigation and response
  • Implementation of disciplinary measures
  • Training for teachers and staff
  • Prevention programs and education

Anti-bullying laws play a crucial role in combating bullying and creating a supportive environment for students to thrive in. They send a message that bullying is unacceptable and ensure that schools prioritize the well-being and safety of their students.

Types of Bullying

When it comes to bullying, it’s essential to understand the different forms it can take. Researchers have identified six unique types of bullying:

  1. Physical Bullying: This involves any form of physical harm or aggression, such as hitting, pushing, or tripping.
  2. Verbal Bullying: Verbal bullying includes name-calling, insults, teasing, or spreading rumors.
  3. Relational Aggression: Also known as social bullying, relational aggression focuses on damaging someone’s social standing or relationships through exclusion, spreading rumors, or manipulating friendships.
  4. Cyberbullying: With the rise of technology, cyberbullying has become a prevalent issue. It involves using digital platforms to harass or intimidate others, such as through social media, text messages, or online forums.
  5. Sexual Bullying: This form of bullying includes unwelcome sexual advances, comments, gestures, or sharing explicit material without consent.
  6. Prejudicial Bullying: Prejudicial bullying targets individuals based on their race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or any other characteristic that makes them different. It can involve discriminatory remarks, actions, or exclusion.

By recognizing and understanding these different types of bullying, we can better address and combat this issue in our schools and communities.

Comparison of Bullying Types

Type Description
Physical Bullying Direct physical aggression, including hitting, pushing, or tripping.
Verbal Bullying Harassing or insulting others through name-calling, insults, or spreading rumors.
Relational Aggression Targeting someone’s social standing by excluding, spreading rumors, or manipulating friendships.
Cyberbullying Using digital platforms to harass or intimidate others, such as through social media or text messages.
Sexual Bullying Unwanted sexual advances, comments, gestures, or sharing explicit material without consent.
Prejudicial Bullying Targeting individuals based on their race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or other characteristics that make them different.

Recognizing the various forms of bullying is a crucial step in creating safe and inclusive environments for all individuals. By addressing each type accordingly, we can work towards combating bullying and promoting positive relationships.

Reasons for Bullying

Bullying is a complex issue, driven by various underlying factors. Understanding the reasons why bullies engage in harmful behavior can shed light on the motivations behind their actions.

Not all bullies have low self-esteem, as commonly believed. Some individuals bully others due to a desire for power and control. By exerting dominance over their targets, they attempt to elevate their social status and assert their authority.

Perceived power imbalances can also play a role in bullying behavior. Bullies may target those whom they perceive as weaker or vulnerable, further reinforcing their sense of power and control.

Personal issues can contribute to bullying as well. In some cases, bullies may be dealing with unresolved conflicts, anger, or frustration, which they express through aggressive behavior towards others.

It is important to note that blaming victims for being bullied is misguided. The responsibility lies with the bully to make better choices and treat others with respect.

To illustrate the reasons for bullying, consider the following quote:

“Bullying is often a manifestation of the bully’s own insecurities and desire for power. It is imperative that we address the underlying reasons behind bullying to create a safer and more compassionate environment for all.”


Understanding the reasons behind bullying can inform effective prevention strategies and interventions. By addressing the underlying issues that drive bullying behavior, we can work towards fostering empathy, promoting healthy relationships, and building a culture of respect.

The table below summarizes the key reasons for bullying:

Reasons for Bullying
Desire for power and control
Perceived power imbalances
Personal issues and unresolved conflicts

Addressing these underlying reasons through preventive measures and supportive interventions can contribute to creating a more inclusive and nurturing environment, free from bullying.

Effects of Bullying

Bullying can have significant and lasting effects on both the victims and the bullies themselves. The detrimental impact of bullying extends beyond immediate emotional distress and can have long-term consequences on mental health and well-being.

Victims of Bullying

For victims of bullying, the effects can be devastating. They may experience a range of negative emotions, including fear, anxiety, and sadness. Chronic bullying can result in low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness. Victims may withdraw from social activities and suffer from academic difficulties due to the stress and emotional turmoil they endure.

According to studies, victims of bullying are at a higher risk of developing mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. These psychological challenges can persist into adulthood, impacting relationships, career prospects, and overall quality of life.

Furthermore, the effects of bullying can extend beyond the individual being targeted. Bystanders who witness bullying may experience feelings of guilt, helplessness, or fear. They may feel compelled to intervene but may worry about becoming victims themselves. Witnessing bullying can also lead to feelings of distress and powerlessness, contributing to a negative school environment.

Bullies Themselves

Bullies also suffer from the consequences of their actions. Engaging in bullying behavior can indicate underlying psychological issues and may be a cry for help. Research suggests that bullies are more likely to experience aggression and substance abuse problems during adolescence and adulthood.

Furthermore, bullies may struggle with interpersonal relationships, experiencing difficulties in forming healthy connections and maintaining friendships. This can lead to social isolation and a lack of empathy for others.

“Bullying is not just a problem for the victims, but also for the perpetrators. It is essential to address the root causes of bullying in order to break the cycle and create a safer and more inclusive environment for all.”

The Importance of Support

It is crucial to recognize the significant impact that bullying can have on individuals and take steps to provide support and intervention. Creating a culture of empathy and compassion can help victims heal and encourage bullies to change their behavior.

By implementing comprehensive anti-bullying programs that involve education, awareness, and counseling, we can empower both victims and bullies to break free from the destructive cycle of bullying and foster a sense of safety and acceptance in our schools and communities.

Effects of Bullying on Individuals
1. Low self-esteem Victims
2. Academic problems Victims
3. Depression and anxiety Victims
4. Guilt and distress Bystanders
5. Aggression and substance abuse Bullies
6. Poor interpersonal relationships Bullies

Bullying Across Ages

Bullying is not confined to a specific age group. It can start as early as preschool and intensify during middle and high school years. However, the effects of bullying can persist well into adulthood, taking the form of workplace bullying. It is crucial to address and prevent bullying at all ages, as it can have long-lasting impacts on mental health and overall well-being.

Children who experience bullying at a young age are more likely to develop social, emotional, and behavioral difficulties later in life. The traumatic effects of bullying can shape their self-perception, relationships, and future success.

Moreover, adults can also fall victim to bullying in the workplace. Workplace bullying can involve behaviors such as verbal abuse, humiliation, and sabotage, which can negatively impact job satisfaction and mental health.

“Bullying is not limited to the schoolyard—it can infiltrate various aspects of life, from childhood through adulthood.”

By addressing bullying across all ages, we can create a society that prioritizes inclusivity, empathy, and respect. Understanding the diverse forms bullying can take and implementing effective prevention strategies is essential in combatting this pervasive issue.

Prevalence of Bullying Across Age Groups

The following table provides an overview of the prevalence of bullying across different age groups:

Age Group Prevalence of Bullying
Preschool 10-20% of children experience bullying
Elementary School Up to 30% of students report being bullied
Middle School Approximately 30% of students experience bullying
High School Around 20% of students are victims of bullying
Workplace 27% of employees have experienced workplace bullying

It is evident that bullying affects individuals across various stages of life. By acknowledging and addressing this issue, we can collectively work towards creating safe and supportive environments that promote kindness, understanding, and inclusivity.

Barriers to Reporting

Many victims of bullying face barriers when it comes to reporting incidents. These barriers often stem from feelings of embarrassment, fear of retaliation, or a belief that reporting will not make a difference. However, creating a safe and supportive environment is crucial in empowering victims to speak up and seek the help they need.

Embarrassment: Victims of bullying may feel ashamed or embarrassed about their experiences. They may worry about being judged or labeled as weak if they come forward. Creating a culture of understanding and compassion can help reduce these feelings and encourage victims to speak out.

Fear of Retaliation: Victims may fear that reporting the bullying will only make the situation worse. They worry that the bullying will intensify or that they will face backlash from the bully or their peers. Schools and organizations must implement clear policies that protect individuals who report bullying and ensure their safety.

Belief that Reporting Won’t Make a Difference: Some victims may have had previous negative experiences or have heard stories where reporting did not lead to any action being taken. This can create a perception that reporting is ineffective. By establishing a reporting system that guarantees swift action and appropriate consequences for the bully, victims will be more likely to come forward.

Creating a safe reporting system that protects victims’ identities can alleviate their fears and provide them with the confidence to report bullying incidents.

It is crucial for schools, parents, and communities to address these barriers head-on. By promoting open conversations, implementing effective reporting systems, and providing resources and support, we can empower victims to break the silence and take a stand against bullying.

Recommended Resources:

  • StopBullying.gov – Provides information and resources for individuals and communities on how to prevent and respond to bullying.
  • The Trevor Project – Offers crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+ youth experiencing bullying and discrimination.
  • Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center – Provides resources, toolkits, and educational materials to promote bullying prevention in schools and communities.

Inspirational Quote:

“Courage is fire, and bullying is smoke.”


Bullying is a pervasive issue that has detrimental effects on the well-being and development of children and adolescents. To combat bullying and create a safe environment, it is crucial to implement effective bullying prevention strategies. By recognizing the different forms of bullying, understanding the underlying reasons, and taking action, we can make a significant impact in reducing bullying incidents and their negative consequences.

Creating a culture of respect and support is essential in addressing bullying. Empowering victims and providing them with the necessary resources and support can help them overcome the effects of bullying and regain their confidence. Additionally, it is important to hold bullies accountable for their actions, educating them on the consequences of their behavior and promoting empathy and kindness.

By working together as a community, we can combat bullying and create a safer and more inclusive environment for everyone. Schools, parents, teachers, and students must collaborate to implement comprehensive bullying prevention programs that address the root causes of bullying and foster a culture of tolerance and acceptance. By doing so, we can protect the mental and emotional well-being of our youth and promote their healthy development.


What is bullying?

Bullying is unwanted aggressive behavior that involves a power imbalance and repetition.

How common is bullying?

Approximately 20% of students ages 12-18 experience bullying in the United States.

What are the most common types of bullying?

The most common types of bullying reported include rumors, insults, and physical aggression.

Can bullying happen online?

Yes, approximately 15% of students experience cyberbullying.

Is there a relationship between bullying and suicide?

Persistent bullying can contribute to feelings of isolation, depression, and anxiety, increasing the risk of suicidal behavior.

What are anti-bullying laws?

All states in the United States have legislation against bullying, and schools have a legal obligation to respond to it.

What are the different types of bullying?

The six unique types of bullying are physical, verbal, relational aggression, cyberbullying, sexual bullying, and prejudicial bullying.

Why do bullies engage in bullying?

Bullies may bully for power, social status, or personal issues. Not all bullies have low self-esteem.

What are the effects of bullying?

Bullying can have long-lasting negative effects on both the victims and the bullies, including low self-esteem, academic problems, and mental health conditions.

Does bullying occur at all ages?

Bullying can start as early as preschool and continue into adulthood, particularly as workplace bullying.

Why do victims often not report bullying?

Victims may not report bullying due to embarrassment, fear of retaliation, or a belief that reporting will not make a difference.

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