Definitions of BullyingWhat it is, what it means
Center for Disease Control and Prevention
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Defines Bullying as any unwanted aggressive behavior(s) by another youth or group of youths who are not siblings or current dating partners that involves an observed or perceived power imbalance and is repeated multiple times or is highly likely to be repeated.
Olweus Bullying Prevention
Dan Olweus, creator of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, defines bullying in his book, Bullying at School: What We Know and What We Can Do:
“A person is bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself.”
This definition includes three important components:
- Bullying is aggressive behavior that involves unwanted, negative actions.
- Bullying involves a pattern of behavior repeated over time.
- Bullying involves an imbalance of power or strength.
In his writings, Dr. Olweus is very clear that bullying is peer abuse that should not be tolerated under any circumstances.
US Department of Education
The US Department of Education office of Safe Schools defines bullying as 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.
In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:
- An Imbalance of Power: Kids who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
- Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.
Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.