While we tend to associate bullying behavior with school age children, bulling can affect people of all ages.
Bullying is a specific subset of hostile aggression in which:
- There is an imbalance of power with a more powerful person or group attacking a less powerful one.
- A behavior is intended to disturb or harm.
- The behavior occurs repeatedly over time.
- It usually occurs with no provocation from the victim.
Bullying can be verbal, psychological, or physical. There are two types of bullying. The first type of bulling is direct bullying. It is characterized by name-calling, teasing, making threatening or obscene gestures, hitting, using or threatening to use a weapon. The second type of bullying, indirect bullying is behavior of influencing others to tease, name-call, criticize, or physically harm someone, spreading rumors, ignoring or excluding others on purpose. Relational bullying is a form of indirect bullying where the victim and perpetrator have a close relationship (such as a partner or best friend).
- The advent of technology, and especially that of social media, has dramatically increased and changed the landscape of bullying.
- Current research has found that up to 35% of school age children are victims of some form of cyber-bullying.
- Emerging research is showing the harmful effects of peer bullying starting as young as preschool.
- Emerging research is identifying associations between childhood bullying victimization with adult depression and suicidality.
- Exposure to school bullying predicts poorer adult mental and physical health.
- Bullying is emerging as a cause of complex trauma in children.
Bullying is a complex problem. Counseling can help a child, adolescent, or adult process their feelings around being bullied as well as teach skills such as assertiveness and healthy boundaries, as well as develop self-esteem and resiliency to help combat the problem. Additionally, counseling can help the bully by working to understand the root of their behavior.
If you would like to download a brochure to share: Bullying PDF