There is no agreed definition of bullying. It can take many forms - physical, verbal or social. It could involve taking or damaging belongings. Most common type to be unpleasant and hurtful name-calling. All forms have something in common - they cause distress, at times extreme.
How common is bullying?
Bullying in schools is common. It is not unusual to find that between a third to a half of the pupils were involved in bullying, either as victims or bullies.
Does age make a difference?
The number of children who report being bullied decreases with age.
Are there differences in the bullying experiences of girls and boys?
There are differences, it is more common for boys to be involved in physical bullying. Girls on the other hand are more likely than boys to be involved in psychological bullying (for example ignoring someone or deliberately keeping someone out of a group). However, for both boys and girls, the most common type of bullying is verbal.
Are some children more likely to be bullied than others?
Any child can become the victim of bullying if he or she is put into a school where bullying is not tackled effectively. Being different in some obvious way (such as ethnicity, disability or religion) may make it more likely that a child will be bullied.
How popular are victims and bullies?
Victims of bullying tend not to be as popular as their peers (including bullies). Bullies tend to be as popular (or almost) as their peers, although their popularity drops as they get older.
What do pupils do when they are bullied?
Children who are being bullied react in different ways. In response to bullying, children will often attempt to stand up to the bully (without fighting).
Why don't children tell?
Children give a variety of reasons for not telling an adult about bullying, ranging from being afraid of what the bullies might do if they found out, to feelings of failure because they could not deal with the bully themselves. The reasons that children give for not telling are usually reasonable and logical. The fear of retaliation is real and should be acknowledged. However, this fear is sometimes expressed in another way - as a fear that the adult will do something which will make matters worse.
Does bullying cause problems in later years?
There is a connection between being bullied in childhood and problems in later years. There are a number of ways in which childhood bullying may be linked to problems in adult life. It has been suggested that some victims are brutalised by their experiences and go on to become bullying or abusive adults. It has also been suggested that some bullies graduate to more serious adult criminality.
Where does bullying take place?
The most common location for bullying is the school playground. The fact that most studies have found that bullying is most common in the playground is unsurprising. Teachers are often uncomfortable with the fact that so many pupils have said that the classroom is an important location for bullying. Sometimes this happens when the teacher is not present, but it can also happen right under a teacher's nose.