Bullying: A Serious Problem Among Youth
What Is Bullying?
- Physical—hitting, punching, kicking, spitting, or pushing
- Verbal—yelling, teasing, or name-calling
- Indirects—spreading rumors or excluding others
- Cyberbullying—spreading insulting messages by email and on the Internet
What Are Common Characteristics of Bullies and Their Victims?
- Are impulsive and dominant
- Are easily frustrated
- See violence as a good solution to conflict
- Lack empathy
- Get in trouble often
- Have poor academic achievement
- Are more likely to drink and smoke
- Participate in sexual risk-taking behaviors
What Are The Effects of Bullying?
What Can Youth Do?
- Talk with your parents or another adult you trust, such as a teacher or school counselor.
- Don’t fight back because that could make things worse. Stay calm and tell the person to stop, or just walk away.
- Act confident. If you seem self-confident, a bully will be less likely to start or continue bullying you.
- Make friends with other people you enjoy. If you are with friends, a bully is less likely to go after you.
- Avoid situations in which bullying can occur.
- Refuse to join the bullying.
- Try to help by drawing attention away from the victim or asking the bully to stop, if you can do this without putting yourself at risk.
- Get a teacher, parent, or another adult to help.
- Help the person who is being bullied if you can, or at least support him or her later.
- Encourage the victim to talk with parents or another adult he or she trusts.
What Can Parents Do?
- Take the situation seriously and support your child. Have an open, honest talk with your child and let them know that it is not his or her fault and you will help them out.
- Teach your child how to avoid confrontation by being assertive. Have them seek out an adult for help as soon as possible.
- Talk with your child’s principal and/or teacher. Ask them what they will do to stop the bullying.
- Encourage your child to make friends and stay with friends when bullying may occur.
- Watch for signs that your child may be getting bullied, such as unexplained cuts or bruises, mood changes and withdrawal, and fear of going to school.
- Tell your child you will not tolerate the bullying. Set and enforce consistent rules for your child’s behavior. Praise your child for positive behavior.
- Teach your child to manage anger without violence.
- Monitor your child’s activities and relationships with friends.
- Encourage your child to become involved in positive activities like sports and music lessons.
- Work together with your child’s teacher and/or principal. If necessary, get help from a school counselor and/or mental health professional.
STRYVE: Striving to Reduce Youth Violence Everywhere http://www.safeyouth.gov
Stop a Bully http://www.stopabully.ca
Bullying. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Accessed October 30, 2013.
Dealing with bullying. Nemours Kids Health website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/teen/homework/problems/bullies.html. Updated July 2013. Accessed October 30, 2013.
Nansel TR, Overpeck M, Haynie DL, Ruan WJ, Scheidt PC. Relationships between bullying and violence among US youth. JAMA. 2003;157:348-353.
Teaching kids not to bully. Nemours Kids Health website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/behavior/no%5Fbullying.html. Updated July 2013. Accessed October 30, 2013.
Understanding bullying fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pdf/BullyingFactsheet2012-a.pdf. Accessed October 30, 2013.
What is bullying? Stop Bullying website. Available at: http://www.stopbullying.gov/what-is-bullying/definition/index.html. Accessed October 30, 2013.
11/19/2013 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Holt MK, Matjasko JL, et al. Sexual risk taking and bullying among adolescents. Pediatrics. 2013 Nov 11.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 10/2013 -
- Update Date: 11/19/2013 -