Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Ann Marie Popp
Bullying refers to aggressive behavior intended to harm the physical well-being of the victim or to create a feeling of fear and intimidation. Bullying includes physical assaults, physical intimidation, psychological intimidation, name-calling, teasing, social isolation, and exclusion. Two characteristics distinguish bullying from other forms of aggressive behavior. The first is the repetitive and prolonged nature of the bullying act; hence, not all name-calling is a form of bullying. Many students experience verbal insults by their peers, but the name-calling does not rise to the level of bullying until the student experiences it regularly over a period of time. The second characteristic that distinguishes bullying from other forms of aggressive behavior is the status inequality between bully and victim. In comparison, the victim is physically, psychologically, and socially more vulnerable, which allows the bully to engage in the behavior with little concern for reprisals or other consequences. For example, physical assaults ...