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A Uniform Definition of Bullying

The uniform definition describes 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."

It adds: "Bullying may inflict harm or distress on the targeted youth including physical, psychological, social, or educational harm" and that the behaviors could be verbal, physical, or relational. Relational bullying includes attempts to damage a peer's relationships or reputation through ignoring, isolating, or spreading defamatory information.”

May be behind a registered-wall.

A definition for bullying is very important to have. All too often I have spoken with kids who assumed that bullying was "another student doing something I don't like" on one extreme and some things that are much worse on the other extreme.

I appreciate having a definition (although this is still pretty complex for kids and maybe some adults to understand) that is shared between researchers and practitioners so we can make wise decisions as to how to deal with it.

(H/T to Damon Hargraves)

Update: Some schools down in Utah will be the beneficiaries of funds to provide anti-bullying programs. Having worked in two of those districts, I know that bullying means different things to different people. This underscores the need for a uniform definition.