Determining Bullying Behavior

It is not appropriate to characterize all aggressive behavior as bullying.12,13 Conflict is motivated by negative intent and takes place between students of relatively equal power or social standing. In cases of bullying, a power imbalance exists.

Bullying behavior:

  • Typically not friends
  • Generally repeated
  • Unequal balance of power
  • Intentional harm-doing
  • Mood is negative
  • Different feelings (mood/responsive) for victim and aggressor

Non-bullying behavior:

  • Can be friends or not
  • Often repeated (same players) or not
  • Relatively equal balance of power
  • No intent to harm or intentional harm-doing
  • Mood is friendly or negative, aggressive or tense
  • Mutual positive or hostile feelings

Types of non-bullying behavior:

  • Disagreeing
  • Fighting
  • Horsing around or joking
  • Sarcasm
  • Passive-aggressiveness
  • Silent treatment
  • Trolling
  • Grieving