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Bullying actions are targeted at the victim in a purposive manner and are intended to reduce the perceived power the victim has over the situation or to intentionally harm the victim (Olweus, 1993).
The same behaviours when they are committed as random or reactive responses to situations are not recognized as bullying behaviours (see Atlas & Pepler, 1998; Pellegrini & Long, 2002; Pepler & Craig, 2000; Sudermann, Jaffe & Schieck, 1996).
Generally, boys and girls who are victimized report symptoms of depression (such as sadness, loss of interest in activities), symptoms of anxiety (such as tenseness, fears, and worries), loss of self-esteem and sometimes, increased levels of aggressive behaviour.
Additional effects of bullying on victimized children may include headaches, stomach aches, school absenteeism, and in extreme cases can lead to suicide (CIPB Conference, 2004; Ma, Stewin & Mah, 2001; Neary and Joseph, 1994; Olweus, 1993; Slee, 1995).
The damaging effects of psychological and verbal bullying as well as social exclusion are now being recognized, although not everyone incorporates these behaviours into their definition or their action plans.
Bullying is a subset of aggression (Ma, Stewin & Mah, 2001).
For additional information on cyberbullying, visit the Canadian website:
As bullying is repetitive by definition, the effects of victimization on children and youth can be quite traumatic and long-lasting.
Left unchecked, a five-year-old who displays bullying behaviours will likely exhibit similar behaviours later in life. (2003) found that bullies are seven times more likely than other students to carry weapons to school.
The informed and passionate efforts of all involved are a testament to the dedication that exists across Canada to working toward the prevention of bullying through the development and sharing of knowledge.
provides an overview of the entire study from promising practices, to results and recommendations.
The definition of bullying used in this report is broad based, encompassing a wide range of behaviours within a personal relationship (for other definitions, please see: Ma, Stewin & Mah, 2001; Olweus, 1993; Smith, 2000; Pepler & Craig, 2000).
In this report, bullying includes actions within a relationship between a dominant and a less dominant person or group (see Chart 1), where: Communication and information technology allows for bullying to occur anywhere – while youth are at school, at home or in the community.