chapter  12
School-based Bullying: Definition, Prevalence, Etiology, Outcomes, and Preventive Strategies
ByDorothy L. Espelage, Cassandra L. Colbert
Pages 13

The U.S. Department of Education and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention collaborated to develop a uniform research definition of bullying. This group defined bullying as follows: “Bullying is 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. Bullying may inflict harm or distress on the targeted youth including physical, psychological, social, or educational harm” (Gladden, Vivolo-Kantor, Hamburger, & Lumpkin, 2014, p. 7). These behaviors include verbal and physical aggression that range in severity from making threats, spreading rumors, and social exclusion, to physical attacks causing injury. This definition emphasizes observable or non-observable aggressive behaviors, the (potentially) repetitive nature of these behaviors, and the imbalance of power between the individual/group perpetrator and victim. An imbalance of power exists when the perpetrator, or group of perpetrators, have more physical, social, or intellectual power than the victim. It is also important to define peer-victimization, which is used to refer to a form of peer abuse in which a child is frequently the target of peer aggression (Kochenderfer & Ladd, 1996). Therefore, bullying is a special case of peer-victimization, since the latter does not explicitly include the issues of power imbalance and intent included in the definition of bullying (Hunter, Boyle,& Warden, 2007).