Different academics have slightly different views over the definition of bullying, but most of them agree that it has three components in common, namely:
( Beane, 1999; DFES, 2002; Newman, Horne & Bartolomucci, 2000; Olweus, 1993 )
A behaviour is defined as bullying only when it has all these three components. Overall speaking, bullying is a repeated and intended act of harm or oppression by a person or a group of persons who is more powerful or in the majority.
Bullying can be broadly classified into four categories as follows：
|1. Physical bullying with aggressive behavior|
Punching, kicking, slapping, hitting, shoving, tripping, pulling hair, extorting money or properties, etc.
|2. Verbal bullying|
Intimidating, making nasty / abusive call, cursing, defaming, mockery, name-calling and insulting or making malicious fun of somebody by attacking his personal characteristics like appearance, ability, and ethnicity.
|3. Indirect bullying|
Spreading rumours, being hostile, ignoring, isolating, boycotting or rejecting the victim, etc.
With the development of information technology, bullies can spread rumours, post insulting remarks or make other personal attacks via electronic means, such as emails, webpages, chat rooms and text messages of mobile phones, to mock and defame the victims. This gives rise to what we call "cyber-bullying".
Initiates the bullying behaviour and acts as the ringleader
Follows the ringleader and participates directly in bullying
Encourages the bullying behaviour, e.g. by teasing and cheering around
Suffers from bullying
Offers comfort and support to the victim, tries to stop bullying
Stays on the sideline
Beane, A.L. (1999). The bully free classroom. Minnesota: Free Spirit.
Department for Education & Skills (2002, September). Bullying: Don't suffer in silence. (Retrieved from: http://www.dfes.gov.uk/bullying/pack/02.pdf)
Newman, D.A., Horne, A.M., & Bartolomucci, C.L. (2000). Bully busters: A teacher's manual for helping bullies, victims, and bystanders. Illinois: Research Press.
Olweus, D. (1993). Bullying at school: What we know and what we can do. Oxford: Blackwell.