Forms of Bullying

Bullying comes in different forms, some of which are more easily identifiable, some which are more associated with a particular gender and some of which are relatively new. The terms used for the forms of bullying differ from book to book, article to article, however the underlying definitions of these different forms are similar regardless of the terms used to describe them.

Physical Bullying

Physical bullies are action-oriented. This
type of bullying includes hitting or kicking
the victim, or taking and/or damaging the victim’s property.

This is the most obvious type of bullying because it is so easy to identify. Physical bullies are usually known to the entire school population. As they get older, their attacks usually become more aggressive.

Verbal Bullying

Verbal bullies use words to hurt or humiliate another person. Verbal bullying includes name-calling, insulting, making racist or homophobic comments and constant teasing.

This type of bullying is the easiest to inflict on other children. It is quick and to the point and can occur in the least amount of time available. Its effects can be more devastating in some ways than physical bullying because there are no visible scars.

Emotional or Physiological Bullying

Emotional or Physiological bullies try to convince their peers to exclude or reject
a certain person or people and cut the
victims off from their social connections.

This type of bullying is linked to verbal
bullying and usually occurs when children
(most often girls) spread nasty rumors
about others or exclude an ex-friend from
their peer group.

The most devastating
effect with this type of bullying is the rejection by the peer group at a time when children most need their social connections.


Cyber Bullying

Cyber Bullying is a relatively new phenomenon and began surfacing as modern communication technologies advanced. Through email, instant messaging, Internet chat rooms, and electronic gadgets like camera cell phones, cyber bullies forward and spread hurtful images and/or messages. Bullies use this technology to harass victims at all hours, in wide circles, at warp speed.


“Bullies do not grow out of bullying. The forms of bullying change
with age. It leads to more serious problems
in adult life, like
sexual harassment, dating
aggression and criminality.”

                                                – Wendy Craig, Queens University