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Types of Bullying

The Types of Bullying Often Found in Schools


Updated September 19, 2011

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

There are five primary types of bullying. Some of these types of bullying are easier to observe than others, but all can have lasting impacts on their victims. Here are the types of bullying that your child may encounter in school.

1. Physical Bullying

Physical bullies use force and body strength to overpower their victims. Their behavior is easy to identify.

2. Verbal Bullying

Verbal bullies intimidate and harm their victims using words. This type of bullying may go unnoticed and unreported for long periods of time.

3. Relational Bullying

Relational bullies work to damage a victim’s social status and relationships with others. Like verbal bullies, relational bullies often fail to be identified by teachers or parents.

4. Reactive Bullying

Reactive bullies coax others into harming them. It is often unclear who the true bully in this situation is.

5. Cyberbullying

Cyberbullies use electronic forums-such as email and social networking sites-to harrass their victims. The effects of cyberbullying can be far-reaching and may be different than the other types of bullying.

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