The 6 main causes of bullying and what to do about it (2022)

From 2016 to 2019, some research indicates that school bullying increased 35%. Others have noted that bullying is “definitely on the rise,” and while we’ll explore a series of causes of bullying throughout this piece, it’s important to also think of the contextual time we live in. Many people do interact on social platforms, and there’s a degree of anonymity therein -- even if you use your real name, it’s possible that you’re talking to someone you’ve never met in real life. Real-life interactions are obviously substantially different than online interactions, and this can result in cyberbullying.

And while we don’t want to get deeply political here, as it’s a dividing line for many these days, the fact is that the USA President from 2016-2020 was a bit of an online bully, and his removal from Facebook and Twitter by the end of his Presidency somewhat underscore that. There’s actually research about how Trump’s election made men more aggressive, including this snippet:

Over a series lab experiments, conducted before and after Election Day, they observed a striking result: Post-election, study participants were less cooperative, more likely to use adversarial strategies and less likely to reach an agreement with a partner. The effect was driven by an increase in men acting more aggressively toward women.


Perhaps to some, bullying became a badge of honor or cool thing to do, and that’s another cause of the rise in bullying? It’s worth at least considering.

In this article, we will run through the causes of bullying, some of the effects of bullying, cyberbullying, and what to do about bullying.

What are the main causes of bullying?

The main causes of bullying are varied, but there are some bigger buckets that bullies tend to fall into:

  1. Bullied themselves: Someone who bullies others might have experienced bullying -- maybe by their parents, their abusing step-siblings, or even from someone in their neighborhood. Bullies often lack empathy as a result of their perception of what’s happened to them, and they want to pay that negativity forward.
  2. Seeking social attention via loneliness: Bullies are often lonely. They don’t have any real friends. So they try to find attention in any way they can, even if that means hampering someone’s mental health or causing them physical health problems.
  3. Frustration or envy: Bullies may bully people who are doing better than them at something, be it grades or athletic accomplishments or promotions at work. The bullies look to undermine the other person’s skills with acts of aggression only to level the playing field. Bullies often lack psychological well-being, so there’s a lot of comparison being done in their heads, and that leads to frustration and envy.
  4. Shame: This occurs when the person bullying is ashamed by their low intellect or lack of ability to succeed in whatever they try. They get frustrated by their failure and resultantly take it out on the other person with acts of aggression. Bullies often lack personal integrity, as well.
  5. The decline of disagreement: This is a trickier one. Oftentimes in online discourse, a simple disagreement may be flagged by one person as “hate,” as opposed to an opportunity for future learning and discussion. When “hate” can be virtually anything, the term bully can be misappropriated to mean simply “someone you don’t like the views of,” as opposed to an actual, true bully. The confusion around semantics is a cause for the perceived rise of bullying, as well.
  6. Gender norms: Males are more likely to have bullied another person. While it is common for us to encourage females to talk about their problems and accept visual emotions, the opposite is usually true for males. Without the outlet of healthy communication and displays of emotion, males can revert to aggressive behavior.

Who is at risk for bullying?

Theoretically, anyone is at risk for bullying, especially in a digitally-connected world. Boston Children’s Hospital has noted some population groups that might be at higher risk for bullying, however:

  • having physical features that are different from peers e.g. being overweight or underweight, wearing glasses or braces, having a physical disability, being from a different racial group, wearing clothes kids consider to be ‘uncool’.
  • having a cognitive disability
  • identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender
  • being seen as annoying
  • being seen as weak or defenseless and unlikely to fight back.
  • perceived as socially awkward and having few friends

The same hospital has a potential set of warning signs to see if your child or someone in your orbit is being bullied, which includes:

(Video) What is Bullying? - SEL Sketches

  • He is reluctant to go to school or outright refuses to go.
  • She frequently reports headaches, stomach aches or feeling sick, but there appears to be no underlying medical reason.
  • He has trouble sleeping and frequent nightmares.
  • She shows little interest in hanging out with friends and avoids social situations.
  • He comes home with unexplained injuries.
  • She appears to have low self-esteem, shuts herself in her room, seems irritable.
  • He reports that books electronics or other belongings are lost or destroyed.
  • She eats less, sometimes skips breakfast or dinner, or binge eats.
  • His grades are declining, he seems uninterested in school.

What are the effects of bullying?

On the victims of bullying, being bullied can increase anxiety, depression, loneliness, and lead to eating disorders and substance abuse. In some cases, it can reach self-harm or suicidal ideation. There’s actually, and quite sadly, a TV show called Web of Lies about people who have been cyber-bullied, and in some examples and cases -- such as Jessica Logan or Tyler Clementi -- it has led to suicide. Being bullied can have very serious effects.

For the bully, there can obviously be punishments and potential work terminations. What’s paradoxical here is that oftentimes, when a bully is punished, they won’t necessarily have the self-awareness to realize it’s time to change. Rather, they will get more mad at “the system” and “the world” (loose constructs) and very likely will continue to bully others, perhaps in a more severe form.

There are also bystander effects to bullying. If an organization or school does nothing about obvious bullying, others will begin to respect the organization less, or assume they can get away with bad behavior too. Now, on the flip side, if a school or organization punishes everything, even basic discourse, as potential bullying, then you create a culture where people are terrified to speak up or do anything real -- and that paralyzing culture has negative effects as well. If you worked at a place where you felt you couldn’t disagree with a co-worker without potentially being labeled a bully and punished in some way, would you feel comfortable with any tough conversation? Probably not. That has massive implications for retention.

(Video) 6 Subtle Signs of Bullying

The long-term effects of bullying, as described and data-assigned in this Dieter Wolke paper, are vast.

What are the main causes of cyberbullying?

Many of the same causes of bullying in general, but cyberbullying is a bit different largely because cyberbullies often think they won’t get caught behind a vast Internet of anonymized usage. In reality, most cyberbullies do in fact get caught, but the perception is different as opposed to in-real-life bullying. There’s also a much bigger context around revenge in cyberbullying, which you see with revenge porn -- which has become a very litigated space in the last 10 years. Remember: as discussed above, bullies are often retaliating for pain they’ve experienced. That’s essentially what “revenge” is. It’s very common online.

What are the causes of bullying in professional settings?

We tend to associate the term “bullying” with youth, and at work, we tend to call the same behavior “harassment,” but they’re often similar in how they look and feel to those involved. Usually professional bullying has several causes, including:

(Video) Nobody Likes a Bully - How to Stop Bullying in Schools - Deal with Bullies - Why Do I Bully Prevent

  • An unchecked culture where certain people, perhaps because of how much they sell, can seemingly do whatever they want.
  • Lack of process and rules.
  • Lack of HR, compliance, and legal teams.
  • Some functional areas (silos) being downplayed at the expense of others that produce more, thus allowing people in the productive silos to bully those in the less-productive ones.
  • An over-focus on competition within the organization.
  • An over-focus on power and status that causes some to seek it out, often by bullying others to appear stronger.

These are some of the causes of bullying you see in professional work. It’s all very serious, and in a functional organization with rules and a solid culture, it can lead to terminations.

How should you deal with a bully?

This varies by age and context, but some of the best approaches include:

  • Stand up for yourself.
  • Go to someone in authority and explain what’s happening.
  • Document everything you see or experience.
  • Consider leaving the organization.

All of these approaches have pros and cons -- if you stand up for yourself, you can get in trouble or get into fights you can’t win. If you go to someone in authority, it can make you appear weaker to the bully, but it can stop the bullying for a period of time. If you leave a professional setting because of bullying or harassment, it can seem like you ran away, letting the bully win -- but ultimately it might be a lot better for your mental and physical health. It depends on what you need in that specific situation. There’s no single answer.

(Video) What Causes Bullying? How Can I Prevent My Child From Being a Bully?

(Video) Protect Yourself Rules - Bullying


What is the best title for research about bullying? ›

🎓 Most Interesting Bullying Research Titles
  • School Bullying and Teacher Professional Development.
  • Bullying and Its Effect on Our American Society.
  • Physical, Emotional, and Social Bullying.
  • The Government Should Put Laws in Place To Prevent Bullying.
  • Childhood Bullying and Social Relationships.

What is the purpose of the study about bullying? ›

The Purpose & Goals of Student Bullying Surveys

The primary purpose of a student bullying survey is to identify and quantify a number of factors–rates of bullying, student and staff attitudes towards bullying, different types of bullying occurring, and more—in order to address them.

What is the factor of cyberbullying? ›

Specifically, at the personal background level, gender has a significant impact on the degree of cyberbullying. At the Internet use and social network habits level, social behavior type and the number of online communities joined have significant impacts on the degree of cyberbullying.

Is bullying a social factors? ›

From interactionist and social-ecological perspectives, bullying is understood as a social phenomenon that is established and perpetuated over time as a result of the complex interplay between various factors such as individual, family, peer and school factors (Espelage & Swearer, 2011;Hong & Espelage, 2012; Migliaccio ...

What are the 5 most important things you will need to research about your topic? ›

5 Steps for How to Research
  • Step 1: Pick a Topic.
  • Step 2: Are There Enough Sources?
  • Step 3: Validation: Find the Best Sources.
  • Step 4: Make Notes.
  • Step 5: Organize Your Information.
19 Jun 2020

How do you write a research title? ›

Effective titles in academic research papers have several characteristics.
  1. Indicate accurately the subject and scope of the study.
  2. Avoid using abbreviations.
  3. Use words that create a positive impression and stimulate reader interest.
  4. Use current nomenclature from the field of study.
7 Sept 2022

What is the bully by case? ›

The Bulli Bai case is related to an online mock auction of Muslim women in India. Photos of prominent Muslim journalists and activists were uploaded on the Bulli Bai app without their permission where they were auctioned virtually.

What is the research approach of bullying? ›

Bullying research has traditionally been dominated by largescale cohort studies focusing on the personality traits of bullies and victims. These studies focus on bullying prevalence, risk and protective factors, and negative outcomes. A limitation of this approach is that it does not explain why bullying happens.

What is the importance of anti bullying act? ›

Republic Act 10627, or the Anti-Bullying Act (the “Act”), aims to protect children enrolled in kindergarten, elementary, and secondary schools and learning centers (collectively, “Schools”) from being bullied. It requires Schools to adopt policies to address the existence of bullying in their respective institutions.

What are the social effects of cyberbullying? ›

Victims of cyberbullying can experience wide-ranging effects, including mental health issues, poor academic performance, a desire to drop out of school, and even suicidal ideation. Bullies themselves are also at an increased risk of issues such as substance abuse and experiencing violence.

Does cyberbullying affect mental health? ›

The effects of cyberbullying also include mental health issues, increased stress and anxiety, depression, acting out violently, and low self-esteem. Cyberbullying can also result in long-lasting emotional effects, even if the bullying has stopped.

What could be the reasons of cyberbullying enumerate 3? ›

Their motives for lashing out in cyberspace can run the gamut from anger and revenge to a longing to fit in.
  • Cyberbullies Are Out for Revenge.
  • Cyberbullies Blame the Victim.
  • Cyberbullies Are Bored.
  • Cyberbullies Cave Under Peer Pressure.
  • Cyberbullies Think Everyone Is Doing It.
  • Cyberbullies Are Power-Hungry.
10 Jul 2020

What is relational aggression in social psychology? ›

Relational aggression refers to harm within relationships that is caused by covert bullying or manipulative behavior. Examples include isolating a youth from his or her group of friends (social exclusion), threatening to stop talking to a friend (the ''silent treatment''), or spreading gossip and rumors by e-mail.

What is Section 37.0832 c of the TEC code? ›

Tex. Educ. Code § 37.0832(c)(4). The law mandates that school boards adopt policies allowing students to anonymously report incidents of bullying.

What are the 6 steps of research? ›

The Research Process
  • Step 1: Exploring Your Research Idea and Constructing Your Search. ...
  • Step 2: Finding Background Information. ...
  • Step 3: Gathering More Information. ...
  • Step 4: Locating Current Research. ...
  • Step 5: Evaluating Your Sources. ...
  • Step 6: Cite What You Find in Discipline-Appropriate Format.
2 Jul 2020

What are the 7 steps of the research process? ›

The Seven Steps of the Research Process
  • Step 1: Identify and Develop Your Topic. ...
  • Step 2: Find Background Information. ...
  • Step 3: Use Catalogs to Find Books and Media. ...
  • Step 4: Use Databases to Find Journal Articles. ...
  • Step 5: Find Internet Resources. ...
  • Step 6: Evaluate What You Find. ...
  • Step 7: Cite What You Find Using a Standard Format.
14 Apr 2022

How do you write an abstract for a research paper PDF? ›

Describe most important data with numbers and statistics. Make your point with data, not speculations and opinions. Abbreviations should be avoided and only be used after they have been spelled out or defined. Common mistakes include failure to state the hypothesis, rationale for the study, sample size and conclusions.

Which of the following statements is a characteristic of a good research title? ›

This is Expert Verified Answer

All beginning letters of each word is capitalized is characteristic of a good research title.

How do you write an introduction to a research paper? ›

What should you include in an introduction for a research paper?
  1. An overview of the topic. Start with a general overview of your topic. ...
  2. Prior research. Your introduction is the place to review other conclusions on your topic. ...
  3. A rationale for your paper. ...
  4. Describe the methodology you used. ...
  5. A thesis statement. ...
  6. An outline.
10 Aug 2021

What's bully by app? ›

The Bulli Bai app is basically a harassment tool created by some — a few of whom have been arrested now — to target Muslim women on social media. It is a tool that purports to “auction” Muslim women. It was hosted on GitHub, a code-sharing website before it was taken down.

What Bulli means in English? ›

someone who hurts or frightens someone else, often over a period of time, and often forcing them to do something that they do not want to do: You're just a big bully! Teachers usually know who the bullies are in a class. More examples.

What is sulli app? ›

"Sulli Deals" was an open-source app which contained photographs and personal information of some 100 Muslim women online.

How do you do research? ›

Research Process Overview
  1. Develop a topic. Select a Topic | Develop Research Questions | Identify Keywords | Find Background Information | Refine a Topic.
  2. Locate information. ...
  3. Evaluate and analyze information. ...
  4. Write, organize, and communicate information. ...
  5. Cite sources.

How is research data analysis? ›

Data analysis is the most crucial part of any research. Data analysis summarizes collected data. It involves the interpretation of data gathered through the use of analytical and logical reasoning to determine patterns, relationships or trends.

What is research design and example? ›

It is a causal design where one observes the impact caused by the independent variable on the dependent variable. For example, one monitors the influence of an independent variable such as a price on a dependent variable such as customer satisfaction or brand loyalty.

Who started anti-bullying? ›

Anti-Bullying Day
2022 dateFebruary 23 (Canada)
First time2007
Started byDavid Shepherd and Travis Price
2 more rows

Are bullying prevention programs effective? ›

There is strong evidence that school-based violence and bullying prevention programs reduce violence and victimization1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Such programs have also been shown to modestly reduce bullying in some circumstances2, 5.

What is the meaning of Antibullying? ›

Anti-bullying refers to laws, policies, organizations, and movements aimed at stopping or preventing bullying. Bullying is a situation where a person, called a bully, verbally or physically threatens or assaults a person, causing the person to feel a real or perceived power imbalance.

What is the effect of cyberbullying Brainly? ›

Explanation: Bullying—including cyberbullying—causes significant emotional and psychological distress. Just like any other victim of bullying, cyberbullied kids experience anxiety, fear, depression, and low self-esteem. They also may experience physical symptoms, and struggle academically.

How can help in preventing Internet addiction and cyberbullying in our school? ›

What Can You Do to Help Prevent Cyberbullying?
  • Make the most of privacy settings. Investigate what measures you can take to keep content private on the websites you use. ...
  • Think before you post. Never forget that the internet is public. ...
  • Keep personal information personal.

What are the effects of cyberbullying in academic performance? ›

Similar results were found by [35], who, through a study with 413 American students aged 17 to 19 years, found that young people who had been cyberbullied showed greater academic difficulties and poorer academic performance, although this negative effect was buffered by perceived parental social support.

How does social media affect mental health? ›

However, multiple studies have found a strong link between heavy social media and an increased risk for depression, anxiety, loneliness, self-harm, and even suicidal thoughts. Social media may promote negative experiences such as: Inadequacy about your life or appearance.

How many depressed people get cyberbullying? ›

37% of kids associate depression with online bullying. 25% of children feel that engaging in self-harm is a result of cyberbullying and 26% feel that cyberbullying causes suicidal thoughts. [BroadbandSearch Blog]. 25% of teens have experienced a cyberbullying incident that culminated in a face-to-face altercation.

What is computer cyberstalking? ›

Cyberstalking is the repeated use of the Internet, email, or related digital electronic communications devices to annoy, alarm, or threaten a specific individual or group of individuals (D'Ovidio & Doyle, 2003, p. 10).

How much of problem do you think cyberbullying is? ›

This is Expert Verified Answer

The numbers indicate that cyberbullying and harassment are huge problems for young people on social media. A 2016 report from the Cyberbullying Research Center indicates that 33.8% of students between 12 and 17 were victims of cyberbullying in their lifetime.

Who are the perpetrators of cyberbullying? ›

Sexual-minority students and students who texted at least 50 times per day were more likely to report cyberbullying victimization. Girls were more likely to report being perpetrators–victims.

How do victims react to cyberbullying on social networking sites the influence of previous cyberbullying victimization experiences? ›

An analysis of 622 teenage SNS users' responses in the Pew Internet Survey showed that at least 16.6% of the teenagers had previously been cyberbullied on SNSs. Those who had been victims of cyberbullying reported more antisocial reaction strategies than nonvictims.

What research questions you would have for your study on bullying? ›

Narrow the Topic
  • What excuses do offenders make for bullying someone?
  • What are personality factors that contribute to bullying?
  • Does bullying differ based on gender?
  • What are the various types of bullying?
  • Which strategies and resources are used to deal with bullying?
  • Can bullying lead to school shootings?
30 Aug 2022

What are the examples of research titles? ›

Sample Research Topics
  • Brain Injury: Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Brain Injury.
  • Data Analytics: Translational Data Analytics and Decision Science.
  • Foods for Health: Personalized Food and Nutritional Metabolic Profiling to Improve Health.
  • Food Security: Resilient, Sustainable and Global Food Security for Health.

How do you narrow down a research topic? ›

Here are some common ways you can narrow down a research topic:
  1. By demographic characteristics. Narrow it down by age group, occupation, ethnic group, gender, etc. ...
  2. By relevant issues. Try to identify key issues related to your topic, especially ones that you have an opinion on. ...
  3. By location. ...
  4. By timeframe. ...
  5. By causes.
4 Oct 2021

What are the broad topic? ›

Broad topics:

A topic that is too broad focuses on one important concept. This kind of search will will find thousands of results for you to look through. These are examples of broad topics: leadership.

What are the social effects of cyberbullying? ›

Victims of cyberbullying can experience wide-ranging effects, including mental health issues, poor academic performance, a desire to drop out of school, and even suicidal ideation. Bullies themselves are also at an increased risk of issues such as substance abuse and experiencing violence.

What are the factors that motivate perpetrators of cyberbullying? ›

  • Revenge.
  • Victim-Blaming.
  • Boredom.
  • Peer Pressure.
  • Groupthink.
  • Power Hunger.
  • Daring.
  • Lack of Empathy.
10 Jul 2020

How do you write a research question? ›

Developing research questions
  1. Clear and focused. In other words, the question should clearly state what the writer needs to do.
  2. Not too broad and not too narrow. The question should have an appropriate scope. ...
  3. Not too easy to answer. ...
  4. Not too difficult to answer. ...
  5. Researchable. ...
  6. Analytical rather than descriptive.

Which of the following statements is a characteristic of a good research title? ›

This is Expert Verified Answer

All beginning letters of each word is capitalized is characteristic of a good research title.

How do you begin a research paper? ›

How to Start (and Complete) a Research Paper
  1. Choose a topic.
  2. Read and keep records.
  3. Form a thesis.
  4. Create a mind map or outline.
  5. Read again.
  6. Rethink your thesis.
  7. Draft the body.
  8. Revise.

How do you write a title for a quantitative thesis? ›

Q: How to write the title for a quantitative research study?
  1. Capture the essence of the paper.
  2. Be accurate and specific, not overly general.
  3. Not contain unnecessary, distracting details.
  4. Be comprehensible to a broad academic readership.
  5. Engage readers and generate curiosity.
14 Jun 2019

How does the brainstorming method of Freewriting help in writing a research paper? ›

Brainstorming allows you to quickly generate a large number of ideas. You can brainstorm with others or you can brainstorm by yourself, which sometimes turns into freewriting. To effectively brainstorm, write down whatever ideas come to mind. The key is to not place judgment on what you wrote.

Which of the following is the proper way in writing a research proposal? ›

Your proposal should include the following:
  • TITLE. Your title should give a clear indication of your proposed research approach or key question.
  • BACKGROUND AND RATIONALE. You should include: the background and issues of your proposed research. identify your discipline. a short literature review. ...

What helps when developing a research question quizlet? ›

  • Steps to writing a research question. 1) Identify the topic. ...
  • Topic. - Topic should be chosen. ...
  • Problem. - What is not known or not being addressed in the most effective way. ...
  • Problem includes. Summary of: ...
  • Background. - Why is the problem a concern. ...
  • Purpose. ...
  • Effectiveness. ...
  • Formulate the research question.

What is a step in the research process? ›

Depending on your familiarity with the topic and the challenges you encounter along the way, you may need to rearrange these steps.
  1. Step 1: Identify and develop your topic. ...
  2. Step 2 : Do a preliminary search for information. ...
  3. Step 3: Locate materials. ...
  4. Step 4: Evaluate your sources. ...
  5. Step 5: Make notes. ...
  6. Step 6: Write your paper.


1. What Causes Bullying? How Can I Prevent My Child From Being a Bully?
(Operation Survival)
2. What are the Causes of Cyber Bullying?
(Gabriel Grace)
3. A Bully Apologizes To Her Victim 15 Years Later
4. Mother of Australian boy raises awareness of bullying in viral video
5. Anti Bullying Animated Short Film Project
(Mission CISD)
6. Weirdos - An anti-bullying web series : Episode 1

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