Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

School Bullying

  • Kisha RadliffEmail author
  • Jamie Hall
  • Merve Ökten
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_2491-1



Bullying is most commonly defined based on Olweus’s (1993) definition that includes three elements: (a) an imbalance of power, (b) intent to harm, and (c) is repeated over time. Recently, an alternative definition that integrates recent theory and empirical data has been proposed: “Bullying is aggressive goal-directed behavior that harms another individual within the context of a power imbalance” (Volk et al. 2014, p. 328).


Bullying, a subset of aggressive behaviors, is a construct that often elicits strong opinions. Some people believe that bullying is a part of growing up or a rite of passagethat “builds character,” while others view it as a severe problem that can be harmful, even detrimental, to those involved. Bullying can be understood as a “unique but complex form of interpersonal aggression, which takes many forms, serves different functions,...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Carey Fitzgerald
    • 1
  1. 1.University of South Carolina - BeaufortBlufftonUSA