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Articles related to Abuse

Types of bullying

Forms of bullying


Related concepts

This article focuses on the characteristics of bullies. For further discussion of the behavior itself see bullying

A bully is an individual, thought to be emotionally dysfunctional, who physically and psychologically intimidates others through verbal harassment, physical assault, or other more subtle methods of coercion.

Research indicates that adults who bully have personalities that are authoritarian, combined with a strong need to control or dominate.[1] It has also been suggested that a prejudicial view of subordinates can be a particularly strong risk factor.[2] Some doctors have argued that a bully reflects the environment of his home, repeating the model he learned from his parents.[3]

Further studies have shown that envy and resentment may be motives for bullying.[4] Research on the self-esteem of bullies has produced equivocal results.[5][6] While some bullies are arrogant and narcissistic,[7] others can use bullying as a tool to conceal shame or anxiety or to boost self esteem: by demeaning others, the abuser him/herself feels empowered.[8]

Researchers have identified other risk factors such as depression[9] and personality disorders,[10] as well as quickness to anger and use of force, addiction to aggressive behaviors, mistaking others' actions as hostile, concern with preserving self image, and engaging in obsessive or rigid actions.[11] A combination of these factors may also be causes of this behavior.[12] In one recent study of youth, a combination of antisocial traits and depression was found to be the best predictor of youth violence, whereas video game violence and television violence exposure were not predictive of these behaviors.[13]

It is often suggested that bullying behavior has its origin in childhood. As a child who is inclined to act as a bully ages, his or her related behavior patterns will often also become more sophisticated. Schoolyard pranks and 'rough-housing' may develop into more subtle, yet equally effective adult-level activities such as administrative end-runs, well-planned and orchestrated attempts at character assassination, or other less obvious, yet equally forceful forms of coercion.

See also


  1. The Harassed Worker, Brodsky, C. (1976), D.C. Heath and Company, Lexington, Massachusetts.
  2. Petty tyranny in organizations, Ashforth, Blake, Human Relations, Vol. 47, No. 7, 755-778 (1994)
  3. Matonismo es la principal forma de violencia en el ‘cole’, in La Nación, 16/05/2010, quotation:

    Orlando Urroz, subdirector del Hospital Nacional de Niños, explicó que el matonismo en los infantes es un reflejo del ambiente que viven en sus hogares. “El bullying no surge por generación espontánea, es un proceso de aprendizaje, de repetir los modelos de los padres”, detalló.

  4. Bullying and emotional abuse in the workplace. International perspectives in research and practice, Einarsen, S., Hoel, H., Zapf, D., & Cooper, C. L. (Eds.)(2003), Taylor & Francis, London.
  5. Pollastri AR, Cardemil EV, O'Donnell EH (December 2009). Self-Esteem in Pure Bullies and Bully/Victims: A Longitudinal Analysis. Journal of Interpersonal Violence 25 (8): 1489–502.
  6. (1994). Bullies and their victims: Understanding a pervasive problem in the schools. School Psychology Review 23 (2): 165–175.
  7. Answers to frequently asked questions about workplace bullying
  8. Presentation Bullying
  9. Patterson G (December 2005). The bully as victim?. Paediatric Nursing 17 (10): 27–30.
  10. Kumpulainen K (2008). Psychiatric conditions associated with bullying. International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health 20 (2): 121–32.
  11. (1997). Areas of Expert Agreement on Identification of School Bullies and Victims. School Psychology International 18: 5.
  12. (1998). The relationship among bullying, victimization, depression, anxiety, and aggression in elementary school children. Personality and Individual Differences 24 (1): 123–130.
  13. Ferguson, Christopher J. (2011). Video Games and Youth Violence: A Prospective Analysis in Adolescents.. Journal of Youth and Adolescence 40 (4).

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