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What is bullying?

The first SCRE (The Scottish Council for Research in Education) anti-bullying pack describes bullying as 'the wilful, conscious desire to hurt or threaten or frighten someone else.' See the pack by Johnstone, Munn and Edwards (1992).
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Comment

This type of definition helps children and adults to discuss the moral issues that underlie bullying. Is hurting someone intentionally worse than hurting someone accidentally? Is it 'bullying' if you make fun of someone without meaning to hurt that person? What if that person is very distressed but hides this from you?

However, a definition like this would not be used in research aimed at measuring the incidence of bullying. It is very difficult to prove that any bullying action was intended to cause the harm that it did.
(Andrew Mellor)
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Article details

M Johnstone, P Munn and L Edwards (1992), 'Action Against Bullying: a support pack for schools', Edinburgh: Scottish Council for Research in Education. Download this support pack from SCRE's bullying pages.
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Author details

Pamela MunnProfessor Pamela Munn is Dean of Moray House School of Education at The University of Edinburgh. She is also Director of the Anti-Bullying Network and the Scottish Schools Ethos Network, which are both based at The University of Edinburgh. She has been involved in research projects on bullying, discipline and truancy for a number years. Among her many publications on these topics are two major anti-bullying support packs which were sent to all schools in Scotland and which have received enthusiastic international attention. You may visit the website of Moray House School of Education and also the website of the Scottish Schools Ethos Network.
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