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What is bullying?

Some definitions are written with a particular audience in mind and are written in appropriate language. An example of this is Mellor's definition for young people: 'Bullying happens when one person or a group tries to upset another person by saying nasty or hurtful things again and again. Sometimes bullies hit or kick people or force them to hand over money; sometimes they tease them again and again. The person who is being bullied finds it difficult to stop this happening and is worried that it will happen again. It may not be bullying when two people of roughly the same strength have a fight or disagreement.' See the Spotlight paper by A Mellor (1997).
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Comment

This type of definition can be used in research, or it can be used as a starting point in discussion with young people about the nature of bullying. With very young children an illustrated 'story board' could help understanding of the types of behaviour which adults call 'bullying'.
(Andrew Mellor)
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Article details

A Mellor (1997), 'Finding Out About Bullying', SCRE Spotlight Number 43, Edinburgh: Scottish Council for Research in Education. This paper can be downloaded here or requested from the Anti-Bullying Network at The University of Edinburgh.
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Author details

Andrew MellorAt the time of the study, Andrew Mellor was a practising teacher who had received funding from the Scottish Education Department to carry out this project. He has been actively involved in anti-bullying work in Scotland for almost 15 years, speaking at conferences, writing for academic and non-academic audiences and running in-service courses for teachers. He is now manager of the Anti-Bullying Network, which is funded by the Scottish Executive and based at The University of Edinburgh.
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