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Bullying and the Family

  • By: Judith A. Vessey
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

Bullying is defined as dynamic and repetitive patterns of verbal, nonverbal, or virtual (cyber) behaviors directed by one or more individuals toward another individual that are intended to deliberately inflict psychological or physical abuse and where a real or perceived power differential exists.

Bullying occurs among children, within families, and in the workplace. It has the potential to significantly disrupt the health of individuals and, by extension, their families. Optimal outcomes are achieved when bullying is prevented. If bullying has occurred, interventions that minimize its impact need to be tailored to a recipient's specific situation. Following a brief discussion of bullying, prevention strategies within the family and community context are presented.

Historical Context

Bullying has existed since the dawn of civilization. Nonhuman primates, in order to survive within ...

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