There are six main types of bullying. They are verbal, physical, prejudicial, relational, sexual, and cyberbullying. We will discuss these types of bullying, and also the types of bullies your child may encounter.

Physical Bullying

Physical bullying occurs when someone uses physical actions to gain power and control over their intended target. To attack someone, a bully might kick, hit or punch, slap, shove, spit on, or break someone else's belongings. Physical bullies tend to use strength and aggression to intimidate their peers.

Physical bullying is most likely what people think of when they think of bullying. It is also a more easily noticeable form of bullying than other subtle behaviors.

Verbal Bullying

Generally, verbal bullies use words, remarks, and name-calling to hurt another person. These insults are abusive and meant to belittle their victim. They choose their victims wisely and normally target kids based on how they look, act, or behave. They also focus on those who are unpopular and less likely to be defended by their peers. 

This type of bullying often happens when adults are not around, so it can be challenging to recognize. Unfortunately, it usually ends up being one person's word against another's. This behavior can leave a child with emotional scars that can last a lifetime, resulting in shyness and insecurity.

Relational Aggression

Relational aggression is a type of bullying that is a nonphysical attack directed towards another to bring down their reputation or social status to heighten their own social status. Some examples of this behavior are shunning others from a group, refusing to sit next to someone, eye-rolling, spreading rumors, gossiping, giving someone the silent treatment, etc.

Teachers and parents often do not notice this type of bullying. Bullying in middle school is prevalent, especially between fifth and eighth grades. Generally, teen or tween girls tend to use relational aggression more often than boys.

Sexual bullying

Sexual bullying or harassment involves repeated unwanted sexual comments or suggestions, advances or inappropriate touching, or threats to another person. Girls are often the targets and can be bullied by both boys and by other girls. When a girl sends a provocative picture of herself to her boyfriend, it is called sexting. If they break up, those pictures can be shared widely on social media. She will become the target of sexual bullying because people make mean comments about her body and call her vulgar names. Some boys will see this as an opportunity to solicit her or even sexually assault her.

Prejudicial bullying

Prejudicial bullying is described as bullying due to racial or religious differences, disabilities, or sexual orientation. This type of bullying can be severe and can lead to hate crimes so should be reported immediately.


Cyberbullying is the use of technology to purposely threaten, harass, or emotionally hurt a person or group of people. There are many ways to carry out this behavior, including social media, text messaging, email, chat rooms, discussion groups, or web pages.

With the use of technology, online bullying, or cyberbullying, can happen anywhere and at any time. Bullies can hide behind technology where they have much less risk of getting caught. It is done on purpose and is usually ongoing. 

Adults can also be involved in harassment, and it is called cyber-harassment or cyberstalking.

While researching cyberbullying, I came across some excellent information for you. Please read the following article written by Dr. Raycelle Cassada on: 

 Cyberbullying versus Traditional Bullying - When Joking Crosses the Line. 


Recognizing these types of bullying can keep your child safe.