What is relational aggression?
Relational aggression is harming others through purposeful manipulation and damage of their peer relationships (Crick and Grotpeter, 1995). For more research that we have learned about RA, view the following fact sheets:
What is bullying?
A real or perceived imbalance of power, with the more powerful child or group attacking those who are less powerful. (US Department of Justice, 2001) According to Olweus (2008): Bullying is aggressive behavior that involves unwanted, negative actions. Bullying involves a pattern of behavior repeated over time. Bullying involves an imbalance of power or strength. The Ophelia Project acknowledges a very clear distinction between aggression and bullying as evidenced in the Levels of Aggression and Bullying. This model received national attention at the 2013 National Conference on Bullying and by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the Recommended Definitions and Data Elements for Bullying.
What is cyberbullying?
The use of modern communication technologies (such as the Internet and cell phone) to embarrass, humiliate, threaten, or intimidate individuals in an attempt to gain power and control over them; bullying over the computer or cell phone (Glenn R. Stutzky). The Ophelia Project idenitifies two main contributors to cyberbullying: empathetic disconnect (the inability for a cyber-aggressor to see the immediate harm and pain inflicted by the aggression, thereby delaying or denying empathy for the target) and the infinite bystander effect (the effect of an electronic message, video, or image being preserved on the Internet to be accessed and viewed by any number of bystanders whereas in a traditional, face-to-face aggression the number of bystanders is limited to the number of people immediately witnessing the event). For more information on cyberbullying, download the "What is Cyberbullying" factsheet.
How are aggression and bullying different?
Aggression is an isolated event where a person intentionally harms another. Bullying involves more - specifically, repetition. Being tripped and laughed at on the school bus is aggression. However, if a student is tripped on the bus every day, humiliated on multiple occassions, and begins to feel isolated and powerless as a result, then this is bullying. Please see the "Levels of Aggression and Bullying" for more information.
What vocabulary do you use to describe how people hurt each other?
Learning and using the Language of Peer Aggression was the number one Ophelia Project tool reported by teachers, parents, and students as helping address aggression in schools. The vocabulary you choose should reflect the distinction Visit The Ophelia Project's YouTube channel to view a webinar reviewing the most common words to describe peer aggression and bullying or download the glossary.