Moving Beyond Bullying: Focusing on Harm

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The harm reported by individuals is not dependent on how the negative experience is labelled (i.e., whether or not it is bullying), and this should be the lens through which peer aggression, including bullying, is viewed. We propose that using labels, as we do for bullying, may inadvertently detract our attention from broader involvement in peer aggression. In light of our findings, we recommend that future research efforts should be focused on investigating the features, causes, and consequences of the harm associated with acts of peer aggression. We suggest that such an approach would overcome some of the issues associated with the definition and measurement of bullying, and ultimately benefit young people experiencing harm from peer aggression in all its forms. We advocate that policies and interventions should primarily be humanistic, and consider adolescents' vulnerability during this phase of their life, when physiological as well as neurological development influences mental health and well-being. Ultimately, research measures should better align with the actual experiences of young people, and we should not shift our focus away from the pain and hurt reported by individuals experiencing bullying or peer aggression from peers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Global Perspective of Young Adolescents' Peer Aggression and Well-being
Subtitle of host publicationBeyond Bullying
EditorsGrace Skrzypiec, Mirella Wyra, Eleni Didaskalou
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780429426797
ISBN (Print)9781138386518
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2019


  • bullying
  • peer aggression
  • future research


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