Skip to content

Health & Parenting

Font Size

Bullying - Characteristics of Children Who Are Bullied

Children who are bullied tend to be:3, 5

  • Sensitive.
  • Socially withdrawn. They may think poorly of themselves, or they may have a quiet temperament.
  • Anxious.
  • Passive. They often let other people be in control and do not stand up for themselves.
  • More likely to get depressed.

Children who are bullied are not to blame for attacks against them. Make sure your child understands this.

Boys are more likely than girls to be bullied in both physical and psychological ways.6

In some cases, a child who is bullied sometimes ends up bullying others. These children often respond to being bullied by feeling anxious and aggressive. Without knowing how to handle these feelings, they target other children who they think will not fight back.

In extreme situations, children who are bullied may commit suicide or lash out violently against those who bullied them. Watch for warning signs of suicide in your child, such as withdrawing from family and friends.

Children who are embarrassed about being bullied may not want to tell their parents or other adults about it. Look for signs of bullying, such as poor sleep, unexplained bruises, frequent crying, and making up excuses not to go to school. Elementary school children who are bullied often say they have a sore throat or a cold, feel sick in the stomach, and/or don't feel like eating.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: October 22, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    Girl holding up card with BMI written
    Is your child at a healthy weight?
    toddler climbing
    What happens in your child’s second year.
     
    father and son with laundry basket
    Get your kids to help around the house.
    boy frowning at brocolli
    Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
     
    mother and daughter talking
    Tool
    child brushing his teeth
    Slideshow
     
    Sipping hot tea
    Slideshow
    Young woman holding lip at dentists office
    Video
     
    Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
    Article
    rl with friends
    fitSlideshow
     
    tissue box
    Quiz
    Child with adhd
    Slideshow