Significant Identifying Characteristics for Bullies

Researchers sought to determine which of 70 characteristics were seen by an international group of experts as being most applicable to bullies and victims. There was strong agreement among the 14 experts on the following 19 characteristics for bullies:

 Control others through verbal threats and physical actions

 Quicker to anger and sooner to use force than others

 Tend to have little empathy for the problems of the other person in the
victim/bully relationship

 Chronically repeat aggressive behaviors

 Inappropriately perceive hostile intent in the actions of others

 Are angry, revengeful

 Have more family problems than usual

 Parents are poor role models for getting along with others

 Parents are poor role models for constructively solving problems

 Inconsistent discipline procedures at home

 Parents often do not know child's whereabouts

 Suffer physical and emotional abuse at home

 Are likely to have contact with aggressive groups

 See only aggression as a way to preserve their self-image

 Perceived physical image is important for maintaining a feeling of power and

 Focus on angry thoughts

 Create resentment and frustration in peer group

 Exhibit obsessive or rigid actions


Hazler, R. J., Carney, J. V., Green, S., Powell, R., & Jolly, L. S. (1997). Areas of Expert Agreement on Identification of School Bullies and Victims. School Psychology International, 18, 3-12.