Bullying Prevention

Bullying is an important public health issue that HRSA and its partners address in communities across the country. Whether kids bully each other in person or cyberbully using electronic technology, the results of this aggressive behavior have serious, lasting effects. Preventing bullying in all its forms can improve the physical and mental health, and the safety and well-being of children and their families.

HRSA actively works to reduce bullying prevalence across the country in a variety of ways. Key to this is co-chairing the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention (FPBP), a cross-government working group charged with coordinating federal efforts on bullying prevention. As co-chair, HRSA leads the FPBP to provide consistent and well-informed resources to the field to significantly reduce the prevalence of youth peer-to-peer bullying.  Our efforts, combined with those of our partners, include developing and sharing research, guidance, and resources at the national, state, and local levels.

Guidance to Federal, State and Local Governments

HRSA is an active partner with StopBullying.gov, a collaborative federal effort launched in 2011 that engages federal and community stakeholders from across the health, education, justice, and youth domains in bullying prevention. Through StopBullying.gov, HRSA distributes important bullying prevention research findings.

HRSA recognizes that bullying within a community is an indicator of that community’s overall health. For this reason, HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) added National Performance 9, bullying prevalence, to its National Performance Measures as part of the Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant Program. This enables HRSA to address the impact of bullying on public health across the nation and to support states in improving the health, safety and well-being of children and families.

To help states in their development of strategies that address the National Performance Measures and to promote the health and well-being of maternal and child heath population, MCHB supports the Strengthen the Evidence Base for Maternal and Child Health Programs Exit Disclaimer. The Center has produced an Evidence Review Exit Disclaimer (PDF - 1.2 MB) for the bullying prevention National Performance Measure, which is a critical analysis and synthesis of effectiveness of strategies to address bullying.

Resources to Aid Community-wide Efforts

HRSA’s research-based resources give community leaders concrete tools to address, and ultimately, take steps to prevent bullying. Available in English and Spanish at StopBullying.gov’s Bullying Prevention Training Center, these action-oriented tools include:

Bullying Prevention Training Course

  • Bullying Prevention Online Course—Learn how to take a public health approach to bullying prevention through the use of long-term, community-wide prevention strategies.
  • Base Training Module (PDF - 9 MB) Available as PowerPoint (PPTX - 17.4 MB)—Get the latest research on bullying and best practices in prevention and response.

Take Action!

  • Community Action Toolkit (PDF – 3.4 MB)—Discover key resources for planning, executing and assessing a community event.
  • StopBullying Blog —Get inspired – learn about the latest bullying-related news and information from federal agencies and non-federal partners.

Training Module: User Guides

Access the stakeholder-specific bullying prevention guides:

Commitment to Research

In April 2014, researchers and experts in bullying prevention convened to gather current research on bullying, specifically:

Building on the work done in the workshop, a committee of experts from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Exit Disclaimer conducted a consensus study, for which HRSA was a co-sponsor. The study focused on the state of the science of the biological and psychosocial effects of peer victimization, and the risk and protective factors that either increase or decrease peer victimization behavior and consequences.

The report, Preventing Bullying Through Science, Policy, and Practice, Exit Disclaimer released in May of 2016, evaluated the state of the science and impact of the problem. The report also provided next steps in the form of specific recommendations for policymakers, educators, health care providers, and others concerned about bullying. Several of the report recommendations were addressed to the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention, who have taken preliminary steps to address them.

Find out more about the Committee on the Biological and Psychosocial Effects of Peer Victimization: Lessons for Bullying Prevention Exit Disclaimer.

Related Resources

For Public Health Professionals and Researchers

For Parents, Caregivers and Educators

For Members of the Media

Connect with StopBullying.gov


Date Last Reviewed:  December 2020