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A boy looking down and sad while three children point and look at him in the background.

What are risk factors for being bullied?

Those who are at risk of being bullied may have one or more risk factors1,2,3:

  • Are seen as different from their peers (e.g., overweight, underweight, wear their hair differently, wear different clothing or wear glasses, or come from a different race/ethnicity)
  • Are seen as weak or not able to defend themselves
  • Are depressed, anxious, or have low self-esteem
  • Have few friends or are less popular
  • Do not socialize well with others
  • Suffer from an intellectual or developmental disability


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  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Who is at risk? Risk factors. Retrieved June 17, 2016, from[top]
  2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Who is at risk? Considerations for specific groups. Retrieved June 17, 2016, from[top]
  3. American Academy of Pediatrics. (2006). Teasing and bullying of obese and overweight children: How parents can help. Retrieved June 17, 2016, from External Web Site Policy[top]

Who is affected and how many are at risk for bullying?​​

What are common signs of being bullied?​​

How does bullying affect health and well-being?

Are there risk factors for being bullied?​

What can be done to help someone who is being bullied?