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date: 21 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter conceptualizes school-based, peer-to-peer bullying as a coercive relational process, in which bullies instrumentally use aggressive interpersonal tactics to influence, change, or dominate others in order to attain desired outcomes. We explain how this coercive process occurs on multiple levels, both within the bully-victim dyad and within the peer group context. We then discuss how the nature and desired outcomes of bullying change according to school setting and developmental period, drawing on empirical research that highlights the increasingly sexualized nature of bullying during early adolescence. Finally, we link sexual harassment and bullying behaviors during adolescence to risk for involvement in coercive relationships and processes in adulthood, and review the implications of this work for evidence-based bullying prevention programs.

Keywords: bullying, coercive behavior, coercive relational process, sexual harassment, coercive relationship

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