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Bullying Experiences Reported by High School Students, 2021

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2023
1 page

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention published this data snapshot summarizing findings from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System in graphic form.


This data snapshot publication by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention provides data and graphics illustrating findings from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, which documents the prevalence of bullying experiences on school property and on electronic devices as reported by high school students. The survey found (1) that bullying on school property declined between 2011 and 2021, while bullying electronically remained stable; high school freshman were more likely than juniors and seniors to report being bullied on school property; students who identify as heterosexual were less likely to report bully experiences than their nonheterosexual peers; high school females were more likely than males to report bullying experiences; and white, American Indian/Alaska Native and youth of more than one race were equally likely to report bullying experiences. Bullying is defined in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) as when 1 or more students tease, threaten, spread rumors about, hit, shove, or hurt another student over and over again; it is not bullying when 2 students of about the same strength or power argue or fight or tease each other in a friendly way. Bullying electronically refers to bullying through texting, Instagram, Facebook, or other forms of social media. The 2021 YRBS data, collected in the fall of that year through school-based surveys of a nationally representative sample of high school students, are the first wave collected after the COVID-19 pandemic. While most schools had returned to in-person instruction by that time, the time spent out of school for many students may have impacted the school-related YRBS questions. 

Date Published: November 1, 2023