A UQ researcher has found that social exclusion among teens can be more harmful than direct bullying.

UQ’s Hannah Thomas led the research, which showed that teens find exclusion more harmful than better known forms of  like teasing and rumour-spreading.

Ms Thomas’s study – a survey of 10,273 Victorian high school students in Grades 7, 9 and 11 – examined how the frequency, emotional response and form of bullying were associated with the  of .

“Social exclusion is a subtle behaviour … and therefore less likely to prompt a response from an adult,” she said.

“Adolescents can use it to get others offside and isolate them, thereby exerting their own dominance and power in a .”

“Social  is sometimes seen as a normal part of the pains of peer relationships but it is very upsetting for young people.”

“Bullying is when person is repeatedly exposed to negative behaviours that are intended to hurt or harm them. It is not bullying when behaviour is one-off”

Of particular note,  had a strong association with adolescents’ psychological distress and low emotional wellbeing.


– University of Queensland

Source: Exclusion more harmful to teens than overt bullying