Everyone knows what bullying is. A great number of people experienced bullying as either victims, perpetrators, or bystanders. It is a problem that has existed ever since the creation of first public schools in the 18th century. While the society is aware of the problem, little is done to prevent bullying on a large scale. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, every fourth student experienced bullying at school (“Bullying Statistics” par. 1). These are the official statistics. The actual percentage might be even higher, since many victims simply refuse to report the incidents. Bullying has great long-term psychological effects on its victims and sometimes leads to mass-shootings and suicides in schools. The purpose of this paper is to research the causes of bullying, its types, and how it affects the victims.
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What Causes Bullying?
Bullying is caused by genetic predisposition, relations with peers, and as a reaction to the situation in school or at home. Of course, family relationships play a great role in raising a bully. Too much or too little discipline can be equally harmful and make a child become a bully. Often, the bully perceives himself or herself as inferior to his or her peers and tries to alleviate the sense of discomfort by harassing “superior” children (“School Bullying” par. 4).
A child who bullies others often does so to draw attention and impress others. The herd mentality is in place when group bullying occurs. Those who do not participate often find enjoyment in just watching the bullied person suffer, happy that they are not on the other end of the stick. Victims of bullying usually possess some sort of weakness that paints them as a target. It could be physical deformities, the lack of physical strength, lack of social skills, and inability to stand up for oneself (“School Bullying” par. 5).
Types of Bullying
There are many different kinds of bullying, ranging from physical assault to psychological abuse. Depending on its nature, bullying is classified into three types:
- Verbal bullying. This is the most common type of bullying. It involves teasing, calling other people names, making inappropriate remarks, writing insults, etc. (“Bullying Definition” par. 5).
- Social bullying. This type of bullying is aimed at ostracizing and ridiculing the victim by damaging their reputation. It is different from verbal bullying, since instead of insulting the victim, the bully spreads rumors about them instead (“Bullying Definition” par. 6).
- Physical bullying. This involves punching, kicking, taking another’s lunch money, and any other activities that require physical force to bring the victim to submission. It is considered to be one of the most dangerous kinds of bullying (“Bullying Definition” par. 7).
Psychological Effects of Bullying
Bullying can have a lasting psychological effect on its victims. According to the latest study performed by JAMA Psychiatry, adults who were bullied as children are more vulnerable to a plethora of psychological disorders, including depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, agoraphobia, and panic disorders (Walton 1). The bullies are not safe from the effects of their own behavior. They are more likely to suffer from substance abuse and antisocial personality disorders.
The children who used to be both bullies and victims at the same time are considered the most unstable, as they are equally exposed to both sides of the spectrum. The study showed that this group is more likely to develop suicidal thoughts, as well as other kinds of mental disorders (Walton 1).
Bullying is a dangerous and malevolent practice that can have long-standing consequences for all parties involved in the process. The percentage of bullying incidents in schools is incredibly high, yet nothing is done about it. In order to stop bullying, teachers and supervisors have to make a clear stance and prevent bullying wherever it is found. Until this behavior is dealt with, it will continue to poison the lives of many children for years to come.
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“Bullying Definition.” Stop Bullying. 2016, Web.
“Bullying Statistics.” Pacer, 2016, Web.
“School Bullying.” No Bullying. 2016, Web.
Walton, Alice. “The Psychological Effects Of Bullying Last Well Into Adulthood, Study Finds.” Forbes, Web.