Causes And Effects Of Bullying
According to the American Psychology Association, bullying is the practice of the utilization of aggressive behavior by an individual towards another to cause injury or discomfort continually(American Psychological Association, 2017). The action occurs due to the presence of supposed imbalanced power such as physical strength, popularity, and ability to embarrass as a way of controlling others. Also, this behavior has the potential to reoccurring. According to the National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice 2014-2015 Statistics, twenty-one percent of all schoolchildren worldwide, in the ages of twelve to eighteen faced one or more forms of bullying (Lessne & Yanez, 2016). Such included physical bullying that involves hitting, shoving, tripping, yelling, and talking about another person’s things (Lessne & Yanez, 2016). Emotional bullying consists of abusing someone, making fun, laughing at others, ignoring someone, and starting rumors about other people. Cyberbullying encompasses the use of technology to send and post mean messages and posting embarrassing pictures of others. The culture of bullying can affect an individual in school, home and work. Its advent is a result of various factors that consequence in different adverse effects.
First, bullying occurs due to the bully being a victim of bullying. Children learn by example, and bullying precipitates bullying. According to Ditch the Label Anti-bullying Charity organization, individuals that have been victims of bullying are two times likely to bully others. Individuals that face bullying in their regular lives such as from their parents, their older siblings, or later life at work makes them consider this type of behavior acceptable and is the convenient way to attain power and control stripped through bullying (Ditch the Label Anti-bullying Charity, 2016, Apr 21). Hence, the feelings of pain and anger control them into inflicting similar hurt they experience or have observed a family member instill in another family member, to dish out the pain and feel better about oneself.
The second is because bullies observe this as the only way to get what they want. Educational institutions consist of students from diverse backgrounds whose parents implement varied methods of rearing them. In some unfortunate incidences, some parents bring up children by availing to them too much power, giving them what they want without restrictions or punishment (Ditch the Label Anti-bullying Charity, 2016, Apr 21). As a result, the feeling of entitlement makes them feel that they deserve to get all they want without considering other’s feelings. Consequently, they bulldoze other students in school by utilizing intimidation and verbal abuse, as they are they believe intimidating others helpful in achieving what they want.
Third, bullying occurs as a search for attention. According to Kids Health, some bullies do not consider their actions as hurtful or mean but as actions of teasing and expressing a liking for another individual, a situation occasioning due to difficulties in communicating. Thus, in a bid to attract others to them, they may use violence or verbal insults to get attention from another individual (Kids Health, 2017). Additionally, children demand love, care, and attention from their parents at home, and they strive to acquire their attention and approval by acting in every manner possible. Thus, if a child feels invisible before their family, they feel insecure about this relationship. Therefore, the insecurity may turn into anger and frustration, thereby causing them to express these feelings by hurting and bullying others to get attention.
Effects of bullying
First, bullying results in emotional harm. Emotional harm through name-calling, insults, making fun of an individual, and spreading rumors about others have long-lasting impacts that run through adulthood. According to the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, bullying destroys an individual’s self-image by repeatedly making the victims consider themselves as undesirable, incapable, weak, and hopeless, thereby developing self-unworthiness (Dombeck, 2014). As a result, a victim of bullying develops mistrust in themselves that they are an incapable individual, by adopting and believing in the assertions made by bullies, thereby making it difficult for them to face challenging situations in their future lives such as in relationships or at work. Additionally, when victims of bullying continue considering themselves as undesirable and incapable, they develop bitterness and anger towards themselves and a feeling of lack of control. Hence, they become susceptible to hopelessness and depression, which causes them to lead lonely and fearful lives while distrusting others.
Second, it leads to decreased school achievement. Children who face bullying on a daily basis are likely to perform poorly in education. According to Stopbullying.gov, the academic performance of victims of bullying readily declines, as for one to concentrate and learn, they have to have a peaceful and favorable environment. However, for a bully victim, this is not so, as the school becomes a source of fear and pain. Consequently, it becomes difficult to concentrate on learning, thereby resulting in poor performance (Stopbullying.org, 2017, Sept 12). Also, bullying makes victims of this act fear school, and instead of considering it as a priority in their life, it becomes a minor priority to their need of ensuring they do not endure any physical or emotional harm. Consequently, such children end up missing and skipping school out of fear. Moreover, excess bullying can cause psychological torture, bodily injury, and fear, leading to the dropping out of school by the affected student.
Third, bullying results in violence. Bullying instills pain, humiliation, and torture on the victims, making them feel embarrassed, battered, and helpless. Worst of all, if no one seeks to end the bullying or their parents fail to realize that their child faces bullies every day, the child ends up developing anger and hatred for other people that could result in violent behavior of becoming a serial killer, murder or a violent offender. For instance, according to the Crime Library, a serial killer by the name of Henry Lee Lucas convicted of murder and a confessed killer of about 3000 persons admitted that he faced ridicule and rejection in school (Scott, 2010). As a result, he developed a hate for all people who he blamed to have contributed to his suffering, pushing him to become a psychopath.
Fourth, bullying consequence of social problems. Bullying begins by affecting a victim’s home life and their interaction with family members. Such victims become withdrawn from the world and only considering their personal space and their possession as the only source of comfort and safety (Stopbullying.org, 2017, Sept 12). Also, they begin changing and becoming angry and depressed individuals who lash out at people and situations all the time. Moreover, the once lively and engaging child becomes quiet and unmotivated leading to the loss of friends, acquaintances, and strained relationships with their parents.
Bullying is a multifaceted behavior that encompasses the inflicting of physical and emotional pain on others due to the presence of a power imbalance. Society’s culture of failing to stop bullies who end up becoming famous for their actions propagates the issue among other causes such as the bullies being victims of bullying, seeking attention, and using bullying as an avenue of getting what one wants. No individual in the world deserves to be bullied as it results in emotional harm, poor performance in school, violence, and social problems.
- American Psychological Association. (2017). Bullying. Retrieved December 30, 2017, from http://www.apa.org/topics/bullying/
- Ditch the Label Anti-bullying Charity. (2016, April 21). Why do people bully? The scientific reason. Retrieved December 30, 2017, from https://www.ditchthelabel.org/why-do- people-bully/
- Dombeck, M. (2014). The long term effects of bullying. The American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress
- Kids Health. (2017). Dealing with bullies. Retrieved December 30, 2017, from http://kidshealth.org/en/kids/bullies.html
- Lessne, D., & Yanez, C. (2016). Student Reports of Bullying: Results from the 2015 School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey. Web Tables. NCES 2017-015. National Center for Education Statistics.
- Scott, S. (2010). What Makes Serial Killers Tick? Crime library.
- Stopbullying.org. (2017, September 12). Effects of bullying.