The Effects of Bullying

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Abstract Bullying is defined as a repeated aggression in which one or more persons intend to harm or disturb another person physically, verbally or psychologically. It can take many forms such as physical aggression, verbal aggression or social isolation. Bullying is a significant social problem and has likely occurred throughout human history. Research has shown that bullying not only affects a child’s learning but it also has detrimental consequences on a child’s future development. Effects on victims include low self-esteem, depression, school failure and anxiety. Implications for aggressors include delinquent behaviour and low levels of happiness. It will be argued that bullying is not normal and that children are not able to cope…show more content…
Victims become increasingly hesitant to engage in social activities, with some even refusing to attend school in order to protect themselves from bullying (Kaltiala-Heino, Rimpela, Rantanen, & Rimpela, 2000; Rigby, 2003). Pepler and Craig (2000) noted that frequently bullied children experienced a wide range of problems and need focused support to enable them to move on from these abusive interactions. Victims also reported feeling lonelier and less happy at school and having fewer good friends (Boulton & Underwood, 1992; Nansel et al., 2001, 2004). Not only does bullying harm all involved, it also affects the climate of the school, which indirectly affects the ability of all students to learn to the best of their abilities. Poor academic achievement is a likely consequence of victimization; if children are worried about being victimized, they are less focused on academic work (Card & Hodges, 2008). Children can only handle a certain amount of pressure before reaching their breaking point. As seen in certain extreme cases, children unable to take the pressure from this constant bullying, resort to suicide, or even mass killings of classmates and teachers. Research suggests that children identified as bullies demonstrate poorer psychosocial functioning than their classmates. They show poorer school adjustment, both in terms of achievement and well-being (Nansel et al., 2001, 2004), and perceive less social support from teachers (Demaray & Malecki, 2003).

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