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The negative effects experienced by teenage victims of bullying

In terms of when each bullying incident occurs, it can happen at any time two students are in proximity of one another, though again, this usually happens at or near school and consequently will likely happen during or around school hours. For instance, physical aggression starts out higher among students and then decreases consistently, with 18 percent of children aged 2-5 reporting experience with physical aggression, but only 10 percent of children aged 14-17 reporting it.

On the other hand, harassment via electronic medium starts out very low, at only. It then rises to 14 percent for those 14 to 17 years old. It is impossible to predict who will get bullied based on their age, sex, race, class, sexual orientation, national origin or any other factor.

Bullying occurs to people in all of these categories, and no one combination of traits can guarantee that a child will or will not be bullied. However, those who frequently get bullied do exhibit some common characteristics. These may include a personality that tends toward caution and shyness, introversion, low self-confidence, unhappiness and anxiety. For boys especially, being smaller or weaker than average can create a target.

Moreover, bullying does seem to shift based on sex and race.

  • A link does exist between bullying and suicide, but it is not as simple as assuming that a victim will contemplate or commit suicide;
  • They often get into fights, vandalize and drop out of school;
  • And although this class of children, according to the study, had an elevated risk of family hardship at home, this was not the only defining factor;
  • These laws address what bullying is, how to report and investigate it, what types of conduct are prohibited in response to bullying, methods of communication, education and intervention, and informs readers that victims are still allowed to seek remedy in other ways, should their situation be applicable to additional laws;
  • This includes the lunchroom, the classroom, the bus or the schoolyard.

According to Child Trends, while males and females are equally likely to face physical intimidation, girls face a larger chance of relational bullying teasing or emotional aggression and electronic bullying. Perhaps not surprisingly, bullies are often mean, confrontational, aggressive and spiteful. They use manipulation to get their own way, and generally have short fuses and exhibit impulsive behavior.

Although they typically push other children around, using name-calling and physical aggression to accomplish their goals, they may also be aggressive toward adults, such as parents and teachers.

They may lack the empathy that characterizes many of their peers, which may be why they are unable to feel for their victims. Classically, but not always, a boy bully may be bigger or stronger than average for his age. In this section we will take a look at who bullying impacts, with a brief glance at what happens when bullying occurs. In the following section, we will delve deeper into the lasting psychological impacts of bullying and what it means for healthy development and later life.

The Victim When children experience bullying, they have a tendency to become emotionally withdrawn. In cases where they were already quiet, shy and self-contained, they may become even more so, to the point where they have trouble interacting with their peers.

Child bullying victims still suffering at 50 - study

Regular exposure to hurt, humiliation, and social isolation may cause them to sink deeper into a world of their own. This world is not a happy one, however: Children may have trouble sleeping or eating, the negative effects experienced by teenage victims of bullying may become unable to enjoy activities they once did.

Academic performance plummets, and they may even skip class or drop out of school. It is also important to note that anger and rage is one possible emotional response to bullying. Many reports following school shootings have found that the child shooters were bullied by their peers. On the outside, the child may appear more anxious, may seek to avoid settings where bullying frequently occurs, and may fall ill or seem to more often than normal. If they had friends, they may isolate themselves from them.

They may even be at increased risk of suicide, though this is a knotty issue that we will address in full below. Sadly, however, kids who bully others are just as at risk of short-term and long-lasting emotional problems as the children they victimize. For one thing, bullies often have trouble relating to their peers.

Because they can be violent, manipulative, cruel, without empathy and generally unpleasant, they may not have many friends. Of course, bullies may also belong to a large social circle that they employ to exact their bullying behavior; it just depends. It is unclear how much the behavior in which bullies engage contributes to their emotional problems, and how much of it is simply symptomatic of other troubles.

However, bullies are at greater risk for alcohol and drug abuse as adolescents, as well as for engaging in sexual behavior at a young age. They often get into fights, vandalize and drop out of school. Both In some cases, kids who are bullied are also bullies themselves.

They demonstrate many of the same behaviors as do bullies and victims. The interesting, and very sad, part comes later, when they reach adulthood and experience long-lasting psychological effects that are more severe than that experienced by either bullies or victims alone. The Observers We tend to discount the role of observers in a bullying situation, but this is misguided thinking.

Bystanders actually play a crucial role in bullying. Bullying may happen in isolated places — bathrooms, for instance, or an empty hallway — but it frequently occurs in places with lots of other children around. This includes the lunchroom, the classroom, the bus or the schoolyard. In fact, witnesses to their bullying behavior are often important to the bully, who may need an audience.

It is easy to understand why bystanders choose not to do anything, however. When bystanders do nothing, they are actively making a choice: No matter what the case, observing without intervening is harmful, and not just to the victim or bully. It is harmful to bystanders themselves, making them more likely to drink and smoke, skip school, and become anxious or depressive.

These behaviors can in turn lead to long-lasting psychological impacts, which we will now explore in detail. The Victim The long-lasting psychological impacts stem directly from the short-term impacts that children experience as the result of being consistently bullied.

Depression and anxiety tend to characterize their emotional outlook well beyond the bullying years, extending into their adult lives where they become chronic, sometimes lifelong, problems. These issues make eating, sleeping, working, exercising and engaging in interesting hobbies — all the hallmarks of a full, balanced life — more difficult. They also make the negative effects experienced by teenage victims of bullying more difficult to make and keep relationships, whether with friends or romantic partners.

It is actually emotional harm that lasts much longer than physical harm. Mark Dombeck of the Academy explains. In particular, this has effects during tough or difficult times, where the victim has been taught they are too weak or hopeless to persevere, and so they do not.

This can have major repercussions for work, relationships and other trying life situations that require persistence and grit to overcome or succeed in. They also have difficulty trusting people, have reduced occupational opportunities, and grow into adulthood with the tendency to be loners.

They make fewer positive choices and act less often in defense of their own happiness, owing mostly to the lack of perceived control instilled in them during their childhood bullying. The Bully Bullies often grow up to be unhappy adults. They may have difficulty holding down a job, retaining friendships and maintaining romantic or even family relationships. They may also be at greater risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors, though this is more likely when they are bullied in addition to acting as a bully.

However, most of the research that has been done has concentrated on the effects of bullying on those who get bullied rather than those who perpetrate the behavior, so reports are limited of the lifelong impacts on bullies themselves.

The Psychological Effects of Bullying on Kids & Teens

However, it is indisputable that bullies are at greater risk for antisocial personality disorder. Both Not surprisingly, those that both bully and were bullied at the same time display some of the most severe emotional handicaps in later life.

Oftentimes bullies engage in learned behavior, which they were taught in the home by abusive parents, siblings, relatives or caregivers. According to the study, they are at even at even greater risk for long-lasting psychological disorders than being either a bully or being bullied on its own. And although this class of children, according to the study, had an elevated risk of family hardship at home, this was not the only defining factor.

They also had the the negative effects experienced by teenage victims of bullying levels of depression, anxiety and panic disorder. This indicates that something about the combined nature of both being a bully and being bullied is very harmful indeed. The Observers Many of the problems cited above for observers can leak into adulthood. Use and abuse of alcohol and tobacco can wreak havoc on bodies, and depression and anxiety can cause long-lasting problems with relationships, work and happiness.

Skipping school or dropping out can also affect success later life. This is an excellent reason to talk to children about the harms of bullying and ensure that they have useful, actionable ways to respond to a bullying situation when they see it. When children feel as though they can do something about unfair behavior, they avoid the issues that often attend helplessness, such as depression and anxiety.

A link does exist between bullying and suicide, but it is not as simple as assuming that a victim will contemplate or commit suicide.

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Rather, the situation stems from multiple factors. Many issues contribute to suicide risk, including depression, problems at home, and trauma history. Additionally, specific groups have an increased risk of suicide, including American Indian and Alaskan Native, Asian American, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth. This risk can be increased further when these kids are not supported by parents, peers, and schools.

Bullying can make an unsupportive situation worse. Children, as well as adults, should be educated about the relationship between suicide and bullying, to help them understand as bullies, as victims and as observers that this is not a harmless behavior, but one with serious consequences. Opening up the conversation and trusting kids with this information will help, not harm.

In the next section we will talk about several other misunderstood aspects of bullying, in the hopes of dispelling harmful misconceptions. What Are the Misconceptions About Bullying? Bullying has taken a front seat in the media and in schools these days, but unfortunately media attention often leads to more misconceptions than it solves.

Teachers can watch bullies to deter behavior. Boys are more likely to be victims: As discussed above, girls are more likely to be victims of emotional and cyber-bullying, while boys and girls are equally likely to experience physical abuse.

It starts with cyber-bullying: Most bullies are not faceless enemies, but real people children meet at school. They may then progress to bullying through electronic means.

Usually, however, if a child is being bullied, part of the process involves face-to-face interactions.

Kids just need to toughen up: Even if it is only giving the bully the audience he craves. But with training, observers could be taught to reduce bullying by noticing, reporting the negative effects experienced by teenage victims of bullying intervening. It is obvious when a child is being bullied: And keep in mind that those numbers refer only to the kids actually reporting.

It may not be obvious, so adults must try to make it easier for kids to report.