Bullying in the schools has negative effects on individual students and on the school climate as a whole. Bullying can cause long-term problems for both the victims of bullying and the bullies themselves. To explore the effects of bullying on adolescents, we will define bullying, identify the characteristics of bullies and victims, outline the extent and consequences of bullying, and present resources for further information and assistance.
What is Bullying
Bullying is any behavior that is initiated by one or more students against a victim or victims that causes physical or psychological intimidation. Bullying behaviors can be classified as either direct (such as teasing, threatening, hitting, or stealing) or indirect (such as rumor spreading or social isolation). Boys typically employed direct methods of bullying, while girls tend to use in direct methods. Either way, behaviors must occur repeatedly overtime to be classified as bullying.
Characteristics of Bullies and Victims
There are specific behaviors that bullies tend to exhibit. The bullies often need to feel powerful and in control. They may feel no remorse when they inflict injury and suffering on others. Bullies tend to defy authority and
Victims tend to be socially isolated, and may lack social skills and friends. What Can Be DoneBecause bullying often occurs on school grounds, schools are generally in charged of the task of eliminating bullying and are normally responsible for any intervention that is required. Those who bully during the school years will generally experience legal or criminal problems as adults. Long-term effects of bullying on victims include depression and low self-esteem. The Extent and Consequences of BullyingAccording to the 1993 study, approximately 15 percent of students are either the victims or the initiators of direct bullying (Olweus). role-playing activities and classroom discussions), improving the overall school environment, and empowering students through assertiveness training, peers counseling, and conflict resolution programs. To be effective, however, intervention must involve all parentsguardians (not just those whose children are victims of bullies) working in conjunction with the school community. Olweus (1993) emphasizes an anti-bullying approach that involves intervention at the school, classroom, and individual levels. They are often anxious, insecure, cautious, and have low self-esteem. They often continue bullying behavior into adulthood, which negatively impacts their ability to develop and maintain positive relationships. For bullies, the effects are mainly long-term. They seem to have little anxiety and appear to possess high self-esteem. Victims also tend to exhibit specific characteristics.