Bullying is an important issue in schools today. Not only isthe issue more common today than it was 50 years ago,much more is understood about the possible psychologicalramifications of the issue. Studies show that bullying canoccur in any demographic and is not confined to any onerace, religion, age, culture, body type, or socioeconomicstatus. Research also demonstrates the severity ofpsychological damage bullying can inflict upon victims,witnesses, and perpetrators, including low self-esteem,thoughts of suicide, depression, fear, and anxiety. Moststudies on bullying have been completed using self-reportsurveys or questionnaires given to students, teachers, andparents. Information for these studies has been collectedfrom schools in a wide range of socioeconomic levels andfrom individuals representing many different races,religions, and cultures.
Research has shown that, while every student has achance of being bullied, students whose body mass index,academic performance, age, and depressive symptoms areconsidered out of the norm for their peer group are morelikely to be victimized (Bauman, 2008). Self-esteem,climate of the school, and approving beliefs of the societyare also contributing factors to higher frequencies ofbullying (Gendron, et al., 2011).
• Anxiety• Feelings of Vulnerability• Fear• Symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder• Low self-esteem• Aggressiveness• Criminal Behavior• Poor School Attendance• Thoughts of suicide
• Effects are not limited to victims• Psychological effects of perpetrating or witnessing bullying behavior include: • Poor mental health • Low self-image • Thoughts of suicide • Suicide attempts• Effects are magnified when student s fall into multiple categories
Psychological resiliency, referring to the individual’s abilityto successfully cope with stress or adverse experiences, isa significant mediating factor in mediating the negativeeffects of bullying. Social support, as well, has been shownto have a great impact on mediating the negative effects.Studies researching social support examined the effects ofsupport from family, the effects of support from friends, andthe combination of the two (Bowes, et al., 2010).
• No student is immune to the effects of bullying• Psychological effects of bullying are more severe and wide-reaching than previously believed• Resiliency and high levels of support are key factors in mediating adverse effects of bullying• More research needs to be done into preventing bullying from occurring
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• Rothon, C., Head, J., Klineburg, E., & Stansfield, S. (June 2011). Can Social Support Protect Bullied Adolescents From Adverse Outcomes? A Prospective Study on the Effects of Bullying on the Educational Achievement and Mental Health of Adolescents at Secondary Schools in East London. Journal of Adolescence, 34(3), 579-588. Retrieved September 6, 2011 from http://www.sciencedirect.com.libproxy.edmc.edu/ science/article/pii/S0140197110000898•