Problems of Well Being
Contemporary Social Issues – 30
November, 28, 2013
Professor Emily Brett
“I'm not the only kid who grew up this way. Surrounded by people who
used to say that rhyme about sticks and stones. As if broken bones hurt
more than the names we were called, and we were called them all.”
Definition of Bullying
Bullying is defined as
and/or verbal intimidation or
attack that is meant to
cause distress and/or harm
to an intended victim
DID YOU KNOW?
A child or youth can be both a bully and a victim, and may move between
the two. These children and youth experience the most serious emotional,
behavioral and relationship problems, and require the most intensive
Why are there bullies
There is no one single cause for bullying, individual, family, school and
peer factors can place someone at risk. These factors can work
individually or collectively. Some of these factors are:
• People with low social status will use bullying as a way to deflect the bullying
• People with high social status will use bullying to enhance their social power
Types of Bullying
Verbal bullying - name-calling, sarcasm, teasing, spreading
rumours, threatening, making negative references to one's culture,
ethnicity, race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, unwanted
• Social Bullying - mobbing, scapegoating, excluding others from a
group, humiliating others with public gestures or graffiti intended to
put others down
• Physical Bullying - hitting, poking, pinching, chasing, shoving,
coercing, destroying or stealing belongings, unwanted sexual
• Cyber Bullying - using the internet or text messaging to intimidate,
put-down, spread rumours or make fun of someone
“But at night
while the others slept
we kept walking the tightrope
it was practice and yeah,
some of us fell.” Shane Koyczan
How has bullying changed?
How we bully has not changed over the years, however the methods used when bullying
have changed. It has become easier to do. When we were kids, we would have to verbally
or physically commit the act. In today’s society not only are we verbally committing the act
of bullying but we have computers, social networks, and cellphones that play their roll in
bullying. It can take less than 5 minutes to send a text that will batter another person and
make them feel less about themselves.
How many children are involved in
• Kindergarten to Grade 8
15% of students reported bullying others at least twice over the
2% of students reported bullying others once a week or more
14% of boys aged 4 to 11 reported bullying others.
9% of girls aged 4 to 11 reported bullying others
Not everyone bullies or is bullied – a relatively small number
of children are directly involved in bullying incidents
How many children are bullied?
Kindergarten to Grade 8
20% of children reported being bullied more than once or twice over a school term.
8% of children were bullied at least once a week
Children were bullied once every 7 minutes on the playground and once every 25 minutes
in the classroom
5% of boys aged 4 to 11 reported being bullied sometimes or very often
7% of girls in the same age group reported being bullied sometimes or very often
27% of elementary school students from minority groups reported being bullied because of
How many children witness bullying?
85% of bullying incidents are witnessed by others
Peers try to stop the bullying in 11 to 19% of bullying incidents. Someone stepping in
can help even out the power imbalances
Not all children are directly involved in bullying incidents, but
many get involved in other ways – some watch, some
encourage the bullying and some try to stop it.
How does being bullied affect your
Some of the common effects of bullying on the child or youth who is bullied include:
Depression (including sadness, loss of interest in activities)
Anxiety (tenseness, fear and worries)
Loss of self-esteem
Increased levels of aggressive behaviour
Health problems like headaches, stomach aches
Loneliness and social anxiety
Social withdrawal and isolation
Suicidal thoughts, or suicide (in the most extreme cases)
How Can We Help
Bullying is a relationship problem. It is about power and the abuse of power and it is
incredibly difficult for children who are being victimized to remove themselves from this
destructive relationship. Once a bullying relationship is established, attempts to make the
bullying stop on their own are usually unsuccessful and may make the bullying worse.
Adult intervention is required to correct the power imbalance. Children and parents may
have to report the bullying to more than one responsible adult before an effective
intervention is implemented to stop the bullying.
How Can We Help
By speaking out against those who bully others,
you have the power to stop it. Refuse to go
along with it.
Writing down all that you witnessed, you can
paint a clearer image later on to those you speak
to about it.
Making a formal complaint can be a good way to
let an organization know about the problem and
prevent future bullying.
According to symbolic interaction theory,
the reflected judgments of significant
persons within one’s life can lead to
misconceptions on how one internalizes
what and how they act. Positive and/or
negative appraisals may be a part of the
internalization process that produces
child self-concept and behavioral
outcomes such as bullying.
Bullying Statistics & Facts. (n.d.). Bullying: Facts, Statistics & Effects. Retrieved November
27, 2013, from http://www.ourkids.net/bullying-facts-statistics.php#sthash.eDv6vn7V.dpuf
Definition of bully in English. (n.d.). bully: definition of bully (1) in Oxford dictionary (British
& World English). Retrieved November 26, 2013, from
It's an emergency! Call to speak to a counsellor 1-800-668-6868. (n.d.). If you are
witnessing bullying. Retrieved November 25, 2013, from