Category: Sociology

The Prevalence of Bullying

The prevalence of bullying and its social and psychological effects on both the perpetrator and the victim remains largely undermined in various sectors. This has led to delays in the establishment of systems and mechanisms that would in eliminating one of the greatest cause low self-esteem, poor social and interactive skills, and the development of inappropriate personality traits. Extensive research on the impacts of bullying among children and the youth from sources such as the American Psychological Association and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention illustrates the significance of the bullying menace. This data shows that bullying increases psychological and emotional distress in the perpetrators and victims of bulling an effect, which leads to poor performance in academics and increases suicidal tendencies. Lack of adoption of preventive measures has long-term effects on the social and psychological health of affected individuals. Statistics regarding the prevalence of substance abuse among school-going children identifies bullying as one of the major influential factors.

The Main Cause

Psychologists cite the lack of appropriate communication channels as the main cause of tendencies towards substance abuse, and in extreme cases suicide, among victims of bullying (Coloroso, 2004). These channels create numerous barriers that it almost impossible for children to express their concerns, emotions and fears freely to their guardians and teachers. Data on interactions among groups describes guardians and teachers as a focal point in the molding of personalities since children spend most of their time interacting with the two. When children, threatened by bullying, cannot get the necessary attention from people they expect to protect their welfare, they result to alternative means of addressing their trials and tribulations. The two most candidates in this regard are substance abuse and suicide. A psychological approach in the analysis of the behavior of bullies shows that their actions largely result from the negligence of their psychological and emotional needs. Children who grew up in a violent and unfriendly environment have a high likelihood of resulting to developing violent behavior as a response measure to external threats. In this regard, they adopt an approach of addressing all their issues through intimidation and violence.

The failure to treat bullying with the level of seriousness that it requires arises from notions commonly held in most cultures and societal set ups regarding the need to toughen up a child so that he or she is ready to deal with various challenges in life. Thus, when victims of bulling report their experiences to guardians or teachers, there is always delay or ignorance in taking appropriate actions. Often, guardians and teachers acknowledge the seriousness of the impacts of bullying when extensive psychological and emotional damage has already occurred. Attempts to address impacts of bullying at an advanced stage have great costs in terms of time, finance and emotions of the parties involved. Even with all the inputs sometimes, the damage is irreparable. Evidence shows that the failure in mitigation of psychological and emotional damages that result from bullying experiences as the victim, perpetrator or witness during early childhood and youth has negative effects on personalities and interactive skills of affected adults (Fried & Sosland, 2009).

Addressing the issue of bullying requires collaborative efforts between the victims, perpetrators and mediators whose role is to ensure that the views and concerns of both parties receive the necessary attention. A single-sided approach will only lead to increased consumption of time and finances without delivering the necessary results. Remedial measures within environments in which bullying occur will ensure the mitigation of factors that increase tendencies toward bullying and violent behavior. In addition, these measures will ensure that victims of bullying receive relevant therapies so that they do not adopt retaliatory and destructive responses to their experiences. 

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