Overview


Bullying is usually defined as a specific form of aggression, which is intentional, repeated, and involves a disparity of power between the victim and perpetrators, (Olweus, 1993). There are different forms of bullying, which are the following: physical, verbal, relational or social, and cyber. Physical bullying involves direct touching/contact such as striking or pushing. Verbal bullying is another direct form but only involves harmful words in the acts of teasing or name-calling. Relational bullying is indirect and consists of social exclusion or spreading rumors. The newest form of bullying is cyber. The act of bullying has extended its reach beyond schools at different grade levels by use of new and evolving technologies (Wang, Iannotti, and Nansel, 2009). However, it should not be equated with aggression or violence; not all aggression or violence involves bullying, and not all bullying involves aggression or violence.

Targets for Bullying
School bullying can happen to all types of people but particularly to children and teens in the middle school level and secondary level. There are many reasons why bullying occurs but there are certain types of people that are most likely to be targeted. Smith et al (2004) lists the most common targets for bullying in the school setting. Some kids may be very good at what they do such as being an all-star athlete of a sports team. There are students that may be highly gifted or intelligent in academics. Bullies usually target these types of students because they feel inferior to these students or may feel overshadowed by them. Other students may have personal vulnerabilities that may become exposed. Also, there are students who may have few or no friends. Bullies target these types of kids because they lack self-esteem, suffer from loneliness, and may be insecure. There are some students who might have a disability or an illness. These students are bullied more often because they may not be “normal” or socially accepted by others.

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Teenage females verbally bullying another female at the secondary level.



Today, the majority of students who are bullied are targeted because they have different sexual orientation, different cultural or religious beliefs, or belonging to different racial groups. These matters of bullying are huge issues that can stand-alone by themselves. There is oftentimes where these particular reasons for bullying lead to discrimination and challenge the norm in society in the United States. Moreover, bullying is a negative relationship between those who are directly involved and both parties are affected differently.

Effects on Bullies and Victims of Bullying
There are short-term and long-term effects for bullies and victims of bullies. The short-term effects of the victims may include but are not limited to the following: acute depression, loss of self-esteem, poor performance resulting in poor grades, truancy, and stress and anxiety. The long-term effects of the victims may include the following: chronic depression, post-trauma psychological disorders, self-destructive behavior, and possible alcohol/substance abuse, (Copeland, Wolke, Angold, & Costello, 2013). The short-term effects of the bully may include but are not limited to the following: unable to maintain friendship, poor performance at school, and higher risk of alcohol/substance abuse. The long-term effects of the bully may include the following: higher chance of abusing others as an adult, unable to maintain long-term relationships, addiction to drugs, and a higher chance being convicted for a crime, (http://resources.uknowkids.com/blog).

Trend or Issue?


School bullying was a trend that was known as “mobbing” but has grown into an issue in middle and secondary education. Almost every adult can recall a childhood experience of school aggression, and almost every child can tell a story of being a victim, a bully, or a bystander to the bullying, (Orpinas and Horne, 2003). Bullying is an issue that is often neglected and not realized as a problem until it’s too late. Evidence of bullying has been present 40 years ago in Norway but was not considered a serious issue until 1982 (Espelage and Swearer, 2003). The result was a young teenage boy committing suicide after extreme harassment from his classmates. Bullying is something that occurs in other countries other than the United States.

A researcher from England, James (2010) has findings about bullying from around the world. James’ findings are the following:
• Large-scale surveys of bullying around the world report victimization rates of between 9 and 32 per cent, and bullying rates of between 3 and 27 per cent (Stassen Berger, 2007).
• Verbal abuse is the most commonly reported type of bullying, but ‘cyberbullying’, which typically happens outside of school, is becoming an increasingly significant issue.
• There are different terms for bullying in different countries, and different types of behavior involved.
• Victimization decreases with age, although there is an initial peak during the transition from primary to secondary school.
• Boys are more likely to be involved in physical bullying, and girls in verbal and relational bullying. It is unclear whether there are any consistent age or gender trends within cyberbullying.
• Family and peer relationships have been identified as important factors for bullies as well as victims and ‘bully/victims’ (i.e. those who bully and are also bullied themselves). Bullying has long-term negative consequences for all three groups.
• Bullying is a group process. It normally happens in front of other children, who play important roles in incidents of bullying, so that bullying can be more likely in some classes or years than others.
• Many victims of bullying do not report it to a teacher, but in the experience of those who do, some may help while others make no difference or even make the bullying worse. Teachers report intervening in most incidents of bullying, but pupils do not perceive this to be the case.
• Schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are required by law to have an anti- bullying policy, though the content varies from school to school. In Scotland schools are strongly recommended to have a policy. Ranges of anti-bullying interventions are used across the UK nations.

From the statistics listed above, bullying is very dynamic and constantly changing with available technology. Students are often quiet and pressured not to snitch. Victims must learn to speak up directly to the bully, to other peers, family, and/or school personnel to address the problem. Likewise, others must be open to the cry for help and take responsible actions according to school and state laws to stop the bullying.



Some Helpful Tips
Although bullying is continuing to occur and growing in numbers, here are some ways to reduce and possibly prevent bullying from http://www.nea.org/home/51629.htm.
1. Pay attention. There are many warning signs that may point to a bullying problem, such as unexplained injuries, lost or destroyed personal items, changes in eating habits, and avoidance of school or other social situations. However, every student may not exhibit warning signs, or may go to great lengths to hide it. This is where paying attention is most valuable. Engage students on a daily basis and ask open-ended questions that encourage conversation.
2. Don’t ignore it. Never assume that a situation is harmless teasing. Different students have different levels of coping; what may be considered teasing to one may be humiliating and devastating to another. Whenever a student feels threatened in any way, take it seriously, and assure the student that you are there for them and will help.
3. When you see something – do something. Intervene as soon as you even think there may be a problem between students. Don’t brush it off as “kids are just being kids. They’ll get over it.” Some never do, and it affects them for a lifetime. All questionable behavior should be addressed immediately to keep a situation from escalating. Summon other adults if you deem the situation may get out of hand. Be sure to always refer to your school’s anti-bullying policy.
4. Remain calm. When you intervene, refuse to argue with either student. Model the respectful behavior you expect from the students. First make sure everyone is safe and that no one needs immediate medical attention. Reassure the students involved, as well as the bystanders. Explain to them what needs to happen next – bystanders go on to their expected destination while the students involved should be taken separately to a safe place.
5. Listen and don’t pre-judge. It is very possible that the person you suspect to be the bully may actually be a bullied student retaliating or a “bully’s” cry for help. It may also be the result of an undiagnosed medical, emotional or psychological issue. Rather than make any assumptions, listen to each child with an open mind.

From the information listed above, bully reduction and prevention requires a group effort from all personnel affected. However, it is important to correctly assess the situation before taking action. Families and school personnel should be educated about bullying and practice handling bullying situations in a reasonable manner. Students must learn how to stand up for themselves because help may not always be around. Students can achieve to stand up for themselves and learn other life skills from joining various organized clubs, team sports, and/or martial arts. Overall, communication and being pro-active is the key to handling the different types of bullying and there should not be any form violence (unless it’s self-defense) to solve bullying problems.

To read a proposal for a school event designed to raise awareness about bullying, please download this document:


Annotated Bibliography


Olweus, D. (1993). Bullying at school. (pp. 5-20). Malden: Blackwell Publishing. -This book displays the basic information about bullying and understanding what bullying. The book also provides help to those being bullied, educators, parents, and anyone who may be indirectly involved with bullying.

Wang, J., Iannotti, R., Nansel, T. (2009). School bullying among us adolescents: Physical, verbal, relational and cyber. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2751860/ -This academic journal from the Internet indentifies and describes the different types of bullying in today’s society.

Smith, P., Talamelli, L., Cowie, H., Naylor, P., & Chauhan, P. (2004). Profiles of non-victims, escaped victims, continuing victims and new victims of school bullying. British Journal of Educational Psychology, (74), 565-581. Retrieved from http://www.bps.org.uk - This academic journal individuals who are more likely to be targeted in the middle school and secondary level.

Copeland, W., Wolke, D., Angold, A., & Costello, E. (2013). Adult psychiatric outcomes of bullying and being bullied by peers in childhood and adolescence. Retrieved from http://www.jamapsych.com -This academic journal provided insight on the short-term and long-term effects on bullies and victims of bullies at the appropriate ages at the middle school and secondary level. This journal was also used to support the claims made by a blog from uknowkids.com.

http://resources.uknowkids.com/blog -This website was used to learn about the short-term and long-term effects of bullying and being a victim of bullying.

Orpinas, P., & Horne, A. (2003). School bullying: Changing the problem by changing the school. School Psychology Review, 32(3), 431-44. –This journal was used to identify bullying and recall the history of bullying.

Espelage, D., & Swearer, S. (2003). Research on school bullying and victimization: What have we learned and where do we go from here?. School Psychology Review, 32(3), 365-383. - This journal was used to identify bullying and recall the history of bullying.

James, A. (2010). School bullying. Retrieved from http://www.nspcc.org.uk/inform –This website was used to provide evidence of bullying in other countries other than the United States.


http://www.nea.org/home/51629.htm -This website was used to provide tips on how to prevent and/or reduce bullying in school and outside of school.