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Bullying is the act of intentionally causing harm to others, through verbal harassment, physical assault, or other more subtle methods of coercion such as manipulation. Bullying can be defined in many different ways. Although the UK currently has no legal definition of bullying,[1] some US states have laws against it. Bullying is usually done to coerce others by fear or threat. [2]

Bullying in school and the workplace is also referred to as peer abuse.

In colloquial speech, bullying often describes a form of harassment perpetrated by an abuser who possesses more physical and/or social power and dominance than the victim. The victim of bullying is sometimes referred to as a target. The harassment can be verbal, physical and/or emotional. Sometimes bullies will pick on people bigger or smaller than their size. Bullies hurt people verbally and physically. There are many reasons for that. One of them is because the bullies themselves are or have been the victim of bullying[3][4][5] (e.g. a bullying child who is abused at home, or bullying adults who are abused by their colleagues).

Many programs have been started to prevent bullying at schools with promotional speakers. Bullying consists of two types - verbal and physical.

Norwegian researcher Dan Olweus defines bullying as when a person is "exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons." He defines negative action as "when a person intentionally inflicts injury or discomfort upon another person, through physical contact, through words or in other ways."[6]

DefinitionEdit

Bullying is an act of repeated aggressive behavior in order to intentionally hurt another person, physically or mentally. Bullying is characterized by an individual behaving in a certain way to gain power over another person (Besag, 1989). Behaviors may include name calling, verbal or written abuse, exclusion from activities, exclusion from social situations, physical abuse, or coercion (Carey, 2003; Whitted & Dupper, 2005). Bullies may behave this way to be perceived as popular or tough or to get attention. They may bully out of jealousy or be acting out because they themselves are bullied (Crothers & Levinson, 2004).

USA National Center for Education Statistics suggests that bullying can be broken into two categories: Direct bullying, and indirect bullying which is also known as social aggression.[7]

Ross states that direct bullying involves a great deal of physical aggression such as shoving and poking, throwing things, slapping, choking, punching and kicking, beating, stabbing, pulling hair, scratching, biting, scraping and pinching.[8]

He also suggests that social aggression or indirect bullying is characterized by threatening the victim into social isolation. This isolation is achieved through a wide variety of techniques, including spreading gossip, refusing to socialize with the victim, bullying other people who wish to socialize with the victim, and criticizing the victim's manner of dress and other socially-significant markers (including the victim's race, religion, disability, etc). Ross (1998)[8] outlines other forms of indirect bullying which are more subtle and more likely to be verbal, such as name calling, the silent treatment, arguing others into submission, manipulation, gossip/ false gossip, lies, rumors/ false rumors, staring, giggling, laughing at the victim, saying certain words that trigger a reaction from a past event, and mocking. Children's charity Act Against Bullying was set up in 2003 to help children who were victims of this type of bullying by researching and publishing coping skills.

EffectsEdit

The effects of bullying can be serious and even fatal. Mona O’Moore Ph. D of the Anti-Bullying Centre, Trinity College Dublin, said, "There is a growing body of research which indicates that individuals, whether child or adult who are persistently subjected to abusive behavior are at risk of stress related illness which can sometimes lead to suicide".[9]

Victims of bullying can suffer from long term emotional and behavioral problems. Bullying can cause loneliness, depression, anxiety, lead to low self-esteem and increased susceptibility to illness.[10]

The National Conference of State Legislatures said:

"In 2002, a report released by the U.S. Secret Service concluded that bullying played a significant role in many school shootings and that efforts should be made to eliminate bullying behavior." [11]


Characteristics of bullies Edit

Research indicates that adults who bully have personalities that are authoritarian, combined with a strong need to control or dominate.[12] It has also been suggested that a prejudicial view of subordinates can be particular a risk factor.[13]

Further studies have shown that while envy and resentment may be motives for bullying,[14] there is little evidence to suggest that bullies suffer from any deficit in self esteem (as this would make it difficult to bully).[15] However, bullying can also be used as a tool to conceal shame or anxiety or to boost self esteem: by demeaning others, the abuser him/herself feels empowered.

Researchers have identified other risk factors such as quickness to anger and use of force, addiction to aggressive behaviors, mistaking others' actions as hostile, concern with preserving self image, and engaging in obsessive or rigid actions.[16]

It is often suggested that bullying behavior has its origin in childhood:

"If aggressive behaviour is not challenged in childhood, there is a danger that it may become habitual. Indeed, there is research evidence, to indicate that bullying during childhood puts children at risk of criminal behaviour and domestic violence in adulthood."[9]

Bullying does not necessarily involve criminality or physical violence. For example, bullying often operates through psychological abuse or verbal abuse.

Bullying can often be associated with street gangs, especially at school.

History of bullyingEdit

High-level forms of violence such as assault and murder usually receive most media attention, but lower-level forms of violence such as bullying, has only in recent years started to be addressed by researchers, parents and guardians and authority figures (Whitted & Dupper, 2005).

It is only in recent years that bullying has been recognised and recorded as a separate and distinct offence, but there have been well documented cases that were recorded in a different context. The Fifth Volume of the Newgate Calendar [17] contains at least one example where Eton Scholars George Alexander Wood and Alexander Wellesley Leith were charged, at Aylesbury Assizes, with killing and slaying the Hon. F. Ashley Cooper on February 28,1825 in an incident that would now, surely be described as "lethal hazing"[18]. The Newgate calendar contains several other examples that, while not as distinct, could be considered indicative of situations of bullying.

School bullyingEdit

Main article: School bullying

In schools, bullying usually occurs in all areas of school. It can occur in nearly any part in or around the school building, though it more often occurs in PE, recess, hallways, bathrooms, on school buses and waiting for buses, classes that require group work and/or after school activities. Bullying in school sometimes consists of a group of students taking advantage of, or isolating one student in particular and gaining the loyalty of bystanders who want to avoid becoming the next victim. These bullies will taunt and tease their target before physically bullying the target. Targets of bullying in school are often pupils who are considered strange or different by their peers to begin with, making the situation harder for them to deal with. Some children bully because they have been isolated, and they have a deep need for belonging, but they do not possess the social skills to effectively keep friends.[10] "When you're miserable, you need something more miserable than yourself." This may explain the negative actions towards others that bullies exhibit. However, there is some research suggesting that a significant proportion of "normal" school children may not evaluate school-based violence (student-on-student victimization) as negatively or as being unacceptable as much as adults generally do, and may even derive enjoyment from it, and they may thus not see a reason to prevent it if it brings them joy on some level.[19]

Bullying Irfe

Bullying is detrimental to students’ well-being and development[7].

Bullying can also be perpetrated by teachers and the school system itself: there is an inherent power differential in the system that can easily predispose to subtle or covert abuse, humiliation, or exclusion - even while maintaining overt commitments to anti-bullying policies.[20][21][22]


School shootings are a bullying-related phenomenon that receive an enormous amount of media attention. An investigation undertaken by the United States Secret Service found that in over 2/3 of cases, attackers in school shooting incidents "felt persecuted, bullied, threatened, attacked, or injured by others prior to the incident", and discredits the idea that school shooters are "loners" who "just snap". Though observing that, "clearly, not every child who is bullied in school presents a risk for targeted violence in school", the investigation report states that, "a number of attackers had experienced bullying and harassment that was longstanding and severe. In those cases, the experience of bullying appeared to play a major role in motivating the attack at school". The report also observes "in a number of cases, attackers described experienced of being bullied in terms that approached torment". The report concluded that, "(t)hat bullying played a major role in a number of these school shootings should strongly support ongoing efforts to combat bullying in American schools".[23]

American victims and their families have legal recourse, such as suing a school or teacher for failure to adequately supervise, racial or gender discrimination, or other civil rights violations. Special education students who are victimized may sue a school or school board under the ADA or Section 504. In addition, the victims of some school shootings have sued both the shooters' families and the schools.[24]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Harassment, Discrimination and Bullying Policy - University of Manchester
  2. At least 15 states have passed laws addressing bullying among school children.[1]
  3. The anatomy of human destructiveness by Eric Fromm
  4. Man Against Himself by Karl A. Menninger
  5. Neurotic Styles by David Shapiro
  6. Olweus, D. A Research Definition of Bullying
  7. 7.0 7.1 Student Reports of Bullying, Results From the 2001 School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey, US National Center for Education Statistics
  8. 8.0 8.1 Ross, P.N. (1998). Arresting violence: A resource guide for schools and their communities. Toronto: Ontario Public School Teachers' Federation.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Anti-Bullying Center Trinity College, Dublin,
  10. 10.0 10.1 Williams, K.D., Forgás, J.P. & von Hippel, W. (Eds.) (2005). The Social Outcast: Ostracism, Social Exclusion, Rejection, & Bullying. Psychology Press: New York, NY.
  11. School Bullying. National Conference of State Legislatures, Washington, D.C. (retrieved 7 December 2007).
  12. The Harassed Worker, Brodsky, C. (1976), D.C. Heath and Company, Lexington, Massachusetts.
  13. Petty tyranny in organizations , Ashforth, Blake, Human Relations, Vol. 47, No. 7, 755-778 (1994)
  14. Bullying and emotional abuse in the workplace. International perspectives in research and practice, Einarsen, S., Hoel, H., Zapf, D., & Cooper, C. L. (Eds.)(2003), Taylor & Francis, London.
  15. Bullies and their victims: Understanding a pervasive problem in the schools, Batsche, G. M., & Knoff, H. M. (1994) School PSYCHOLOGY REVIEW, 23 (2), 165-174. EJ 490 574.
  16. Areas of Expert Agreement on Identification of School Bullies and Victims, Hazler, R. J., Carney, J. V., Green, S., Powell, R., & Jolly, L. S. (1997). School Psychology International, 18, 3-12.
  17. Complete Newgate Calendar Tarlton Law Library The University of Texas School of Law
  18. GEORGE ALEXANDER WOOD AND ALEXANDER WELLESLEY LEITH The Complete Newgate Calendar Volume V, Tarlton Law Library The University of Texas School of Law
  19. Kerbs, J.J. & Jolley, J.M. The Joy of Violence: What about Violence is Fun in Middle-School? American Journal of Criminal Justice. Vol. 32, No. 1-2/ Oct. 2007.
  20. Garbarino, J. & de Lara, E. (2003). And Words CAN Hurt Forever: How to Protect Adolescents from Bullying, Harassment, and Emotional Violence. The Free Press: New York NY.
  21. Whitted, K.S. (2005). Student reports of physical and psychological maltreatment in schools: An under-explored aspect of student victimization in schools. University of Tennessee.
  22. Whitted, K. S. & Dupper, D. R. Do Teachers Bully Students?: Findings from a Survey of Students in an Alternative Education Setting. Education and Urban Society, 2008, 40(3), 329-341.
  23. Vossekuil, B., Reddy, M., Fein, R.; Borum, R.; & Modzeleski, W. (2000). USSS Safe School Initiative: An Interim Report on the Prevention of Targeted Violence in Schools, Washington, DC: US Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center.
  24. Brownstein, A. The Bully Pulpit: Post-Columbine, Harassment Victims Take School To Court. TRIAL - the Journal of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, December 2002.

External linksEdit

Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Bullying. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Homeschooling, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.


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