Bullying causes disruptions to people’s physical and emotional well-being. It affects everyone – those who are being bullied, those who bully, and those who witness bullying. Negative outcomes, such as increased substance use, anxiety, depression, and increased suicidality have been linked to bullying.
Bullying can best be defined as unwanted, aggressive behavior most found among school aged children. This behavior is often repeated over time and can cause serious, lasting problems, such as mental health issues, bodily pain, lower educational qualifications, and poor financial management. There are various types of bullying; verbal, physical, social, and cyberbullying. Verbal bullying consists of teasing, name-calling, or taunting. Physical bullying consists of hurting a person’s body or possessions, such as spitting, hitting, and punching. Social bullying involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. Cyberbullying takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets.
Children or adolescents who are bullied are more susceptible to depression, anxiety, increased feelings of loneliness, suicidal ideation, and decreased academic achievement. Those who bully others are more likely to engage in violent and other risky behaviors leading into adulthood. They are also more likely to abuse alcohol and other substances, get into fights, vandalize property, and have criminal convictions and traffic citations as adults. Children or adolescents who act as bystanders are more susceptible to an increased use of alcohol and other substances, depression, anxiety, and more likely to miss or skip school.
Frequency of Bullying:
(National Center for Education Statistics, 2019)
There are multiple warning signs that may indicate someone is being affected by bullying. Recognizing the warning signs is an important first step in acting against bullying.
When we respond quickly to bullying, we send the message that it is not acceptable. There are simple strategies we can do to help combat bullying on the spot to help keep children and adolescents safe.
We, as a community, can implement preventative efforts to cease bullying. It is found that school-based bullying prevention programs decrease bullying by up to 25% (National Center for Education Statistics, 2019). These programs provide students with education, resources, and a sense of community among their peers. To foster a safe environment for our children to learn and grow in, it is imperative that we….