The Psychological Effects of Bullying and the Consequences of Bullying
Bullying is a complicated social phenomenon that has far reaching effects on both victim and bully. Much research has been done in an attempt to understand the effects on victims and the origin of bullying mentality in the abusers. The mystery of bullying is further complicated by the fact that there appears to be no economic, social or even racial absolutes. Anyone can be a victim and anyone can become an abuser. This has made it very difficult for researchers to pinpoint risk factors and modes of intervention. One of the things that are certain about bullying is that victims often experience long term emotional scaring as a result of their experiences. Learn more on the Psychological Effects of Bullying Now!
Dr. Randy A. Sansone, a professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Internal Medicine at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, says on the Consequences of Bullying “In the aftermath of being bullied, victims may develop a variety of psychological as well as somatic symptoms, some of which may persist into adulthood.” These long term psychological effects are very troubling to our society in the light of the increase of school shootings in recent decades. Many of the alleged shooters in these incidents were reported to have been bullied for years before they finally gave in to their own angry, violent urges. Bullying can no longer be dismissed as a kid’s problem that should be handled on the playground.
The Psychological Effects of Bullying resulting from Consequences of Bullying are a serious mental health issue that parents and teachers need to be aware of in order to better care for their students and children.
Consequences of Bullying: Social Problems
Bullying creates a vicious cycle for the victim in their social life. One of the most common reactions to bullying in young children is that they will begin to act younger than is appropriate for their age. In an attempt to protect themselves from the bullying situation, they will become very clingy to adult figures. This is interpreted by their peers as being “a baby”. This does nothing but increase the teasing that is already troubling the child. The more a child gravitates toward teachers and adults hoping to be protected, the harsher becomes the bullying. This is especially destructive during the pre-teen years when children are trying to understand how to develop personal relationships with peers. This can have lifelong consequences on an individual’s ability to bond with others.
Consequences of Bullying: Anxiety and Depression
In older children and teens the effects of bullying are often more internalized. During the teen years, young people crave dependence and do not want assistance. They will, therefore, attempt to deal with their problems on their own. Because their coping skills are not developed enough at this age to deal with complicated situation of bullying they begin to internalize the problem and develop a sense of helplessness. This can result in depression and anxiety disorders. When left unchecked, this anxiety can even begin to manifest itself as eating disorders, most commonly as anorexia and bulimia especially in female victims.
Consequences of Bullying: Physical Manifestations of Bullying
Sometimes when a young person does not know how to deal with the emotions they are experiencing, they may begin to develop psychosomatic symptoms. This is when an emotional state results in a physical illness. Dr. Sansone cites that research in both the U.S. and in Finland has shown a direct link between young children that are bullied and an increased incidence of headache, abdominal pain, bedwetting and sleeping problems. All of these physical manifestations can add to the child’s increased difficulty with social development, which in turn will continue on the cycle of bullying. For instance a child dealing with sleeping problems may be tired in school and begin to perform badly. This can easily become fodder for future bullying incidents. In an effort to ease their children’s discomfort parents may turn to medication that will only treat the physical ailment while the emotional cause of the problem is left unsolved.
Intervention is the only proven method of alleviating the bullying problem that is facing our country. Parents and teachers must not underestimate the long term effects that children may endure as a result of bullying. Children and teens need assistance in learning to cope with the complicated emotional landscape of bullying.
Psychological Effects of Cyber Bullying: Toddler and Pre-school Years
Technology is a part of their lives and mimicking adults is how they learn. They can click a mouse on the computer, press a number on a cell phone, and run their finger over a smartphone screen. These years they are learning to socialize through talk and can share their toys with playmates. This is the age where children learn by hands on and are using all five senses to learn about their environment.
Psychological Effects of Cyber Bullying: Advice and Tips
The life skills they need to develop like empathy and decision-making should be nurtured in the early years. They need to develop the ability to learn the consequences of their behavior. Don’t let the child push your buttons when they demand to play with your phone.
Limit their screen time even in play, and choose programs that are right for their age. Technology should be second next to family time and they learn by example. You should not talk on your cell phone at the dinner table for example, or make or receive texts during family time. Help them learn other ways to combat boredom instead of reaching for an electronic device. Have them talk through their feelings of anger and frustration by encouraging them to use words to express their feelings.
Psychological Effects of Cyber Bullying: Pre-Teens
Pre-teens find themselves thrust into the online world rather quickly. When pre-teens are together, they watch YouTube, play games, or search the internet. Many times the sites they find are not appropriate for their age. There are sites that are targeted to children of this age where they can play multiple player games and chat. They also may start uploading pictures at this age to some sites geared toward pre-teens, like teen nick games or kidzworld.com. Parents should know exactly which sites children are on and know exactly what they are uploading. Children of this age are starting to text and take photos with their cell phones. Social networking is something they are taking notice of and the potential for abuse can start with these activities.
Pre-teens don’t always understand how anonymous behavior can affect people. They still have some years before they grasp the full implication, but even pre-teens know the difference between right and wrong.
Psychological Effects of Cyber Bullying: Advice and Tips
Watch their use, read what they are posting, check their text messages, and tell them you will be watching what they do with the computer and cell phone. Tell them what to do if they are the victim of Cyber Bullying. If they are the ones who are doing the bullying, have strict consequences for these actions, and stick to them.
Teach your child to be respectful online. Chat rooms and online games are a place where innocent comments can turn into ugly confrontations. Make sure they know about flagging and blocking.
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