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Understanding Cause and Effect of Bullying in Adolescence

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Words: 2981 |

Pages: 7|

15 min read

Published: Feb 8, 2022

Words: 2981|Pages: 7|15 min read

Published: Feb 8, 2022

This research assignment is for the analysis and expansion in understanding cause and effect of Bullying in adolescence, and how this topic relates to the many stages of development. It is critical for the further understanding of what effects and problems bullying may present in a biosocial analysis. Bullying in middle-aged adolescence can have dramatic effects on a child’s physical, emotional and developmental growth so it is important to understand what problems it may present and how it impacts a child’s behavior and growth. Throughout childhood and adolescence children are exposed to all sorts of situations that shape their surrounding how they are and who they may become, Bullying is a behavior that is done intentionally and is ongoing and repetitive this demonstrates to the aggressor a form of dominance over another human being, it can be physical, verbal or psychological and can have dramatic effects on the victims. When describing bullying it is important to understand that it is a constant form of intentional abuse that often progresses or in other cases becomes more violent, abuse will often be based on the culture or social context they are in. While abuse can occur anywhere, such as school, public it can often be simply at home where the abuse can take place. Often bullying was looked on a way to build character as a right of passage to an age group but as society morals have changes it no longer is seen as a scapegoat but more as a social problem, that when gone unnoticed can have detrimental results such as a lifetime of scaring or in worst cases suicide. It is eminent that the discussion that relates to developmental growth is acknowledged and any alteration that is done to impede that growth is discussed.

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Often the root of either the aggressor or the victim can be traced to each individual life and experiences, often how the child has grown up or how aggression has been presented to them is most likely how the child will act or react. Bullying may become problematic when the victim does not discuss the abuse, it may result in a lifetime of psychological deficiency when they can later not be able to cope with adulthood. It is common for children in school-age to be bullies themselves or victims, throughout schools, it is reported for there to be a ratio of 50% to 50% of aggressors and victims, bullies are often more dominant, strong, and highly impulsive. When on the other hand victims tend to be more shy, quiet, nonaggressive, depressed and often lonely. Often boys tend to be more of the bullies girls although in the case are bullies themselves tend to be more distant from the situation. Bullying impacts child development and almost stunts and a sense of progression within a child’s self, children who encounter bullying and aggression live throughout life with long term self-esteem issues, and trusting others may become difficult.

It has been found that children who encounter abuse, develop a less understanding of coping mechanisms, and often can deal with simple or complex issues that later present in life due to lack of self-esteem. On the other hand the victimizers often later when they have their own children may pass down traits of bullying and maybe a never endless cycle of repetition, violence, and victimization. In most cases, the bullying in middle-aged children may occur in school, and most incidents may involve being pushed, shoved, named called or simply being a target for those who seek to victimize. Therefore often times although in an academic institution is often hard for the victims to seek help or attention from teachers or staff because of the fear or other peer retaliation. It may result in the victim simply not speaking up due to fear or more aggressive bullying as a result of seeking help.

Bullying impacts middle childhood and relates to biosocial development, in other words, bullying inhibits and strips children from much developmental growth, that may be occurring during this stage in development. For example, you began to notice in your own home that you may have a child being bullied, children may or may not approach parents for help or advice but there are warning signs such as the book “ the bully, the bullied and the not-so-innocent bystander”, by Barbara Coloroso suggest there may be changes in child’s everyday activity that reflects signs of bullying, such as, takes unusual routes to school, withdrawals from family, school activities, does something out of normal behavior, unable to sleep and etc. . Children may manifest differently and responses may be differentiated but acknowledging the child’s feelings may be the first step to dealing with a child being bullied, supporting and encouraging may go a long way for a child who seems on the edge.

During middle age developmental growth, the child’s brain goes through many major stages there are two parts of the brain that are undergoing and developing such as the frontal lobes, and the amygdala according to the book “ Bully nation Why America’s approach to Aggression is bad for everyone” by Susan Eva Porter, suggest the frontal lobes house the executive function of the brain which means it is responsible for reasoning, impulse control, problem-solving, attention and ect., these functions in the adolescent brain are under formation and don’t always work at the same time, instead they sometimes work better than other times. This usually results in the child making mistakes or not always making the right decisions. The Amygdala is another part of the brain that should be in consideration when discussing a middle-aged child’s brain growth, this area of the brain responses to the fight-or-flight response, which is a response that alerts when there is a danger. It also makes feelings of the threat become heightened and body responses in elevated heart rate, blood pressure increase and a heightened sense of vigilance, it also enables our bodies to make automatic responses to respond to the threat. It is then that as Porter, suggests the amygdala plays a significant role is the “ social life” of the young adolescent. It is through these findings that correlations to the child’s response to bullying can reflect on their actions or the way they handle situations since their brain is still under development it may inhibit or may be heightened. Therefore it is through the study of children and adolescent behavior that it is understood the decision making may not always be planned but or thought clearly.

It is then that through research such as the one presented, Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, by David Shwarts for the Department of Psychology, where he examines the effects that peer bullying within middle childhood which becomes a leading behavior correlation that may later result. A study was made between 388 participants among them 198 boy and 190 girls, within the ages of 8 to 8.5 years old this study was based and constructed to observe internalizing problems that can be presented among children in this age group. It was found that peer victimization presented and revealed the correlations to later problems such as depressive disorders, this analysis found that during this middle age development peer victimization appeared to have long term effects on children’s mental health and results in internalizing problems. Symptoms of social withdrawal and anxiety, depression are among many other components that have been researched for decades that come with peer bullying and whether it is physical or verbal abuse, studies have found considerable amounts of evidence.

Bullying has become more of a global phenomenon, that is not only verbal or physical but I can be through the power of the internet we see more and more of the effects of peer ridicule or cyberbullying as they may call it. Children of all ages have become victims in form or another if they are internet prone, they put life for everyone to see and are often judged and most children can be prone to this type of bullying, such as name-calling, body shaming or simply any type of peer victimization. Most often parents may have no idea of bullying and odd behavior may be redirected and most of the time problems may never be addressed to children may develop high anxiety or depressive behaviors. In the article, “Social Intelligence Attenuates Association Between Peer Victimization and Depressive Symptoms Among Adolescents” for American Psychological Association, by Stephen J. Lepore states that it is found that 16% of middle-aged children are exposed to peer victimization and it was found through a study done in a middle school that in most instanced girls are exposed to ridicule about physical appearance and boys are exposed to a more physical harm type form of abuse. Any form of bullying has a negative connotation that why it is important for identifying bullying as a social issue that occurs globally, children and adolescents around the world are exposed in one way or another so keeping awareness of the cause is imminent.

It is also important to understand why children and adolescents bully, there are a number of reasons that are influenced by negative behavior. Bullies may feel the need to gain power over individual or individuals, often to gain full control, for example when sports come into play having the power and being the best comes with having to protect power and reputation, therefore such attitude may result in bullying other peers. Another cause may be because the individual wants to gain popularity and have higher social status, attempting to gain popularity can result in bullying such as spreading rumors, gossiping or attempting to ostracize others to make one feel better. Seeking revenge and wanting to obtain payback to an individual can also be a cause for peer victimization, often these aggressors are seeking revenge based on their own experiences, they justify actions by feeling the relief of causing harm to someone else other than themselves, oftentimes they target individuals that may appear weaker than themselves. Another cause may be abuse within the aggressor’s own home, they model abuse to others, homes with parents who are absent or abusive give aggressors a sense of control that they are lacking in their own life satisfaction of portraying bullying to cover their own deception and self-worth. Obtaining pleasure from bullying because of boredom may fill the fulfillment of feeling entertained by bullying someone to make their lives feel more appealing and exciting. Seeking attention even if it is negative may be filled because of a lack of attention from caregivers or parents. Often times since children that seek pleasure out of bullying lack empathy so making hurtful jokes may not drain them but may find amusing. Prejudice to individuals may also play a role, bullying individuals, because of being different in one way or another, individuals may, for example, be bullied for something as simple as wearing glasses or being an allergy to food or for having special needs. Victims may be ostracized because of race, religion, sexual orientation, and body image, most often bullying may directly be influenced by prejudice. Lastly, peer pressure can have dramatic effects individuals wanting to belong to a particular group may participate in bullying even though it may go against moral or judgment, oftentimes individuals are more worried about belonging and gaining passage to the group than any concern that falls with participating in bullying actions. Feelings of themselves being bullied or not being accepted outweighs and sort of guilt or attempts to stop bullying to someone else other than them. Overall bullying in itself should be addressed and any signs of aggressive behavior or depressive behavior should never go unnoticed, every child is unique and they should not be in constant fear of social acceptance.

As previously stated, depression and anxiety in middle-aged children have become more common due to high volumes of children exposed to internet intelligence. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention children are most likely to self-harm or contemplate suicide because of bullying or victimization among peers. Middle-aged children are experiencing these at larger rates because of the amount of content that is displayed in social media and other forms of technology. It is important to address the importance of the topic when it comes to self-harm or suicide, often when such thoughts are presented by adolescents, usually the victim may feel hopeless and lonely with no other way to handle situation whether is verbal, cyber or physical. According to CDC suicide in adolescents is the third leading cause of death in the United States per year numbers have dramatically increased. In addition according to Bullying Statistics, “Bully victims are between 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims”, it becomes unfortunate when bullying becomes the leading factor of almost have of all suicide deaths and attempts.

It is also important to understand the dynamic that bullying can present to a family and how there may be emotional effects on families and parents when dealing with a child who is experiencing or has experienced bullying. Concerns may be had with understanding what a child must be going through emotionally or psychologically, parents might be overwhelmed with thinking about what effects this can cause their own individual child. Parents may at times feel anger towards schools, administration, bullies themselves and even the parents of the aggressors. Often times parents may become obsessed with the notion that their child is being bullied they develop their own anxiety which then impedes any progression to attempt to help the child. Families may be deeply affected if self-harm or suicide occurs in the home, because of bullying so getting the right help the child needs is crucial for family and individuals.if any attempts by the victim occurs families may be left with the guilt of not doing enough or not being able to help their own child. This is usually caused by guilt that they might feel with not being able to stop harm or victimization they might feel powerless to the situation. Overall bullying may bring families and children stress and tension within the home of the victims. During bullying, the victims may at times bring home some of that frustration that may feel against an aggressor, and at times if a child has siblings they may show aggression towards them out of frustration.

In conclusion, the idea of being aware of the situation should this ongoing challenge these children and in reality, all people face is key to pre-intervention of the issue. Speaking of bullying, opening up dialogue without having a negative outlook on it may help and making children aware and help them cope with these challenges may help many children around the world who may be going to through peer victimization and are not sure how to handle situation, making parents aware, whether they have a child being bullied or maybe they have a child who may be the aggressor opening up conversation with our children is key to their success and overall mental health. Schools should implement bullying in the curriculum by demonstrating empathy and awareness of the situation. Fear of going to school and being targeted should not be occurring so regularly, and cyberbullying should be stopped when directed, parents should be more aware of their children and adolescents are doing, not only when they are being targeted but when the kids are the aggressors. Families should speak of the importance of treating everyone equally and with respect. Gender, sexual orientation, religion, and race should not be compromised and ridiculed but embraced every person is uniquely different and families and school institutions should framework these ideologies to make good outstanding individuals.

Social media and technology should be used for the greater good of mankind and should not be misused and misinterpretation to satisfy one's own needs to feel better about oneself.

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Addressing bullies and not allowing this epidemic to continue should be on every parent and individual’s top priority, empowering victims to speak up and not be silenced should be the utmost importance, any sort of bullying should be stopped to prevent later repercussions. Family dynamics should embed and teach children from an early age the importance of anti-bullying and respect for everyone and everyone’s right to live. They say learning starts at home and that can either be a matter of opinion or truth but what is certain is that children learn what they see, and early exposure to certain violence or abuse even neglect can embed certain behaviors. As far as for schools and teachers with an institution, there should be regulations to stop and prevent bullying among adolescents and encourage the idea of speaking about the matter and not making it difficult for adolescents to look for help with fear of retaliation of another student. Teachers and administration should be alert and know when to intervene when needed, seeing signs of bullying or specific victimization should not be tolerated and schools should give a zero policy for physical abuse. Often times bullying occurs when adults or staff are not present but just because teachers and staff don’t directly see bullying does not mean its not taking place, early prevention and speaking openly about the issue can help many children and adolescents around the world keep an open dialogue of issue, and not be afraid to go to a parent or someone they trust. Lastly, it is apparent that bullying causes tremendous damage to children and adolescents, whether it is impeded learning or causing physical and psychological damage, it important to take to account that victims according to CDC are 2 to 9 times at greater risk of committing or contemplating suicide, “ Every Child should feel safe, feel good about who they are, and receiving the best possible education their teachers have to offer.. These are non-negotiable.” says Dr. Cluadio Ceruillo the founder of teaching anti-bullying.           

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Understanding Cause and Effect of Bullying in Adolescence. (2022, February 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 24, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/understanding-cause-and-effect-of-bullying-in-adolescence/
“Understanding Cause and Effect of Bullying in Adolescence.” GradesFixer, 10 Feb. 2022, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/understanding-cause-and-effect-of-bullying-in-adolescence/
Understanding Cause and Effect of Bullying in Adolescence. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/understanding-cause-and-effect-of-bullying-in-adolescence/> [Accessed 24 Feb. 2024].
Understanding Cause and Effect of Bullying in Adolescence [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Feb 10 [cited 2024 Feb 24]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/understanding-cause-and-effect-of-bullying-in-adolescence/
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