Bullying is one of the most common traumatizing phenomena among children and adolescents and is recently being recognized as a growing problem.
In grades 6 through 12 one in every five students reports being bullied according to the National Center for Educational Statistics taken in 2016. Out of the students who reported being bullied 33% said they were bullied at least once or twice a month during the year. Statistic of the students that have been subjected to bullying reported that 13% were made fun of, 12% were subjected to rumors, 5% were physically abused, and the last 5% were deliberately left out of activities. The percentage of students who admitted to being bullied is much higher than the percentage of students who report being bullied to someone within the school. Due to this huge gap in the percentages the bullying problem within schools is worse than we thought.
It is difficult to fully determine why children have bully like tendencies when interacting with others. But arguments can be made that children tend to pick up these tendencies at home. When parents treat their children poorly from a young age the child is going to grow up thinking that’s the way to treat others around them. If a child knows nothing about care and affection of course they will treat their peers poorly.
Its stated “Bullies tend to have aggressive behaviors designed to obtain goals and these goals often begin first in their home environment.” from “Four Marker Questions in Identifying Bullying Behaviors.” Children are most vulnerable to learning the appropriate behaviors at a very young age. Most of the behaviors that bullies tend to pick up on are due to the way their family acts. The home situation of most bullies is quite harsh, punishment is often within the home either verbal or physical. If the child makes a minor infraction it could lead the parent to overreact in a verbal, emotional or physical way. Children being raised in an environment like this often don’t gain approval or praise at any time.
If the primary caretaker has a negative attitude toward the child at a young age with lack of warmth and involvement in this child, it increases the risk that this child will grow up with hostile or aggressive behaviors towards others. Not just people in their family but towards people in general. If the child does become aggressive and the parent becomes permissive of these behaviors, without setting clear limits to the behavior towards peers, siblings, and adults the child’s aggression will most likely increase. If the parent of a child uses physical punishment and violent emotional outburst when trying to get their point across, this child is more likely to become more aggressive than the average child.
It has been concluded that bullies often stem from families where the parents are authoritarian, hostile, and rejecting, have poor problem solving skills and advocate fighting back at least at the least provocation. Children being raised in a hostile home environment could often feel neglected and unwanted. This could lead to the child becoming aggressive and act out in order to try and gain attention from their parents.
The parents of these children probably don’t realize that their behaviors toward their child leads them to act the same way they do towards others. Some of these children who bully may not know any better because they were raised in a home with negativity and where they were constantly put down. So they may see it as normal behavior when they are treating others this way not realizing that they are actually bullying.
According to “Four Marker Questions in Identifying Bullying Behavior” “Out of a home environment of negativity emerges a personality steeped in the belief and justification that intimidation and brute forces are ways to interact with obstacles that are encountered in life.” It has been said that violence begets violence. If a child is treated with violent behaviors they most often turn and treat others with violent behaviors.
The aggression and anger of these children often builds up because they are not able to speak out at home in which it grows. So when they arrive at school and have to deal with some sort of situation they may just explode and go off on others within this environment. It is hard for teachers and peers to deal with children who do not know how to act properly, fearing they will always act out when something bad happens.
Justifying bullies is not what is happening but these children that bullies often can’t take all the blame they are raised in a sense where negativity towards others is normal. Parents of children who bully often don’t acknowledge their tendencies as bullying, just children being children and one sticking up for themself in a situation.
Linda Goldman from “Raising Our Children to be Resilient” claims “Thousands and thousands of boys and girls are sitting in their homes, schools and communities with unresolved, unrecognized grief issues that all too often get projected out in the world in a form of bullying, abuse, violence, and homicide, or inwardly in the form of victimization and low self-esteem, depression, suicidal ideation, and suicide.”
Children could bully just because they have lost someone near and dear to them within their family and aren’t able to cope with the idea and grieve over it. Imagine being put down constantly within the home environment, never having the moment to grieve about how they are treated. If they grieve or look upset within their house about how they are treated it may lead to more violence towards them.
All in all ““Children learn what they live” is a useful phrase to emphasis the huge effect adult modeling has on our youth. Family systems that foster aggression and condone bullying on perpetuate the misconception that bullying toughens kids.” Goldman argued.
Parents often punish their children in order to make them grow up to learn that life isn’t perfect trying to toughen them for what’s to come later in life. Children can misconstrued this and think this is what life is supposed to be like while bullying other children. That they are trying to toughen their peers.
Bullying is not a problem that can be stopped by children alone especially when it may be exposed to them within their home. Schools need to step in with interventions throughout the whole school and within individual classrooms. Staff at schools need to talk to the children one on one in order to help them grieve and be able to discuss what is happening at home or just in life generally.
Children need to feel supported by at least one person and it is up to school districts to provide care for children who may not receive affection at home. Instead of just thinking bullies are horrible children staff should look deeper often they can misunderstood children crying out for attention, or not knowing any better way to act towards others.
Skepticism occurs about the connection between at home abuse and children who grow up to be bullies. Due to the fact that abuse cannot fully be defined, so the chain between the two can’t be proved.
Child abuse is when a parent or caregiver, whether through action or failing to act, causes injury, death, emotional harm or risk of serious harm to a child. This abuse can come in many forms including neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation and emotional abuse. Physical abuse of a child is when a caregiver causes non-accidental physical injuries to a child. Signs of physical abuse in a child will behave differently they may show signs of aggression toward peers or pets. Cases of sexual abuse is when an adult uses a child for sexual purposes or involves a child in sexual acts. After a child is sexually abused their behavior can become withdrawn, depressed or anxious. They can also show signs of aggression, delinquency, and have poor peer relationships. Emotional abuse is when a parent or caregiver harms a child’s mental and social development or causes severe emotional harm. Behavioral signs for children who have been emotionally abused include destructive or anti-social behaviors, violence and cruelty. (“The issue of Child Abuse”)
Abuse at home does have an effect on children who are living there, their behavior and or actions taken may be off a little. However it doesn’t mean that it is off so much to the point where the pick on others because of it.
Abuse at home does not include a child being reprimanded for the way they were acting by being spanked or yelled at. It means that the child is consistently being hurt at home in which they start to fear for their survival within the home. Abuse within a home can come in many different forms they may have loving parent but abusive siblings or one parent may be caring but the other may not be. It’s difficult to precisely determine what fully qualifies at home abuse.
Not every child will grow up to be a bully some of these children may escape their fate. Or it may be argued that some children who bully do not experience abuse at home at all. Making the connection between at home abuse and bullying difficult to be determined fully.
According to a study by researchers from the University of Washington and Indiana University, children who are exposed to violence in the home engaged higher levels of physical bullying than children who were not witnesses to this behavior. This study was the first to examine the association between child exposure to intimate partner violence and the involvement in bullying.
In the study they found the thirty-four percent of children that were studied engaged in bullying and seventy-three percent reported being the victim of some form of bullying with in previous years. It also found that ninety-seven percent of the bullies said that they were also victims of bullying themselves.
Lead author of the study, former UW pediatrician and now an assistant professor of pediatrics at Indian and Riley Children’s Hospital Nerissa Bauer states “Parents are very powerful role models and children will mimic the behavior of parents, wanting to be like them. They may believe that violence is OK and they can use it with peers. After all, they may think, ‘If Daddy can do this, perhaps I can hit this kid to get my way.’ When parents engage in violence, children may assume violence is the right way to do thing.”
Data from the study was drawn from the ongoing Seattle Social Development Project and the Intergenerational Projects, tracing youth development and social/ antisocial behavior. “Participants in these long-term studies were recruited from Seattle elementary schools, and 808 students (generation 2), their parents (generation 1) and their children (generation 3) have been followed since 1985.” The study looked at the behavior of 112 children form the third generation between the ages of six and thirteen, ages who are not normally studied in bullying research.
The study particularly focused on partner violence which is a broader term for domestic violence, physical, emotional or sexual acts of violence including couples who aren’t married or living together. In 2000 a federal study showed an estimate between 3.3 and 10 million children are exposed to intimate partner violence.
The study found that seeing domestic violence does not lead to children becoming bullies. “Physicians and teachers should be sensitive that when children display behavior issues that the possibility of domestic violence in the family exists. Not all children exposed to violence will respond in the same way, but there are many indirect effects and problems that you can see, such as engaging in bullying, not being able to make friends, not eating or those with extended school absences. But not all bullies come from violent families.” Bauer stated.
This study shows that in some cases children who are exposed to domestic violence may become aggressive toward other children. It is hard to determine what constitutes at home abuse and effectively take statistics of the children who bully that were also victims of bullying at home. But it shows that children who are exposed to at home violence may be more likely to become aggressive towards others.
Bullying comes in many different forms not just physical or verbal but also online, cyberbullying is a growing issue nationwide. Cyberbullying is becoming more prevalent now a days because every child is on at least one social media platform. Instead of bullying in person some now find it easier to do it online thinking they won’t get caught.
Social platforms are beginning to evolve world wide in order to attract a bigger audience and gain more users. On average a teenager spends about nine hours on social platforms a day. The average person in society today will spend about two hours on social media. If calculated this is about five years and four months spent on social media within a lifetime. The average time spent of social media now adds up to be more time than a person uses to eat, drink, and socialize. Evan Asano, in his article “How Much Time Do People Spend on Social Media?”, states that the average person uses YouTube for approximately forty minutes, Facebook for thirty-five minutes, Snapchat for twenty-five minutes, Instagram for fifteen minutes, and finally Twitter for 1 minute.
Social media is all around us in this day and age and every person is on at least one social media site. But what is social media exactly, it is “Computer mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.” Wikipedia claims. Social media can be accessed through computers and cellphones now. Which means you have the the technology to use social media in your pocket at all times. There are thousands of different social media platforms available to use daily now not everyone uses every platform but the top five just about everyone uses.
According to statics taken in January of 2018 there are 7.593 billion people in the world.Out of the 7.593 billion people about 4.021 billion of them use the internet, 3.196 billion of them are active on social media, and 2.958 billion of them are active mobile social media users. Within the last year social media users have gone up by 362 million people and people who use mobile apps for social media has gone up 360 million people. America’s population is 1,011 million people and 648 of those million people are active social media users.
Social networking is growing to be more popular and more wide spread to reach all ages of people. Social networking gives people the opportunity to meet new people that share common the common interests. On social media websites the introductions about yourself gives other users information about you, allowing them to get to know you slightly before deciding to even interact with you. Social media sites are also user friendly they are easy to navigate, even people with little knowledge on how to use the internet can work most of these sites. These websites also give people a job market by allowing professionals to establish their brand online, by posting their skills, accomplishments and previous experiences. In doing so they may be recognized by potential employers and or peers. Now social media allows individuals to reach out but it also allows businesses to reach out as well. Some businesses purposely buy adds on these different websites in order for customers to see them. Finally social networking sites are popular because they are free. It is free to sign up make an account on most of these websites. By these websites being free they gain more and more users.
For each social networking site they reach reach all different ages. Snapchat’s has demographics of 45% percent of users being eighteen to twenty-four, 26% of users are twenty-five to thirty-four, finally they even have 1% percent of users that are sixty-five or older. Facebook’s demographics are the most evenly spread throughout different age groups. 16% of users are between the ages of eighteen to twenty-four, 22% of users are twenty-five to thirty-four, 19% are thirty-four to forty-four, 18% are forty-five to fifty-four, 15% fifty-five to sixty-four, and the last 10% of users are over the age of sixty-five.
Social media reaches people of all backgrounds, such as common people and celebrities as well. Some people have become famous off of using different social media platforms allowing themselves to get their name out their and recognized. Most You Tuber’s start off with very little subscribers but can eventually take over and become widely known around the world. Social media is so influential that sometimes our president even takes to it in order to voice his opinions.
While everyone worldwide loves social media and uses social media daily, it may not be for the best even though it has benefits it also has negatives. With social media it gives people a false feeling of connection. Social media allows you to feel connected to people but at the same time you barely know this person. Using social media decreases the amount of privacy you have within your personal life. The last negative when it comes to social media and maybe the most prominent is the risk of cyber bullying occurring.
Cyber bullying is a problem within schools worldwide and is happening more often than expected. Children and teenagers now turn to these different platforms in order to harass other people, finding it easier to hide behind a screen.
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