Thread: Bullying
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Old February 9th, 2010, 12:47 PM   #1
Obscene Eyedeas
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Default Bullying


"When I was a young boy, the bully called me names, stole my bicycle, forced me off the playground. He made fun of me in front of other children, forced me to turn over my lunch money each day, threatened to give me a black eye if I told adult authority figures. At different times I was subject to a wide range of degradation and abuse -- de-pantsing, spit in my face, forced to eat the playground dirt....To this day, their handprints, like a slap on the face, remain stark and defined on my soul."

Eric E. Rofes --
Making our Schools Safe for Sissies [IMG]http://ssl-connection.**********/index.php/little.png[/IMG]

What bullying is
With all the focus that has surrounded teenage gangs and gun violence, it may be easy to forget that the teenage years are not the only times that children face violent behavior. Some studies suggest that around 20 percent of all American children have been the victim of bullying at some point in elementary school, and about the same number have described themselves as engaging in some form of bullying behavior. Bullying can range from teasing, to stealing lunch money, to a group of students physically abusing a classmate.

Even though bullying is very similar to other forms of aggression, there can be some distinctive features:

The intention of bullying behavior is purposeful, rather than accidental
The goal is to actually gain control over another child through physical or verbal aggression.
Usually bullies make their attack without any real reason, other than they see their victim as an easy target.
Bullies are usually more popular with their peers than children who are simply aggressive.

What bullying can look like in school
Bullies in school are more likely to pick on people their same age, with boys more likely to be both bullies and victims. Girls, when they do bully, are more likely to verbally harass someone than be physical. Boys sometimes use physical attacks, but they are also more likely to threaten and harass one of their peers in a verbal way.

What it means to be a bully
Living in a society where wealth and power are admired, film heroes regularly beat up and kill others, and the weak and sick are often despised, it is no surprise that some children have learned to imitate these values. Research has shown that although bullies tend to have difficulty making friends, they do gain a certain level of popularity and peer status for their actions. It is possible that bullies may be enjoying more respect and admiration from their peers, and bullying behavior, especially among boys, can often be considered normal behavior.

Causes of bullying
Parental relationship
Bullies tend to come from families that are characterized as having little warmth or affection. These families also report trouble sharing their feelings and usually rate themselves as feeling less close to each other. Parent of bullies also tend to use inconsistent discipline and little monitoring of where their children are throughout the day. Sometimes parents of bullies have very punitive and rigid discipline styles, with physical punishment being very common. Bullies also report less feelings of closeness to their siblings.

School failure
Bullies are usually not model students. Very often they are not doing well in school and do not have good connections with their teachers.

What it means to be a victim
Unfortunately in recent years, our attitudes have changed about what it means to be a victim. Many parents and school officials are likely to blame victims of bullying for being weak and not being able to stand up for themselves. This, coupled with the fact that victims are usually warned by bullies not to tell anyone, makes it difficult for them to talk with parents and teachers.

Ten percent of children could be considered extreme victims who have been the victim of bullies at least once a week for a long period of time. These children are often considered younger, weaker, or sicker by their peers. Victims are just as likely to be boys as girls. They often report strong fears or dislike of going to school. These children often report closer feelings to parents and siblings, but whether this causes them to be victims or is simply how they cope with being bullied is unclear. Being labeled a victim is likely to follow children around from year to year. Most extreme victims report having few or no friends and being alone at recess and lunch.

Symptoms that a child might be a victim of bullying:

acts moody, sullen, or withdraws from family interaction
becomes depressed
loses interest in school work, or grades drop
loses appetite or has difficulty getting to sleep
waits to use the bathroom at home
arrives home with torn clothes, unexplained bruises
asks for extra money for school lunch or supplies, extra allowance
refuses to go to school (15 percent of all school absenteeism is directly related to fears of being bullied at school)
wants to carry a protection item, such as a knife

Consequences of bullying

Short term effects of being a victim
Being a victim is very stressful for children. Many children develop a strong dislike of going to school, especially times like recess or gym class. Many victims begin to distrust all their peers at school and have problems making friends. Victims can develop depression or physical illness.

Short term effects of being a bully
Even though bullies are sometimes viewed positively by their peers, they rarely are capable of maintaining close friendships. They are usually not doing well in school and not well liked by their teachers.

Long term effects of being a bully
Bullying is a behavior that is very often one of the first steps to more serious problems. Unless some kind of intervention takes place, the aggression of bullying often leads to more serious acts of delinquency and criminal activity. Bullies are also more likely to use drugs and alcohol as adolescents.

Research has consistently shown that the consequences of bullying are severe and range from impaired academic performance to increased risk for suicide. A smaller, but not less influential, line of research has examined the association between severe psychotic disorders (for example schizophrenia) and history of abuse. This research has shown that adults who experience psychotic disorder are more likely than non-affected adults to have a history of childhood trauma, including peer victimization. Could this mean that bullying may increase the risk for developing schizophrenia?
One way to start to examine this question would be to explore whether childhood victimization predicts the presence of early signs of psychotic disorders. This is the strategy employed by a team of British researchers who published their findings in this month’s issue of the prestigious Archives of General Psychiatry. This population-based study examined over 6,000 children at the ages of 8, 10, and 12 who were participating in a longitudinal study of human development in England. The authors measured the history of victimization at age 8 and 10 as predictors of psychotic symptoms at age 12. Psychotic symptoms included the presence of hallucinations (e.g., seeing or hearing things that are not there) or delusions (e.g., believing that people can read you thoughts).

The results:

1.How common is bullying? 2,823 children, or 46% of the sample reported experiencing some type of bullying. 14% of the sample reported chronic victimization.
2.Being victimized during middle childhood doubled the risk of experiencing definite psychotic symptoms in early adolescence (OR 1.94).
3.The frequency of bullying was a key predictor of psychotic symptoms. Specifically, experiencing chronic bullying increased the risk of having psychotic symptoms by 252%.
4.The type of bullying also played a role. While all types of bullying predicted an increase in the risk for psychotic symptoms, experiencing overt victimization (being beaten) combined with experiencing relational victimization (social exclusion, spreading rumors, etc) increased the risk of psychotic symptoms by 360% when compared to those who did not experience victimization.
5.These findings remained stable after controlling for a number of potential explanatory variables, such as prior psychopathology, family adversity, and IQ.
Do these results indicate that victimization cause psychotic symptoms? No. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that victimization may lead to psychotic symptoms, but the nature of the study prevents us from making statements about causation. Although we use the terms “increase the risk for developing x”, this terminology is actually statistical terminology that refers to the probability for finding a specific outcome at a specific time. For example, in regards to the finding #2, being victimized in middle childhood increased the probability that the child would have psychotic symptoms at age 12. This does not address the question of “why or how” such probability is increased.

The authors correctly discussed this issue. Specifically, there is the possibility that children who were on path to developing psychotic disorders also engaged in behaviors during early childhood that made them more likely to be victims of bullying. In such a case, being victimized does not cause the psychotic symptoms. Instead, being victimized may have been the result of factors (such as extreme shyness) associated with later development of psychotic symptoms.

However, it is interesting that the authors found a “dose response”. That is, the more bullying the child experienced the higher the possibility of experiencing psychotic symptoms. Although one could argue that those at greater risk for developing psychotic symptoms elicited more frequent and severe bullying episodes, dose response effects are usually observed mostly in situations whether the predictor (in this case bullying) has a causative role in the outcome (psychotic symptoms). So this ‘dose effect’ supports the notion that peer victimization may contribute to the development of psychotic symptoms in childhood and adolescence

This is a serious issue and should never be taken lightly there is help out there
Click below to see just how serious it is

A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours. ~ Stephen F. Roberts

Last edited by Obscene Eyedeas; March 15th, 2010 at 09:39 PM.
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