This Anglo-Saxon word known as bullying, unfortunately, has gained great popularity in recent years, and has a close relationship with the education we are receiving; not only at the school level but also at home. More and more “thugs” and “bullies” are looking for victims to humiliate . There are many types of harassment and abuse, as we will see through the different types of bullying .
This type of behavior is becoming more and more frequent, and also has a great repercussion, even causing suicides of many minors.
The issue of bullying is an issue to take very seriously. We have already seen news of all kinds, about what the consequences can be that our son may be suffering continuous humiliation, on the part of his classmates. It is a very unpleasant fact which we cannot look back on, we must put solutions in place as soon as possible so that it is not too late.
It is not something about children, and something natural between classmates. Behind these behaviors there are many associated problems . Above all, parents and educators must know that this type of behavior responds to a complex process of victimization, which goes far beyond a discussion or fight between peers.
What does the research say about bullying?
Unfortunately, the phenomenon of bullying has been installed and taken over most schools, whether in the public or private sphere. It is something that has happened from a few years ago to the present with a large increase in cases .
Researchers have asked many questions about this issue that has a great impact on a social level. It even involves the globality of cultures, since it does not represent an isolated event of some specific countries, it is a fact that occurs in most countries regardless of their culture.
Researchers who have dealt with this issue have differentiated what can be an everyday and unimportant event from what can be something serious with significant psychological consequences. Bullying is characterized by its intensity, the ways of acting, its duration, the nature of these behaviors, and by who its protagonists are. It takes place within a specific environment such as school and its consequences are really serious.
These are some of the proposals made by researchers about what bullying means :
“Conduct of physical and / or psychological persecution carried out by a student against another, whom he or she chooses as the victim of repeated attacks. This negative and intentional action places the victim in positions that it is difficult to get out of by their own means ”(Olweus, 1993).
“Bullying is a form of mistreatment, usually intentional, damaging and persistent by a student or group of students, towards another classmate, generally weaker, whom he turns into his habitual victim, without provocation and, which perhaps imprints him the most dramatic character, the inability of the victim to get out of that situation, increasing the feeling of helplessness and isolation ”(Cerezo, 2009).
One of the first investigations into the phenomenon of buylling took place in Norway in 1970. A longitudinal study was carried out where most of the children were male. They found that the character of the aggressors or “Bully” is that of a violent, self-sufficient character and with low self-esteem . While the victims do not have an aggressive or violent character, although they show a high degree of insecurity and high levels of anxiety.
Socioeconomic status as well as intellectual ability was found not to be a relevant influencing factor. The researcher Olweus warns that both the “bully” and the victims are two sides of the same coin. This researcher in charge of the first longitudinal study, which took place between 1970 and 1973, verified how these children, both the victims and the aggressors, who were between 13 and 15 years old, at the age of 24 years had greater probabilities of being immersed in antisocial and criminal activities.
Causes of bulying or bullying
The lack of information often makes us stop acting as we should in these situations. Both education professionals and parents live blind to what these circumstances and this problem entail, which over time can cause the victim of bullying significant discomfort, physical, social and psychological problems.
Undoubtedly this blindness, and looking the other way, justifying these events as something of children or something natural that happens in schools. It is a sign of the lack of vision and information that exists in this regard. In this way, adults avoid their responsibility, stop acting according to their roles, either as parents or educators, promoting attitudes that end up affecting us all, and mainly the victims who are totally unprotected .
Although there are many causes that may be involved in the phenomenon of bullying, the main ones are of a personal, family and / or school nature. In fact, in larger schools there tend to be more cases of bullying, mainly due to the fact that there is greater difficulty in monitoring by adults.
As we have previously commented on the blindness in which many of the parents live and the lack of information they have, somehow leads them to be participants in the causes that maintain this destructive situation.
Among the personal causes, we are faced with bullies who usually have self-esteem problems , and need to feel superior to their peers through aggressive and intimidating behaviors, in order to make up for the lack of confidence in themselves. In addition, they tend to live in a family environment that promotes their insecurity , finding themselves faced with parents who are aggressive, family contexts in which economic tension predominates, absence of rules and values, poor relationship between parents, and few signs of affection and affection. These would be some of the causes in which children and young aggressors are involved.
The different types of bullying
This phenomenon does not appear in all cases in the same way. The truth is that there are different types of bullying as indicated by the National Center Against Bullying (NCAB). These are the types of bullying that have been identified because each one of them has different characteristics.
1. Physical bullying
This type is best served by adults, due to its visual impact. It is characterized by violent behavior with intimidating attacks. The stalker is capable of kicking, pushing, slapping, etc. This type of bullying is the best known and the one that usually generates the alert in adults.
A clear example of this type of bullying would be: A child who is calmly writing at his desk, his aggressor passes behind and slaps him on the back of the neck with the palm of his hand, in front of all the classmates.
In this case, detecting it could be somewhat easier for adults, however, bullies usually do it out of the sight of adults and the child who suffers the attacks is afraid to tell both the teacher and his parents. However, due to the characteristics of this type of bullying, marks of aggression are often evidenced by bruises or some other sign: torn clothing, cuts, headaches and tummy aches. Thanks to these signals, alarms are turned on by adults who begin to investigate what is happening.
2. Verbal bullying
Verbal harassment is also one of the most used types of bullying. The stalker through hurtful words knows how to hurt his victim. It represents a more psychological abuse that is characterized by threats, insults and words that threaten the self-esteem of those who suffer them. This type of harassment is manifested through jokes, blackmail, manipulation, attacking a family member, ridiculing their way of being, dressing, or because of their physical characteristics, religion, ethnicity, sexual condition, appearance; picking on some flaw that everyone can appreciate, etc.
A fairly representative example is when a nickname is given that generates a deep discomfort in the victim, also when hurtful comments are made about a relative such as: “You are as ugly and short as your mother.”
This is a new phenomenon that has occurred in our days, due to the great impact and advancement of technologies. Children have access to all kinds of electronic devices with which they can interact with other people, this has meant that through the digital medium the aggressors also manifest their harassment through intimidating messages, spreading false rumors, using social networks to make obscene and hurtful comments, etc.
This type of bullying is characterized because it is more difficult to identify by adults . The victim lives it in an isolated way feeling defenseless. Faced with this type of harassment, some young victims think about suicide and sometimes even carry it out.
It occurs mainly in the environment of social networks. Many parents are attentive to these types of circumstances due to the tragic news that we have already seen on many occasions, through the media. Although it is still not enough and there has to be greater control over these types of circumstances that may occur.
4. Social bullying
Under this type of aggression, what is intended is to isolate the victim, so that he remains totally defenseless and is ignored by all his classmates. At certain ages, such as the beginning of adolescence, social relationships are one of the highest priorities for any young person . The victims, feeling alone, isolated and rejected by their peer group, experience the situation as a tragedy from which they see no way out.
It is characterized in that the aggressors convince the group not to let the victim participate in the activities, exclude him, ignore him and treat him as if he did not exist. Those who participate in this implicit or explicit agreement contribute to the aggressors obtaining greater power.
5. Sexual bullying
This type is the most difficult to identify , since many adults do not want to recognize that there are children capable of carrying out this type of aggression. It is characterized by sexual abuse, malicious comments towards private parts, homophobia and humiliations that revolve around the sexual orientation and identity of the victim.
The behaviors are related to sexuality , they are presented through comments, touching or rejection of what the victim’s sexual condition represents, whether due to a real or imagined homosexuality.
An example : a child, who plays the role of an aggressor, insults another child by calling him a “babe” and a “fag” for his dress or behavior. Any stimulus can precipitate these types of comments, which are increasing causing great discomfort in the victim who feels rejected and beaten.
In short, these types of bullying represent a tragic reality in the classroom and even outside of them. It usually occurs between classmates and has serious consequences for those who have the role of victim, although both aggressor and victim, experts say, that they are two sides of the same coin. The aggressor takes the opportunity to show off his power to those who are weaker and more defenseless. Parents and educators are the ones who have to be attentive to these types of circumstances and offer solutions as soon as possible.
The victim and the stalker
Bullying is an issue that worries all parents, which has always been present, but in recent times it has resonated more, especially in school-age children and adolescents. It is important to realize before which profile we are in a situation of bullying. There are two possible profiles: the victim and the stalker.
- You can suffer physical injuries and mental health problems.
- You can suffer from depression and anxiety disorders .
- He looks sad and lonely.
- You can suffer from eating disorders and sleep disorders .
- Loses interest in activities you used to enjoy.
- Is isolated
- You suffer from low self-esteem and lack of self-confidence
- You may start to perform poorly on academic work.
- Some end up dropping out of school.
- In extreme cases, victims may end up committing suicide or retaliating against the bully. In the 1990s, approximately 70% of school shootings were related to retaliation.
- Tends to have violent behavior.
- Has little tolerance for frustration
- If he is allowed to continue bullying, he may engage in risky and more violent behavior.
- May have conduct disorders
- You do not feel empathy for the other person.
- You experience antisocial behaviors .
- Cannot handle anger, to the point of presenting with intermittent explosive disorder .
- Aggressive behaviors are usually carried into adulthood.
- Participate in fights and vandalism. Some end in dropouts.
- You can become vulnerable to child sexual abuse
- Has a tendency to become an abuser or to be aggressive.
How do I know if my child is a victim of bullying?
A question that frequently arises in parents is: how can we know if our child is being a victim of these aberrant attacks and we do not find out? Here are some guidelines so you can detect if your child is a victim of bullying.
Child / adolescent behavior at school
- Your attendance at class begins to drop and sometimes even makes up excuses for not attending it (you feel bad, your belly hurts, your head hurts, or you lie about class being suspended).
- His school performance begins to decline; He no longer feels interest in participating in class or doing homework, it is also difficult for him to concentrate in the classroom and this is reflected in his grades, as these begin to decline gradually or sometimes by leaps and bounds.
- He prefers not to participate in parties or school activities to avoid being humiliated in public by his classmates.
- During recesses he goes out to the patio for a few minutes and returns to the classroom or near the teachers and sometimes he does not even go out, because they know that during recesses is when those classmates who harass them will attack him more often.
Behavior of the child / adolescent at home
- They isolate themselves, they remain in their room alone and without wanting to interact with the rest.
- They no longer bring friends home, nor do they go to their friends’ houses.
- They stop participating in their extracurricular activities (be it football, dance, swimming or English, among others).
- Among the behaviors present in a bullying victim, we can realize that they look irritable, with very little self-confidence , they become passive, very little assertive and with very low self-esteem.
- On several occasions we can see them crying and depressed, but when we ask them what happens to them, their answer is always the same; “Nothing happens to me.”
- It can be generated that they are always on the defensive and do not trust anyone, not even themselves; sometimes they even find self-flagellation as a way out of abuse (this case is more common in adolescents).
For all the aforementioned, it is important to detect in time when a child or adolescent is being bullied , since if it is faced in time, not only physical, but also psychological damage can be avoided.
The psychological damage that bullying can cause to children is among the most dangerous, because when a destructive mind and cloudy thoughts take control of the child or adolescent mentality, the damage can sometimes become irreparable.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.