Example Of Bullying: Exploring The Multi-Faceted Concept Of Aggression And Submission Associated With Bullying Among Children Essay

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Bullying, Family, Children, Students, Education, School, Criminal Justice, Victimology

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/12/31

Bullying, particularly among students in school environment, has been increasingly prevalent over the past few decades that it has attracted worldwide attention resulting to the formulation of various intervention programs to prevent it. Bullying among children involves a vast array of negative outcomes making it one of the most common and recent social problems faced by all societies worldwide. As explained by one study, bullying among children results in significant and long-term negative effects that may affect their health and behavior (Pearce and Thompson 528). Generally, bullying causes only negative consequences for both the aggressors and the victims (Pearce and Thompson 528; Crawford). Given the importance of addressing bullying, this paper will explore the different concepts and aspects associated with it—aiming particularly to answer the question: what could be the best and most effective approach to significantly reduce incidences of bullying among children in schools?
Over the years, bullying among children has prompted various groups and movements to address the problem and wage various techniques and strategies to determine its causes and major contributing factors—especially those that predispose a child to becoming a bully or the subject of bullying. Extensive researches have shown that bullying involves two essential elements: (1) any premeditated act of aggression done to intentionally inflict physical pain and/or emotional suffering on other individuals, and (2) an unequal authority/power relationship between the aggressor and the victim (Pearce and Thompson 528). In one of the largest cohort studies—involving 15,686 students—conducted to measure the prevalence of bullying among children, it was found out that 19% reported bullying others, 17% reported having been bullied, while 6% reported both bullying others and being bullied by others (Crawford). The same study, pioneered by psychologist Tonja R. Nansel in 2001, also established that bullying is experienced most commonly by students during their sixth to eighth grade and that it occurs in urban, suburban, town, and rural areas (Crawford). Furthermore, the study also discovered that males are more likely to experience bullying, either as a bully or as a victim, compared to females and that they are more likely to be involved in physical bullying incidences in contrast with females who are more prone to get involved with emotionally distressing bullying incidences (Crawford). Students who also get involved with bullying have shown to be both socially and psychologically distressed when adjusting to new environments, with the victims having greater difficulty forming peer relations (Crawford). Also, children who bully other children are more likely to perform poorly in school and become engaged in problematic activities such as smoking and drinking as they age (Crawford). Acknowledging this extent of bullying emphasizes more the question of what intervention best manages and controls the problem as well as its inevitable complications and consequences.
In an aim to explore possible solutions to the problem presented in this paper, a thorough examination of other papers that explain more the multi-faceted aspects of anti-bullying was conducted. The result highlighted more the diversity of factors that establish the entire concept of bullying and the current interventions being implemented to manage and prevent it. Such diverse factors may be individual, familial, environmental, and/or social in nature and all entail a different approach to the problem (Crawford).
The article written by Kara Tamanini titled How Do We Stop Bullying in Schools and published on the website Psych Central in 2009 aims to explore and determine a solution to the problem of bullying. The article provided some important insights and points that proved to be helpful in this study. Tamanini, through her research, has located family, particularly parenting, as the single most important factor that either inhibits or promotes bullying. As claimed by the study, “the best and most obvious way to stop bullying in schools is for parents to change the way they parent their children at home” (Tamanini). Tamanini regards intervention to be most effective when initiated by parents at home, elaborating that the environment and example provided by parents to their children are what mold them as they age and parents that rear children with violence and aggression predispose them to bullying incidences as they grow up and enter school. Furthermore, the research has reported that parents of children involved in bullying incidences often showed little involvement in their children’s lives (Tamanini). Viewing the problem this way, Tamanini believes that effective intervention comes with effective parenting that establishes and promotes a child’s sense of discipline. However, despite believing that discipline and other positive traits of a child can best be taught at home, Tamanini still addresses the fact that most, if not all, parents are incapable of completely changing their children’s home environment and that other institutions—specifically school—that play crucial role in a child’s development are required in monitoring a child’s behavior (Tamanini). School in this perspective becomes an assisting factor or a supplemental force in enforcing discipline and other positive social attitudes in children (Tamanini)—a finding that prompts us to explore more the importance of school in managing bullying.
Addressing bullying as a social problem that is best observed in schools, it may be helpful to explore the actual role played by schools in discouraging or encouraging bullying among students and in that essence, we review an article published in The Washington Post on Aug. 08, 2014 written by Peter K. Smith and Fran Thompson titled The best way to stop bullying: Get the cool kids to stick up for the victims. Generally tackling the importance of school as both a factor and a venue for managing bullying, Smith and Thompson’s—in contrast with Tamanini’s article—placed the heaviest responsibility of keeping a child away from bullying on schools and their personnel. Addressing the importance of schools as the breeding site of traits that predispose a child to become either a bully or a victim, Smith and Thompson claim that the most effective interventions yield the greatest success when done within the premise of schools. Schools in that sense should have a clear and sound definition of bullying as well as of policies that deter any incidences of it (Smith and Thompson). Furthermore, schools should be able to strengthen a child’s ability to form healthy companionships or peer relations with other students (Smith and Thompson). School personnel are also believed to play critical role in correcting a bully’s aggressive attitude early on by imposing non-violent punishments that make them realize where they go wrong and discourage them to commit the same fault again while protecting the victims from incidences of bullying, on the other hand, by encouraging their confidence and ability to interact with other students (Smith and Thompson). In contrast with Tamanini’s research, Smith and Thompson’s article regards school and its personnel as the main enforcers of anti-bullying traits in children while parents are seen as not the central enforcing factors but critical supporting forces whose involvement with anti-bullying policy is needed for its ultimate success (Smith and Thompson). However, taking into consideration the importance of parents and the school as mentioned by the two articles explored above gives us the insight that both are crucial in managing or reducing incidences of bullying and none is above the other. Such observation plus the unmentioned but notorious influence of other factors such as peers and technology that affect the prevalence of bullying lead us to explore another article that tackles all of these factors in general.
The article written by John B. Pearce and Anne E. Thompson titled Practical approaches to reduce the impact of bullying published in the peer-reviewed journal Archives of Disease in Childhood in 1998 systematically presents findings gathered from other researches to locate other major facets of bullying aside from ineffective parenting and ineffective school policies regarding bullying as mentioned by Tamanini, and Smith and Thompson respectively. Pearce and Thompson’s paper generally regards the entire society as crucial in reducing incidences of bullying among children. As they have expounded, “[u]ntil a society is prepared to deal with bullying in all its forms and wherever it occurs, there is little chance that the other types of aggressive and destructive behaviour will reduce in frequency,” emphasizing the current and common mistakes done by policymakers that establish anti-bullying policies which often focus only on a certain kind of bullying and disregard other types which may seem milder in nature (i.e., teasing, making faces, etc.) but in fact affect children just the same (Pearce and Thompson 528). Aside from this, Pearce and Thompson also mentioned the impact of violence and aggression as displayed by many videogames, television programs, movies, and other digital media that mostly target children (Pearce and Thompson 528). This factor, as supported and proved by other various researches, increases the likelihood of children getting involved in bullying incidences that negatively impact their social life and way of interaction with other children (Pearce and Thompson 528). Individual factors that encourage traits of bullies and/or victims in children are also mentioned in the paper. The extreme aggression and disregard for other people shown by children who are likely to bully others and the extremely low self-esteem manifested by children who turn out to be bullying victims are some of the major individual factors mentioned by Pearce and Thompson that need to be controlled and managed by children on their own for their own good (Pearce and Thompson 528-529). In this essence, school and parents play a major role: they are the ones that (1) set the right example that bullying is not and never will be right, (2) establish rules that will appropriately reprimand and discipline bullies non-violently and encourage them to avoid acting ill towards their children counterparts, and (3) strengthen the ability of children to form strong, functional, and healthy interactions with people surrounding them which may be beneficial for their self-growth (Pearce and Thompson 529-531).
Exploring the many factors involved in analyzing the extent of bullying as well as the possible approaches that may be utilized to reduce its instances give us not just one answer but a multi-factorial perspective that lets us take into consideration various concerns which we may possibly integrate into one highly effective solution that requires the cooperation and contribution of all the factors mentioned above. Acknowledging this, at this point, all interventions currently employed by various institutions of society to reduce bullying remain both effective and ineffective until all discrepancies and concerns are neatly met.
Bullying is a highly prevalent social problem we commonly witnessed nowadays among children. In order to fully understand its extent and the effectiveness of various interventions employed to reduce its incidences at present requires a thorough exploration of relevant and legitimate articles that shed light on the problem. The articles explored above did well in providing us with the most important and fundamental knowledge we need to be acquainted with to answer the question: what could be the best and most effective approach to significantly reduce incidences of bullying among children in schools?

Works Cited

Crawford, Nicole. “New ways to stop bullying.” American Psychological Association 33.9 (Oct. 2002): n. pag. Web. 26 Mar. 2015.
Pearce, John B., and A.E. Thompson. “Practical approaches to reduce the impact of bullying.” Archives of Disease in Childhood 79 (1998): 528-531. BMJ. Web. 26 Mar. 2015.
Smith, Peter K., and F. Thompson. “The best way to stop bullying: Get the cool kids to stick up for the victims.” The Washington Post (08 Aug. 2014): n. pag. Web. 26 Mar. 2015.
Tamanini, Kara. “How Do We Stop Bullying in Schools?” Psych Central (2009): n. pag. Web. 26 Mar. 2015.

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