Bullying And Victimization Among Black Adolescents Education Essay

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This article was written about a study that was conducted by the authors, Melissa F. Peskin, Susan R. Tortolero, and Christine M. Markham. This study was developed to provide more information on the topic of bullying and its correlations among socioeconomic status, racial/ethnic minority students, and grade levels (middle through high school). The study was published in fall of 2006. The authors gained support for their study from the United States Department of Justice, Education, and Health and Human Services.

In this study, the researchers used the definition by Dr. Dan Olweus in order to define the meaning of bullying and victimization, bullying represents a form of aggression, and can be classified as either direct or indirect (Peskin et al., 2006, p. 2).Previous studies have been inconsistent when measuring bullying among other racial and ethnic groups other than Caucasians. Peskin and her colleagues used this explain for why they felt that there was an inconsistency in racial and ethnic studies that focused on bullying:

In a U.S. nationally representative study conducted by Nasel and colleagues of 6th to 10th grade youth, Hispanic students were more likely to report both bullying others and being bullied… compared with African American students…Studies conducted among middle school students in Los Angeles, bullies, victims, and bully-victims were more likely to be Black than Hispanic. (p. 3)

These two studies inspired Peskin, Tortolero, and Markham, to formulate another study that would answer the unsolved questions these studies left behind. With their study there were able to provide some consistency to the research being done on racial/ethnic bullying.

For this study they used eight schools, which were predominantly African American and Hispanic. Three of the schools were high school level, the other five were middle schools, and they were all from a large urban area in Texas ( Peskin et al., 2006, p. 3).The majority of the students in this study were receiving or eligible for free or reduced lunch. The method of choice for the study was to use an anonymous questioner. After sending out the consent forms, the total number of participants that were allowed to participate in the survey was 1,413 (Peskin et al., 2006, p. 3).

The results concluded that the demographic characteristics of the sample size were the following; 60 % female, and 64% Hispanic (Peskin et al., 2006, p. 6). The majority of the students were also middle school students, which is said to be the peak age for this behavior by studies discussed previously. Next, when comparing the Hispanic and African American students, the African American students should higher results in all three categories of bullying. These categories include being the bully, the victim, and both bully and victim (Peskin et al., 2006, p. 6). Further analysis of the results showed a 5% increase of African American students being victims of bullying compared to the Hispanic students. Even though there was a higher population of Hispanics in the study they reported lower percentages in all categories compared to the African American students. The lowest category for both groups was the bully-victim (Peskin et al., 2006, p. 7). These results also concluded that African American students had a higher frequency of being picked, made fun, and/or physically bullied compared to the Hispanic students (Peskin et al., 2006, p. 8).

This study had provided helpful insight among two popular minority groups, when comparing them to each other. The researchers concluded that there is a racial/ ethnic difference among the two groups when discussing bullying of all types. Whether is it being the bully, the victim, or both the African American had higher results in all three categories. Although the sample size was a large group the demographic diversity was not high. This could cause bias results, with a fair representation of other cultural groups that experience bullying. Now that these racial groups have been analyzed and compared to each other there needs to be a study that compares more than two racial groups, such as Caucasians and Asians.

Summary and Conclusion

In summary, the authors of these articles have found several similarities in their research/studies. Among these findings is the peak of this bullying, mistreating behavior being in the middle school age group. Another similarity that these articles can agree on is that this kind of behavior decreases with age. When Speaking about bullying all these references have conducted that is a student experiences one of these types of bullying is okay to assume that they have experienced another form at some point. If students are educated about the effects that come from bullying and mistreating their peers they can have better understanding of why they should not endure this kind of behavior.

Among these references a correlation of racial/ethnic and bullying of any kind is inconsistent. Although there are studies on this topic many, of their sample sizes are not a good representation of the general population. There is usually one group represented or two, but this country is made of dozen of cultures. Therefore, there need to be studies that reflect the demographic of country.

However, another multicultural group that is represented frequently in these studies is students that identify with another sexual orientation other than heterosexuality. These students are proven to be in the higher population of being victims of bullying. Since their sexual orientation and how they identify themselves is out of the "norm" they are more likely to feel isolated and out of place. They experience a social disconnect from their peers because they are said to be different.

In order to help students that are being victims, teachers must be educated on how to deal with issue of harassment and bullying. They have to know how to identify those students that are targets of bullying and those that are more likely to be bullies. In order to create a safe environment teachers and school have to establish that with their students. This can be done by, one but stating the policies and procedure for misconduct; and two but educating the students on the effects and consequences of bullying.

I have learned that students who are disconnected from school, are not successful in achievement, and identify with another sexual orientation other than heterosexuality are more likely to be bullied. Also, I have learned that students who are bullies are usually taught the behavior at an early age or feel the need to gain control of their lives by belittling their peers. In my own class I have to make sure that I am able to identify a problem before it gets out of control. Educating and continuously educating my students about the harmful effects of bullying is a vital.

Teachers must follow and keep up with current research in order to be aware of the problems and the different solutions that are occurring in the schools. For the multicultural classroom it is important to educate the students on diversity and how everyone is unique and different. The teacher is almost the ambassador for all their students in order for the students to better understand each other the teacher has to help guide them and educate them. If conflicts arise a teacher consumes the role of the referee, in which through explanation would be good for all parties involved. Finally teachers have to stay up to date with their counseling skills, many of the time students see their teacher more than their own parents, and because of this teacher have to learn how to listen and be caring. Educating students and providing them with early intervention on any issue, especially bullying is the only way this issue will be addressed. With the help of administrators and parents there is no reason why students cannot learn that bullying is not acceptable. "Treat others the way you want to be treated", is a saying that needs to be strongly enforced and further explain, for students to understand that you have to treat each other with respect and most important yourself with respect.

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