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Forms of Bullying and the Effects on Children

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Health And Social Care
Wordcount: 2463 words Published: 2nd Nov 2021

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Do you think that bullying should be a good thing or a bad thing for a child to go through?

According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, they defined bullying as an unwanted, aggressive behavior that is amongst school-aged children that involve a real or perceived power imbalance. Bullying can have a huge impact on someone's life because it could lead to mental health issues, alcohol or drug use, or even worse suicide.

Bullying could lower the child's self-esteem and make them feel less of themselves. It also has an effect on the parents because any parent doesn't want to see their children in an upsetting state of mind. On the other hand, some parents think that bullying could help a child get a taste of what the world has to hold. They also believe that it could help their child in a sense "toughen up", and that it could help their child learn self-defense.

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In the book Born A Crime by Trevor Noah, he addresses that he himself was a victim of bullying and how he learns from it. I chose the topic of bullying because growing up I was bullied a lot and as I got older I have always wanted to research other people's thoughts of bullying. In my personal opinion, schools should have a zero tolerance policy for bullying because bullying can cause children to have issues with their mental health, live in fear and have self-esteem issues. Children should grow up with high self-esteem and feel like they belong in the world.

According to a stop bullying website, there are different types of bullying, there is social, verbal, and physical. The website states that verbal bullying could include teasing, name calling, taunting, and even threats to harm the victim(s). With social bullying it can be caused by leaving someone out of a group on purpose, spreading rumors about someone, or the bully could embarrass the victim. Last, but not least, with physical bullying it includes hitting, kicking, spitting, pushing, or slap (What is Bullying).

There is another way of bullying and that's cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is when a victim gets bullied from any social media platform. While reading a journal written by Elizabeth Janopaul-Naylor and Edward Feller, they stated the differences and similarities between cyberbullying and physical bullying. With cyberbullying the bully could target individuals or groups, it can occur anywhere and anytime, the bully can be anonymous, and with it could also stay on the internet forever. With physical bullying, it is normally targeted at individual people, the setting or locating can be limited, and the bully and victim would be face to face with each other. The similarities between the two include that they both are unmonitored and that adults can be bullies or the victim ("Cyberbullying: Harassment at your fingertips"). In the article "The Effect of Bullying and Victimization on Cognitive Empathy Development During the Transition to Middle School" it acknowledges that bullying can have an imbalance of power because of individuals that justify their dominance to the peers that have less power (Willford).

One effect that bullying could lead to is mental health issues. According to a stop bullying website, it states that when children get bullied they start to experience mental issues such as depression, anxiety, sense of loneliness, change in appetite, and loss of interest in any sort of activity or school. If a child experiences depression or anxiety it could eventually lead to a more serious matter, suicide (What Is Bullying).​ According to Selma Tural Hesapcioglu, Habibe​ Yesilova Meraler, and Filiz Ercan there is a scale known as the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). The BDI is a twenty one item self-report scale and it evaluates symptoms of depression.

Each question given can range from a score of 0-4, and at the end the total score could range 0-63. If someone were to receive a score of 21 and above, then they suffer from moderate to severe depression. Another issue that can happen is the change in appetite. If a child is getting bullied they could have a change in appetite because they may think it could help change their body image (Ercan, Hesapcioglu, Meraler). ​ From personal experience from middle to high​ school I didn't like how my stomach looked because I thought I was fat. When my mother would make dinner I would eat about half of my plate because I didn't want to gain a lot of weight from eating a lot of food, but that all changed my sophomore year. When I made the varsity volleyball team sophomore year I was afraid to eat in front of everyone else because during away games everyone would bring food and it would look like a full course meal in there lunch boxes, and all I would eat was either an apple or a banana. After my coach noticed, she told me I needed to see a nutritionist because it was unhealthy for me to not eat a certain amount of food.

Growing up I was bullied a lot because of my dyslexia, the way I talked, and the way I looked. With dyslexia, it is a learning disorder that can make processing words and letters a bit more difficult than it normally should. It all started in middle school because in English class I was the kid that had reading problems. With my dyslexia I was always mixing up words and letters which caused me to read slower than the other kids. When everyone around me made fun of me I would start getting upset with myself because of all the comments they said. When it came to high school I thought that it would all go away, but I was wrong. A majority of the time that I was bullied was because of the way I looked. People would call me names such as fat, ugly, and worthless. I remember everyday I would come home crying and not wanting to leave my bedroom. I started to get depressed and I would also have suicidal thoughts because I thought I didn't belong in the world. The one thing that has kept me here is my family. When I told my parents what was going it made me feel better because I wasn't holding in all my feelings anymore.

One person that comes to mind on the topic of bullying is a young girl named Amanda Todd. Amanda Todd was a young girl that took her life at a young age. She took her life because she was bullied and threatened by an online predator. In a video interview commentator Mark Kelley implies that the young teenager was online using her webcam and made a decision that changed her life forever, she lifted her shirt and flashed to the camera. An online predator had threaten Amanda to give him more or else he would spread the picture far and wide. When she didn't do what he wanted the the predator had posted the photo of her and it also got sent to her mother. When Amanda had went to school, people were making fun of her and calling her names because of the picture (CBC News). Amanda then made a video explaining what happened and what she had gone through (Amanda Todd). About a month after posting the video she took her own life.

A lot of people have an experience with bullying, including celebrities. One celebrity that I have researched was Trevor Noah. Noah wrote a book named Born A Crime​ ​ and in the book he talks about how he grew up and what happened in his life as a kid. One important thing he talks about is how he was bullied. He was bullied because he didn't look like everyone else. In Noah's classes everyone had their own little groups like the white kids and the black kids. Noah didn't fit into any of those groups because he had light skin. He couldn't hang out with the white kids because they were rich and were always out shopping. He couldn't hang out with the black kids because they all lived close to each other, but Noah lived far away. One late afternoon Noah was running around the neighborhood all by himself and noticed a group of boys by a mulberry tree. He went up to the boys and noticed they were picking and eating mulberries, so he decided to do the same. One of the boys then started to throw mulberries at Noah and soon after the entire group were throwing mulberries at him. As they were throwing mulberries they kept saying "Bushie! Bushman!"(Noah 122). After that Noah then started to cry and ran away back to his house. After Noah got home he told his mom what happened and he didn't expect the type of reaction she gave him. Noah's mom started laughing out of relief. Even though she knew he was hurt emotionally, he wasn't hurt. The way Noah's mom handled this situation is an example of how other parents handle similar situations.

There are many other books out there that talk about bullying and how people deal with it. One that caught my eye while doing research was a book called Vicious: True Stories byTeens About Bullying​. This book caught my eye because of how it's written, the book has multiple authors and each author has a different story to tell. Each author in the book talks about how they were bullied and how it has an effect on there lives. For example, there's a story written by Eric Green and he talks about how he pushes people away so he could avoid getting bullied, but that takes an affect on him later in his life. As soon as he got into high school, he had to stand up for himself and show the bullies that he could fight back. When Eric is pushed against a wall he used all his strength to push the bully off him. After pushing the bully off Eric said "see, that's what you get when you mess with me, sucker." Soon after the incident, his personality changed and he thought of himself as a "walking flame," because he wanted to warn other people not to mess with him (Vicious 27).

Another book that I found interesting was Dear Bully​ ​. This book is also written by a variety of people and they talk about their stories and how they were able to share with other people. One story that stood out to me was written by Courtney Sheinmel and it was titled Dear Audrey. With this story, Courtney explains how her own best friend had bullied her. In the seventh grade Courtney and Audrey were best friends and they would always hang out together, but after a few months Courtney noticed Audrey not wanting to hang out as much anymore.

When grade eight came around Audrey kept saying "oh, my little headache," but the thing Courtney didn't know was that Audrey was calling her a headache. After Audrey was transferred to a new school in the ninth grade, things started to look up for Courtney, the friends she has today are extraordinary and loyal. Even though Courtney was being bullied, she knew that Audrey had an impact on her life (Dear Bully 30-34).

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There are different programs that help with kids that are either bullied, depressed, or have any other mental health issues. There is a National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number that directs you to the nearest crisis center and it provides 24-hour crisis counseling and mental health referrals. Another way a child could get help is if they either talk to their teacher, principal, parents, or any other guardian (What is Bullying).

Some parents believe that bullying can help their child as they get older. They believe that it could help their child "toughen up" in a sense because it could help learn how to not show fear. Parents like this also think that bullying could help their child as it gives them a taste of what the real world has to offer. Adults think that if a child gets bullied and learns to ignore it, it may lead that child to having a successful life.

Based on my research I believe that schools around the world should have a zero tolerance policy on bullying because of the effects it has on children. When children are bullied it could lead to mental health issues, the child could possibly grow up in fear and not know how to stop it, and the child could also develop low self-esteem issues. Even though there are parents that believe bullying could toughen a kid up the effects of bullying could lead to a child taking their life.

Work Cited

CBC News. "Stalking Amanda Todd: The Man in the Shadows - The Fifth Estate." YouTube.

Commentary by Mark Kelley. 2014 Dec, 5, https://youtu.be/GRidpO7kUO0Dear Bully Seventy Authors Tell Their Stories. Paw Prints, 2011.

Hesapcioglu, Selma Tural, et al. "Bullying in schools and its relation with depressive symptoms, self-esteem, and suicidal ideation in adolescents/Okullardaki akran zorbaliginin ergenlerde depresif belirtiler, benlik saygisi ve ozkiyim dusuncesi ile iliskisi." Anadolu Psikiyatri Dergisi, vol. 19, no. 2, 2018, p. 210+. Gale Academic OneFile, https://link-gale-com.libdbmjc.yosemite.edu/apps/doc/A558814581/GPS?u=modestojc_m ain&sid=GPS&xid=50118fbc

Janopaul-Naylor, Elizabeth, and Edward Feller. "Cyberbullying: Harassment at Your Fingertips." Rhode Island Medical Journal, vol. 102, no. 9, Nov. 2019, pp. 7–9. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=139461002&site=ehost-live.

Todd, Amanda."My Story: Struggling, Bullying, Suicide, Self Harm", 7 Sept. 2012, https://youtu.be/vOHXGNx-E7E.

Noah, Trevor. Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood. First edition. Spiegel & Grau, 2016. "What Is Bullying." StopBullying.gov, 30 May 2019, https://www.stopbullying.gov/what-is-bullying/index.html#.

Williford, Anne, et al. "The Effect of Bullying and Victimization on Cognitive Empathy Development during the Transition to Middle School." Child & Youth Care Forum, vol. 45, no. 4, Aug. 2016, pp. 525–541. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eric&AN=EJ1105133&site=ehost-live.

Vanderberg, Of Youth Communication Hope. Vicious: True Stories by Teens About Bullying. ReadHowYouWant.com Ltd, 2015.


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