In defining the phenomena of bullying, several scholars have cited the work of Olweus, where bullying is defined as happening whenever an individual becomes exposed to adverse actions over time and recurrently. While the definition is largely accepted universally, it does need more clarification. Although both girls and boys take part in bullying acts, their intimidation approaches are very different. For instance, boys apply more physical violence while girls resort to verbal abuse and take part in group exclusions (Sampson 4). Bullying leads to stress, manipulation, and truancy of victims, and this leads to poor school performances.
The Concept of Bullying
There are two different bullying types: direct and indirect bullying. Direct bullying happens physically or verbally, where the latter includes behaviours such as teasing, spreading rumors, name-calling, and taunting. Physical bullying includes behaviours such as kicking, chocking, destroying property, theft, and pushing. Indirect bullying is more subtle, and it includes behaviours such as obscene gestures, threats, manipulations, and excluding others. Another kind of bullying is sexual harassment. The goal of sexual harassment is humiliating, embarrassing, or demeaning another person based on gender or sexual orientation (Menesini and Salmivalli 240). Other students who are also witnesses to bullying feel guilty that they cannot assist the victim. Another kind of bullying is cyberbullying, which is conducted electronically using the internet, emails, and online chat platforms (Kowalski and Giumetti 167). Students find their ways into the personal space of victims violating them and their rights. Not only are college environments threating and hostile places, but also the safety of their homes are threatened. Students who fall prey to cyberbullying are vulnerable to threatening emails, have abusive and hostile messages posted regarding them in the online chat platforms.
Characteristics of Bullies and Victims
The common traits of bullies include lacking concern or empathy for others. Bullies have tendencies of showing a strong need for dominating and subduing their peers. They are regularly hot-tempered and become enraged easily. Bullies pick weaker victims to intimidate while employing tactics such as threats or compromising the reputation of another (Hollis 28). They are also physically aggressive and have tendencies of defiance, oppositional, and aggressiveness towards authority figures and adults. Olweus (1993) provided three theories to understand bullying. The first theory suggested that aggressive behaviours are present in the child's home, where children learn about the intimidation methods from their guardians or parents. These kinds of behaviours are common in homes, and it develops familiarity with them. Bullies learn of the adverse interaction styles from their caregivers and parents at home.
The second theory contends that these behaviours are directly or indirectly enhanced by giving the bully some privilege or reward when taking part in bullying behaviour. The third theory states that bullies misinterpret the behaviours of other people and their intentions. Bullies choose their victims to show some vulnerability. Students who are bullying victims hail from particular home environments. Abused or neglected children and those coming from harsh environments are common bullying victims (Myers, and Cowie 108). These students do not have social development, which affects their behaviours pro tonto. Alongside the abusive or neglectful parents, students having overprotective mothers, especially boys, are the victims or targets of bullying because of the hindered progress towards self-assertion and autonomy. Their inability to standing up for what is right and the lack of sense of self makes the vulnerable to bullies who have more power over them.
Effects of Bullying
The bullying acts have continued having adverse impacts on both the bully and the victims. There are long and short-term impacts for the victims of bullying, bullies, and the college environment entirely. The short term impacts bullying victims face include humiliating and painful reactions that result in confusion, unhappiness, and stress. Most bullying victims also experience low self-esteem, insecurity, and anxiety issues (Orange and Corrales 56). The lack of security impedes their leaning ability and levels of concentration. Bullying victims cannot finally learn due to safety issues. These people feel threatened and do not feel safe, and they cannot succeed in college work. The long-term impacts of bullying acts on the victims are low self-esteem. There are high correlations between poor mental health and bullied students. Most times, these students are worried, fear new situations, introverted, and withdrawn (Clark 3). Bullying victims do not have many friends, and they drop out of school because of a lack of satisfaction. Their college environment is very intolerable that they choose to sacrifice their education for a daily escape from their tormentors.
The victims also have higher depression levels later in life. In extreme cases, bullying victims suffer from depression that could lead to suicide or violence. At the same time, bullies who have been violent or physically abusive to other people are at a moderate risk of committing serious violent crimes. They are four times likely to be convicted of crimes by 24 years (Wolke, and Lereya 879). In adulthood, bullies are highly likely to take part in antisocial or delinquent behaviours such as vandalism, drug use, and stealing. Bullying acts also affect the social climate of a school. For most schools, students feel they are not safe, which explains most truancy and dropout rates. Alongside reasons for safety, victims of bullying do not feel satisfied in the school. These pose significant threats to the ability of an individual to accomplish success in school in a caring, safe, community of learners where students must feel accepted (Hernandez, Brodwin, and 51). When bullying acts are not solved appropriately, or inappropriate tolerance policies are applied, bullying behaviours are increasingly accepted. The improper treatment of bullying acts also increases school conflicts and increases violence within schools. The school tensions can explode into school shootings that have fatal impacts on all people involved.
Although bullying has adverse impacts on the bully and the victim, the bystanders who witness bullying acts are also affected. They do not have an understanding of the situation, and this aspect could result in the inability to handle their own emotions or experiencing a sense of guilt when they cannot find the right strategy of dealing with the victim. Bullying is a purposeful and intentional act that is controllable given there are strong willingness and commitment in working together for all people involved, such as students, professionals, and parents. College administrators must hold staff and students accountable for their responsibilities in transforming the school's climate. At the same time, they must allow for workforce and time in the implementation of new programs. The codes of conduct must be in place and operate smoothly for all peoples' benefits. The focus of interventions must not be only on the victims and perpetrators alone. Instead, the interventions should focus on all levels for the people involved.
Clark, Martin J. First Year College Students Perceptions of the Long-Term Effects of Bullying. Diss. Baker University, 2018. Retrieved from http://www.bakeru.edu/images/pdf/SOE/EdD_Theses/ClarkMartin.pdf
Hernandez, Emily J., Martin G. Brodwin, and Frances W. Siu. "Bullying, students with disabilities, and recommendations for the prevention of bullying." The Rehabilitation Professional 25.1 (2017): 51-58. Retrieved from http://disabuse.eu/sites/default/files/2018-10/Bullying%20Students%20with%20Disabilities%20and%20Recommendations%20for%20Prevention%20of%20Bullying.pdf#page=53
Hollis, Leah. "Remember the Alamo: implementing a campus-wide anti-bullying policy." Human Resource Management International Digest 26.4 (2018): 28-30. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Leah_Hollis2/publication/325228414_Remember_the_Alamo_implementing_a_campus-wide_anti-bullying_policy/links/5b04e9a3aca2720ba099e716/Remember-the-Alamo-implementing-a-campus-wide-anti-bullying-policy.pdf
Kowalski, Robin M., and Gary W. Giumetti. "Bullying in the digital age." Cybercrime and its victims. Routledge, 2017. 167-186. Retrieved from https://leseprobe.buch.de/images-adb/b0/f1/b0f15512-46cb-4a7d-b8fe-533273e9c564.pdf
Menesini, Ersilia, and Christina Salmivalli. "Bullying in schools: the state of knowledge and effective interventions." Psychology, health & medicine 22.sup1 (2017): 240-253. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13548506.2017.1279740
Myers, Carrie Anne, and Helen Cowie. "How can we prevent and reduce bullying amongst university students?." International Journal of Emotional Education, 8.1 (2016): 109-119. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1098798.pdf
Orange, Amy, and Antonio Corrales. "A Case Study of Bullying in an Urban Charter School." THE CHARTER SCHOOLS RESOURCE JOURNAL (2018): 56. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Scott_Wurdinger/publication/325404861_How_project_based_learning_is_helping_change_the_status_quo/links/5b0c4d790f7e9b1ed7fbae79/How-project-based-learning-is-helping-change-the-status-quo.pdf#page=56
Sampson, Rana. "Bullying in schools." (2016). Retrieved from http://biblioteca.cejamericas.org/bitstream/handle/2015/1443/e07063414-guide.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
Wolke, Dieter, and Suzet Tanya Lereya. "Long-term effects of bullying." Archives of disease in childhood 100.9 (2015): 879-885. Retrieved from https://adc.bmj.com/content/archdischild/100/9/879.full.pdf
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