Beat Bullying Culture; Stopping Aggression in the Home Is a Key Strategy for Nipping These Learned Behaviours in the Bud

Article excerpt

Byline: AVELIMA ELIEPA

BULLYING usually comes with a one-sided story.

Headlines, television and radio all shine the light on bully victims. But like every story, there are two sides.

QUT lecturer Professor Marilyn Campbell says that bullying is a learned behaviour and young children who bully are unaware that their behaviour is unacceptable.

"Bullying is a social relationship problem. Young children learn behaviour in their homes," she said.

Professor Campbell said the early learning phase from prep to Year 2 was where children were likely to learn these behaviour patterns. Children who came from homes with domestic violence or had bullying parents were more likely to learn this behaviour and practice it at school.

"Parents model behaviours at home," she said.

"They need to teach them other ways of socially relating to others that gives them just as many rewards as bullying does."

The consequences that bullies suffered could be just as adverse as bullying victims, Prof Campbell said.

Bullies were more likely to suffer in romantic relationships because they could not relate socially to a partner. They were also more likely to go to jail and have substance abuse problems.

The professor said there was a considerable difference betweenbullies in high school who tried out bullying to afit ina and those who continued to bully for the rest of their lives.

"We know that the ones early in high school are different," she said. "There are kids who try out bullying. This peaks between the ages of 13 and 14 because they're re-learning and their repositioning is disrupted.

"When they get to Year 11 and 12, it dies down. We are not talking about them.

"The kids who start bullying from their families and continue to do so without being taught much and get clever at it will suffer adverse consequences. …