Academic journal article Education

Bullying as a Correlate of Dropout from School among Adolescents in Delta State: Implication for Counselling

Academic journal article Education

Bullying as a Correlate of Dropout from School among Adolescents in Delta State: Implication for Counselling

Article excerpt

Introduction

Bullying can be explained as the use of strength or status to intimidate, inflict injury or humiliate another person who is not as strong. Bullying can be in different forms like physical, verbal or social bullying. Physical bullying has to do with physical attacks or injury to another person, verbal bullying refers to making a mockery or insulting someone, while social bullying refers to the use of peer rejection or exclusion to humiliate or insolate a person. Bullying always revolves around a power imbalance between the bully and the victim. (Besag. 1989, Olweus, 1993). Bullying is also described as the "tendency for some children to frequently oppress, harass or intimidate other children, verbally, physically or both in and out of school.

Commenting on the prevalence of bullying in Nigerian schools, Egbochuku (2007) reported that almost four in every five participant reported being bullied, 85% of the children admitted to bullying others at least once.

The report also showed that more boys (77%) accepted bullying than girls, (62%). Bullying is a global problem among school-age children. In a survey, the paediatrics Review reported that 15% of primary school pupils indicated that they are bullied, while in Australia and Spain bullying prevails among 17% of students. Lajoil (2003) reported that in Britain 1.3 million children are involved in bullying.

The focus of this paper is to determine the relationship between bullying and dropout of school among adolescents, since research findings as shown above indicate that bullying exists in the school system. Research findings have shown that anything that causes a student to feel unsafe could make him dropout of school. From available work of authors and researchers, there are indications that although, many developing countries have achieved 90% enrolment of school age-children, millions of these children do not reach the graduation class. Most are lost in the first year or two. This phenomenon is termed "disappearing pupils" by the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF 2004).

Murray (1990) reported that bullying is a discipline problem, in which the needs of the individual conflicts with that of a group or authority such as a school in which a students behaviour prevents others from learning, or prevents a teacher from teaching. It should be noted that bullying is a peer group identification problem, which may lead to poor academic performance and probably eventual dropout from school.

Dropout phenomenon is encountered by system operators irrespective of location of the schools, level, and type of institution or course run. It is a universal problem. Commenting on the causes of dropout, Okorie (1997) Leslie, Hale, Rarthesville and Andrea (1998) opined that dropout may occur as a result of disciplinary measures arising from students misconduct of which bullying is one of such. Studies have shown that when a child is bullied he/she is likely to exhibit some tendencies of emotional maladjustment leaving no room for improvement on their situations (Egbochuku, 1998). According to her, when the child observes that there is no concern shown towards her emotional status, the child could feel frustrated, and this may lead to more anxiety and fear. This may eventually cause the child to dropout of school as a result of anxiety and fear.

World Bank's (2001) report showed that about 20% of total school enrolment withdraw from school soon after enrolment for various reasons. The report equally indicates that for the least developed countries, dropout rate is as high as 50%. Goldbloom (2001) opined that the tendency for some children to frequently oppress, harass or intimidate other children, verbally, physically or both in and out of school could be termed bullying. Moreover, when children are harassed or beaten by their peers, they get frightened whenever they are told to prepare for school, most children dropout of school as a result of fear and unfriendly school environment (Egbochuku & Alika 2005). …

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