Academic journal article Journal of Psychological and Educational Research

Social and Psychological Implications of Bullying in Schools

Academic journal article Journal of Psychological and Educational Research

Social and Psychological Implications of Bullying in Schools

Article excerpt

Introduction

Social reality is a complex system of groups that builds norms, values, which assigns positions and has an important influence on the individual's development. The group plays a crucial role in a person's development. The group plays an important role in individual's early socialization. Generally, the group transmits the values of its society. The group gives individuals feelings of security. The group fulfils the individual's need of belonging.

Through its interactive dimension, the group represents the environment and a way for learning some social roles. The group forms the other's evaluation competences and can contribute to the development of its members (Neculau, 2004).

School bullying is an old phenomenon. A high number of students experience bullying in schools. School becomes the place with the greatest risk of peer bullying.

The past twenty years showed that bullying is not a harmless phenomenon. Scholars have shown that bullying is a form of violence with a devastating impact not only, on students but also, on teenagers and teachers. This phenomenon became of high interest for mass-media from all over the world through its gravity and its high frequency of manifested bullying acts.

Social psychology highlights the importance of a group and of its dynamics in learning processes of normative behaviours. By its dynamic dimension, groups help develop research skills of reaching the proposed goal. The group becomes a space of confrontations and of mutual learning (Neculau, 2004).

Young students are vulnerable to this phenomenon. In this age period they acquire new social skills through social learning processes and, of course, through social interaction so that the group's importance increases when it comes to the school context.

Any disorder or factor that appears in the school environment or in the classroom environment has a significant impact on shaping the individual's personality development.

Elton Mayo conducted the first research in social psychology on the importance of group processes in terms of influence. Through his research, the author highlighted the importance of group climate on changing attitudes and on feelings of belonging (Neculau, 2004). Moreover, MacIntosh, Wuest, Gray, and Cronkhite (2010) were interested in investigating the impact of workplace bullying in changing employee's attitudes toward work as a consequence of experienced psychological aggression. Results revealed that, after having experienced bullying, the employees developed negative feelings toward the work climate and developed various job related fears. These fears led to disengagement in work tasks, thus leading to a lower work quality. However, negative results do not only occur in the quality of health care provided in medical institutions but also in terms of individual and psychological consequences. Any change that appears in the attitude leads to a behavioural change. In general, an individual's behaviour is the reflection of the presence of harmony or disharmony in his own life. The participants of the study have lost the meaning of work because of bullying. They renounced their profession. Furthermore, employees, who have experienced bullying, developed feelings of guilt and blame, considering themselves as being guilty for what happens in their own life and some of them have lefttheir job without wanting to ever work in the health-care sector. From this point of view, also included are some negative impacts in terms of financial planning of the person (e.g. a lower annual family income), social status (e.g. the loss of medical employee status), professional status (e.g. blocks in career development) and in terms of personal negative outcomes (e.g. higher divorce rates, adapting issues to the new status, changing in personal connections).

Bullying definitions

Olweus' (1993) definition has the highest citation percentage: "A person is the target of bullying acts when she's repeatedly exposed to negative actions made by one or more persons. …

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