Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Management Studies

School Bullying Victimization among Students

Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Management Studies

School Bullying Victimization among Students

Article excerpt

In today's competitive and violent society, bullying can be happened in any environment including workplace, home, public places, streets, internet, or school. Recent atrocity in Gurgaon in India, when two class VII boys of a public school shot a classmate dead in school with the licensed revolver of one of the father shocked the whole nation. The murder was premeditated and the boys were not sorry for their act, saying "their 14-yearold victim was a bully and they had had enough of him". School rivalry is increasing day by day in India and is of growing concern for parents, teachers and social thinkers. It is estimated that up to three-quarters of young adolescents experience some types of bullying (such as rumors, public ridicule, etc.) and up to one third report more extreme experiences of coercion or inappropriate touching (Juvonen, Nishina, & Graham, 2000). It can be both direct (e.g., slapping, hitting, etc.) and indirect (spreading rumors, insult, social exclusion).

Bullying is a specific form of aggressive behavior and can be described as a situation when a student: 'is exposed repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more students' (Olweus, 1993). These negative actions take place when an imbalance of power exists between the victim and the aggressor. The bullying behavior can be 'physical' (e.g. hitting, pushing, kicking), 'verbal' (e.g. calling names, provoking, making threats, spreading slander), or can include other behavior such as making faces or social exclusion. Children who bully others experience enjoyment in exercising power and status over victims (Rigby, 1996) and fail to develop empathy for others (Olweus, 1984; Smith, 1991). In this way bullying eases the way for children who are drawn to a path of delinquency and criminality (Farrington, 1993; Junger, 1996; Olweus, 1991).

Common bullying activities that adolescents involved are name calling, teasing, taunting, ridiculing, obscene gestures, prejudice, threatening, hitting, kicking, rejection, or intentional expulsion from a group. Being a victim or perpetrator of bullying has adverse psychological correlates. Studies have shown that perpetrators have a propensity towards increased aggressive behavior and domestic violence in adulthood (Farrington, 1995). Bullying victimization is associated with many psychological problems, for example, depression, social anxiety, low self-esteem, insecurity, loneliness, low academic achievement, eating disorders, interpersonal problems, anger, hostility aggression, substance abuse, in severe cases suicidal ideation, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), adolescent pregnancy, HIV risk, and criminality at adulthood.

Researchers have found that students who bully others at school are more likely to have difficult family environments (Rigby, 1993). Bullies usually come from families where parents prefer physical and harsh discipline, are more authoritarian, are less warm and involved, are inconsistent in their parenting practices, and advocate aggressive behaviors from their children. Bullies' families tend to be less cohesive and characterized by disengagement and conflict.

Bullies generally have poorer perceptions of their school climate (Nansel et al., 2001). Bullies are more likely to take part in delinquent behaviors both in and outside school, such as vandalism, truancy, substance use, and stealing (Olweus, Limber, & Mihalic, 1999).

Olweus ( 1996) emphasizes that behavior is considered bullying if it ( 1 ) occurs frequently either one-on-one or in a group, (2) involves a range of behaviors from physical aggressiveness to spreading minors, and (3) involves a power differential between aggressor and victim. The gender of perpetrators is not specified by Olweus, as it had been in previous definitions, suggesting that both girls and boys can be bullies. Olweus's current definition has been used to guide self-report of behaviors for the U.S. National Blueprints Model Bullying Prevention Program, which aims at decreasing bully and victim problems among primary and secondary school children through techniques to increase awareness of students, school administrators, and parents of difficulties within the school environment (Olweus, Limber, & Mihalic, 1999). …

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