SOCIAL NOBODY SERIES
Children and adolescents who lack social problem-solving skills are more at risk of becoming bullies, victims or both than those who don’t have these difficulties, says new research published by the American Psychological Association. But those who are also having academic troubles are even likelier to become bullies.
“This is the first time we’ve overviewed the research to see what individual and environmental characteristics predict the likelihood of becoming a bully, victim or both,” said lead author Clayton R. Cook, PhD, of Louisiana State University. “These groups share certain characteristics, but they also have unique traits. We hope this knowledge will help us better understand the conditions under which bullying occurs and the consequences it may have for individuals and the other people in the same settings. Ultimately, we want to develop better prevention and intervention strategies to stop the cycle before it begins.”
Cook and co-authors from the University of California at Riverside examined 153 studies from the last 30 years. They found that boys bully more than girls, and bullies and victims both have poor social problem-solving skills. More than anything else, poor academic performance predicts those who will bully.
“A typical bully has trouble resolving problems with others and also has trouble academically,” said Cook. “He or she usually has negative attitudes and beliefs about others, feels negatively toward himself/herself, comes from a family environment characterized by conflict and poor parenting, perceives school as negative and is negatively influenced by peers.”
“A typical victim is likely to be aggressive, lack social skills, think negative thoughts, experience difficulties in solving social problems, come from negative family, school and community environments and be noticeably rejected and isolated by peers,” said Cook.
The typical bully-victim (someone who bullies and is bullied) also has negative attitudes and beliefs about himself or herself and others, the study found. He or she has trouble with social interaction, does not have good social problem-solving skills, performs poorly academically and is not only rejected and isolated by peers but is also negatively influenced by the peers with whom he or she interacts, according to the study.
Sample sizes for the studies examined ranged from 44 to 26,430. Ages ranged from 3 to 18 years old. The participants were from the United States and Europe. Researchers used self-, peer, teacher and parent reports to measure the extent of bullying, aggression and victimization; externalizing behavior (defiant, aggressive or disruptive responses); internalizing behaviors (withdrawal, depression, anxious and avoidant responses); social competence; beliefs, feelings and thoughts; academic performance; family and home environment; school environment; community life; peer status and influence.
The authors found that age played a role in how much bullies and victims acted out their aggressions or internalized their feelings. Younger bullies were more defiant, aggressive and disruptive, whereas older bullies were more withdrawn, depressed and anxious. Younger bullies were not as bothered by rejection and being unpopular as were older bullies. And older victims suffered from depression and anxiousness more than younger victims.
According to the authors, most programs use strategies to prevent bullying that favor removing the bully from the environment, such as enforced anti-bullying rules and peer-reporting of bullying incidents in schools. The more promising interventions target the behaviors and the environments that are putting these young people at risk of becoming bullies and/or victims.
“Intervene with the parents, peers and schools simultaneously,” said Cook. “Behavioral parent training could be used in the home while building good peer relationship and problem-solving skills could be offered in the schools, along with academic help for those having troubling in this area.”
Article: “Predictors of Bullying and Victimization in Childhood and Adolescence: A Meta-analytic Investigation,” Clayton R. Cook, PhD, Louisiana State University; Kirk R. William, PhD, Nancy G. Guerra, EdD, Tia E. Kim, PhD, and Shelly Sadek, MA, University of California, Riverside; School Psychology Quarterly, Vol. 25, No.2.
Contact Dr. Clayton R. Cook by email.
Contact Dr. Nancy G. Guerra by email or by phone at (951) 827-6421 (work) or (949) 463-4659 (cell).
The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world's largest association of psychologists. APA's membership includes more than 152,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting health, education and human welfare.
R/T American Psychological Association
Social Media Apps and Sites Commonly Used by Children and Teens
Digital media and apps allow children to communicate and express their creativity, connect with peers, and share their feelings. However, they can be an avenue through which cyberbullying occurs. There are many types of apps and sites available for free that give users the ability to search for people and share or post information about them anonymously.
Parents may not be aware of the apps that their children use regularly or may not be aware of the risks involved in using them. There are many ways that cyberbullying can be hidden in apps and sites, such as texts, videos, and web calls that disappear or do not appear on the device’s call or text message logs.
Many apps also make it easy for users to access, view or participate in adult or harmful content. Privacy and location settings may make them more vulnerable to stalking, cyberbullying, exposure to adult content, or other dangers.
Some current popular social media venues and apps include:
Cyberbullying and Online Gaming
Playing videogames is a popular activity, with 72 percent of teens gaming online. Many video games – whether they are console, web, or computer-based – allow users to play with friends they know in person and others they have met only online. While gaming can have positive benefits like making new friends, socializing, and learning how to strategize and problem solve, it is also another place where cyberbullying occurs.
Anonymity of players and the use of avatars allow users to create alter-egos or fictional versions of themselves, which is part of the fun of gaming. But it also allows users to harass, bully, and sometimes gang up on other players, sending or posting negative or hurtful messages and using the game as a tool of harassment. If someone is not performing well, other children may curse or make negative remarks that turn into bullying, or they might exclude the person from playing together.
Because players are anonymous, they cannot necessarily be held accountable for their behavior, and their harassment can cause some players to leave games. Some anonymous users use the game as a means to harass strangers or to get their personal information, like user names and passwords.
There are things adults can do to prevent cyberbullying of children who are gaming:
Bullying has to start somewhere, it does not mysteriously just appear, especially in children.
Experiences with family, media and other children prepare children more likely to engage in the bullying-related behavior. This usually starts in a child’s early development.
Children will learn more from their family behavior as they observe family violence, physical punishment or physical or verbal aggression to control them or others. This may lead to aggressive behaviors and thus become involved in bullying at an early age. As children who grow up in more caring families, they tend to learn more positive social skills and tend to less likely to initiate bullying. However, you have to take into account peer pressure, at time children who wouldn’t normally engage in bullying, might do so to if pressure from school peers.
Media can play a role in the development of bullying. They may learn these behaviors by watching movies or television that celebrate violence towards others. It has also been suggested that children who play violent video games that display violent behavior tend to learn anti-social behaviors and may contribute to bullying towards others. Media that is educational material might enable children to interact with their peers in a positive manner.
But it is direct experiences with other children and siblings that can influence how they will interact with others. Those who experience bullying by either siblings or other children tend to turn their aggression on others to relevant their own bullying. This originates in the early childhood setting as they observe or interact with other children who are engaged in bullying-related behaviors.
Children ages 2-4 might use aggressive or bullying to defend their possessions, territory, and friendships, whereas, children ages 4-6 use bullying to threaten or intimidate other children. Bullying behaviors develop systematically depending on the response of the target. If allowed to continue, this may lead to full-blown bullying – For example, if a child cries, and yields to someone who is bullying, the bullying then tends to select and target that same child over and over, and the behavior will continue.
This becomes a problem when other children observe the behavior thus joining in – dominating the same victim and using the same tactics may lead to other children to seek out and dominate victims of their own. If allowed to continue over a substantial amount of time power hierarchies could form allowing dominant children to bully others who in turn give into their demands by yielding or crying. It’s important to understand that as the bullying continues it can take on a more sophisticated and various forms.
Bullying occurs in both girls and boy and they all engage in a variety of bullying-related behaviors. The difference is that boys and girls show differences in aggression. Boys tend to engage in physical and verbal bullying, displaying power and dominance. This type of behavior requires direct intervention and are easy to detect and observe. Whereas girls who bully are more sophisticated, and indirectly associated with patterns of affiliation and exclusion.
Parents and educator’s need to learn and become aware of children’s behaviors in relation to bullying. To understand when intervention is necessary, how to deal with bullying and most importantly learn the signs and listen.
U.S. Department of Education. Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development Policy and Program Studies Service. Analysis of the State of Bullying. December 2013.
Every time I think of bullying I get images of junior high. Being called names, pushed around during recess, or teased on the school bus. Adults just simply say “it’s just kids being kids,” and thinking it minor incident and short-term consequences. However, this is not just an issue of childhood. There has several research studies that the effects of bullying can persist into adulthood, affecting both the victim and the bully, sometimes for the rest of their lives.
Just think about it the very act of bullying is dangerous, produces strong feelings of fear, shame embarrassment, and guilt. Bullies have to use threats to keep their victim quite, the same way abusers silence their targets.
Research has shown, even short-term effects of bullying are likely to exhibit some of the following symptoms; unhappy in school, becomes withdrawn, increased anxiety and depression.
There are some serious long-term consequences if the bullying continues for a prolonged period of time. Here are some of the effects; greater risk of depression, lower self-esteem, loss of confidence, problems with family, difficulty in maintaining a stable relationship, problems with alcohol and drugs, and self-destructive behaviors. Many of these symptoms are the same as those seen in people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders.
Researchers from the Yale School of Medicine have found a strong connection between bullying, being bullied and suicide in children. They found most of the test subjects had thoughts of suicide, homicidal thoughts and difficulty relating to people and family. But what they found is that the effects of bullying aren’t just limited to the victims, however – they have found that six out of ten kids identified as bullies in middle school are convicted of a crime by the time they reach 24. What was most disturbing was that children whose teachers reported severe persistent bullying at 7, 11 and 16 have more than double the risk of chronic widespread pain in adulthood compared with children without behavior problems.
Compounding the issue of bullying is cyberbullying, which has emerged in the past decade. It’s estimated that about 10% of adolescents in grades 7-9 are victims of internet bullying. This is a major issue because the victim is never left along – the abuse continues during morning, noon and night. Victims can be continuously bullied via SMS and websites and once posted the insults can be extremely difficult to remove and finding the person behind the bullying is often difficult to identify.
Psychologists believe that it’s important to understand how bullying affects people in adulthood and it’s vital to understand that even when we turn 18 and leave school we don’t leave all these experiences behind us. Instead, we tend to carry them with us, affecting almost every area of our lives.
The grim facts about bullying and the long-term effects on our children.
60% of middle school students say that they have been bullied, while 16% of staff believes that students are bullied.
160,000 students stay home from school every day due to bullying. (NEA)
30% of students who reported they had been bullied said they had at times brought weapons to school.
A bully is 6 times more likely to be incarcerated by the age of 24.
A bully is 5 times more likely to have a serious criminal record when he grows up.
2/3 of students who are targets become bullies.
20% of all children say they have been bullied.
20% of high school students say they have seriously considered suicide within the last 12 months.
25% of students say that teachers intervened in bullying incidents while 71% of teachers say they intervened.
The average child has watched 8,000 televised murders and 100,000 acts of violence before finishing elementary school.
In schools where there are anti-bullying programs, bullying is reduced by 50%.
Bullying was a factor in 2/3 of the 37 school shootings reviewed by the US Secret Service.
According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety Health (NIOSH) (Sauter, et al.,1990), there is a loss of employment amounting to $19 billion and a drop-in productivity of $3 billion due to workplace bullying.
Law enforcement costs related to bullying are enormous. Since 1999, the Office on Violence against Women (OVW) has spent $98 million in assistance to address campus sexual violence.
United States Dept. of Health and Human Services. Office of Statistic and Reporting. Risks & Effects of Bullying in the United States and the Education System. 2017.
WHAT IS ADULT BULLYING?
It is defined in various ways, but typically it's abused aimed at an individual or group of people repeatedly, by other people or groups of people. It is important to understand that there are different types of adult bullies and how they operate. Here are a few tips:
ADULT BULLYING FACTS
The basic characteristic of a bully is low self-esteem, research has suggested that tend to feel superior to others. So instead of having a regular self-outlook, they have a pathologically high view of themselves. So when a bully feels slighted their egos causes them to lose control and lash out, it's like a defense mechanism all to maintain their 'dignity'.
WHAT IS ADULT BULLYING? PERSONAL ISSUES
You might think that as a person matures, they would give up their childish habits. Unfortunately, this usually doesn't happen with bullies. Their main goal is to assert power over another person and look untouchable.
ADULT BULLYING FACTS:
Here are a few signals of workplace bullying. It might appear that some of these behaviors may not seem related, regular recurrences are warning signs.
There is very little you can do to change an adult bully because they see no reason to change. they enjoy and sometimes take pleasure in making life difficult and uncomfortable for people, thus their not interested in discussing the issue. But don't be discouraged, you might be able to file a suit for harassment in a civil court if your employer refuses to address the issue. But just remember you need to have proof! Here is some way you might be able to deter an adult bully.
DON'T BLAME YOURSELF
Never blame yourself for other person's actions. Everyone is responsible for their own behavior. An adult bully is a coward who only seeks to get a rise out of you and vent out their own feelings of inferiority and insecurity. You have to show them that their behavior isn't affecting you as best as you can.
BE NICE TO THEM
Now, this may not work or have little effect, but understand that a bully might have received poor treatment from other's in their life. Kindness can go a long way, but if you have tried this several times and they continue to bully, then it's time to give up and seek other avenues. Remember a bully is not going to direct their behavior towards someone who is higher in authority.
Go ahead and stand up to them, show them you are not afraid by openly confronting them. It may not work right away, but constantly displaying confidence and standing up for yourself draws unwanted attention to the bully. Bring nearness to their actions and behavior; which they typically don't want. Remain calm, and stand your ground!
The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) has released a new study that takes a look at the experiences of LGBT youth online. The study highlights the high level of bullying and harassment online, and at a much higher level than thought.
These are a few of the findings on cyberbullying:
Those that have been harassed have significantly lower grades in school, mental health issues and low self-esteem, this included both in-person and online bullying. Studies found that cyberbullying is both prevalent and pervasive among LGBT youth. In a 2011 poll over half of the young people encountered discriminatory language online, and most did not believe that biased slurs as being offensive or didn't know of their impact on LGBT youth.
The study also looked at the time LGBT youth spend online:
In a 2011 GLSEN's climate survey they found that 82% of LGBT youth still face verbal harassment. This revealed that LGBT youth are still vulnerable at school, at home and online. Online resources are extremely valuable to those in communities that don't have support networks or communities. It is essential that the safety of LGBT youth be addressed by community leaders, school officials, and politicians, but the conversation needs to start at home or between the youth and adults.
At the Katy Independent School District school board meeting in Texas Greg Barrett came to talk about bullying. Lance Hindt the school district superintendent was in attendance.
Barrett came to explain that he was targeted as a kid because his name at the time was Grey Gay. “I was bullied,” he said. “Unbelievably bullied. I started out and I had teachers that bullied me, I had kids that bullied me, even the coaches. I had nobody to turn to.”
He then recounts a story about a gang of classmates that assaulted him, shoving his head in a urinal, then they proceeded to kick him while in the fetal position. Barrett continued to talk about how he felt suicidal because of the beating. “Well, I went home and I got the .45 out of my father’s drawer and put it in my mouth. Because at this point I had nobody–nobody in the school system–to help me. Is that the way this is going to be?”
Looking directly at Hindt: “Lance, you were the one that shoved my head in the urinal.” Hindt response was to start laughing.
Hindt's office released a statement completely denying the allegations stating in part that “a bullying incident [that] occurred more than 35 years ago” and accusing Barrett of trying to “impugn my character and reputation.” However, a couple of days later Christopher Dolan came forward that he witnessed the assault and that Hindt was a known bully in both middle and high school. Dolan sated: “I do remember, recall, one incident that happened where Lance Hindt took Greg into a bathroom,” Dolan tells ABC-13. “He was in the bathroom and put his head, into uh, into a urinal." Furthermore, "He was a bully and he let people know that he was in charge. Nobody messed with Lance Hindt, not at West Memorial Junior High and not at Taylor High School.”
Watch the confrontation
There can be many signs that someone is affected by bullying - either being bullied or the one doing the bullying. It's important to recognize the warning signs, and taking action to stand up or stop bullying. There are many who will not ask for help when being bullied, so it's important to reach out to those who show signs of being bullied or are bullying others.
Bullying can lead to major issues, such as depress, substance abuse or suicide. Here are some warning signs to look for.
Signs that someone may be bullying others:
According to a new research letter gay and bisexual youth have a high risk of suicidal behavior. Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), gay, lesbian, bisexual and questioned high school students in the United States were at a higher risk of suicide than their straight counterparts.
Date from the 2015 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that 40% of LGBT youth has considered suicide, 35% has planned suicide, and 25% have attempted suicide. Compared to heterosexual teens only 15% considered, 12% planned and 6% had attempted suicide.
Just fearing how their family or friends may react to their sexual orientation can isolate youth and profoundly harm their mental health,” sociologist Anna Mueller, from the University of Chicago, told Science News.
In a national survey 16,000 youth were questioned, 89% of the participants identified as heterosexual, 2% as gay or lesbian, 6% bisexual, and 3.2% were questioning or unsure. Bisexual teens were the most at risk, with 46% saying they has considered suicide in the past year, according to the study.
Senior study author John Ayers, a researcher at San Diego State University told Reuters "LGBT teens face staggeringly high suicide risk, and we must recognize LGBT teen suicide is a national public health crisis and bring extraordinary resources to bear to address the crisis."
One issue the study didn't address was asking about respondents' gender identity, meaning date for transgender people aren't available.