Who Are the Targets of Bullying?
It is no fun to be on the receiving end of bullying. The immediate effects-physical injury, humiliation, helplessness, rejection, unhappiness-are painful enough, but the knowledge that all this will soon be repeated multiplies the distress. Children who are harassed experience fear, anxiety, insecurity, oppression, depression, inability to concentrate in class, low marks, headaches, stomachaches, and nightmares. It is not surprising that they want to avoid school (Kochenderfer and Ladd, 1996). Being bullied has a devastating effect on self-esteem. It's hard for a child to stop thinking that she deserves whatever she gets (Boivin, Hymel, and Hodges, 2001; Rigby, 2001b; Wilczenski et al., 1994), and the worse she feels about herself, the more susceptible she becomes (Swearer, Song, Cary, Eagle, and Mickelson, 2001). Because perpetrators often deny they've done anything wrong, students who've been targeted by relational bullying even learn to mistrust the evidence of their own senses (Simmons, 2002).
How does a student become the target of bullying? What makes her vulnerable? Part of the explanation is temperament. Olweus (1993) has found that most children who are harassed are what he terms "passive victims": "cautious, sensitive, quiet, withdrawn, passive, submissive and shy, ... anxious, insecure, unhappy, and distressed" (p. 57). They may also be physically weak (Perry, Hodges, and Egan. 2001) and have what Olweus (1993) calls "body anxiety"; They're clumsy, afraid of being hurt, and weak at sports and fights. They are always the last ones chosen for the team.
Students who are bullied often have a history of insecure attachment, trouble separating from their parents, and a fear of exploring their surroundings. Their families tend to overprotect them, manipulate their thoughts and feelings, or use coercive and power-assertive discipline. These tactics threaten the development of the child's sense of self, undermine her confidence, and batter her self-esteem (Perry et al.,2001).
© ______ 2009, Merrill, an imprint of Pearson Education Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The reproduction, duplication, or distribution of this material by any means including but not limited to email and blogs is strictly prohibited without the explicit permission of the publisher.
Add your own comment
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- The Five Warning Signs of Asperger's Syndrome
- First Grade Sight Words List
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Graduation Inspiration: Top 10 Graduation Quotes
- What Makes a School Effective?
- Child Development Theories
- Should Your Child Be Held Back a Grade? Know Your Rights
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- Smart Parenting During and After Divorce: Introducing Your Child to Your New Partner