Youth Issue: Bullying

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Introduction
Bullying is a topic that is appearing more regularly in the media. There are reports of the dire consequences of bullying to the extent that students have suicided as a result of bullying. Bullying is not a something that happens in a particular country or place, it happens in most countries and different situations. This research study will focus on bullying in schools as this practice is becoming more prevalent. The question therefore needs to be asked:

How can bullying in schools be minimized?

Focus areas
Background
Causes of bullying
Prevalence of bullying
Effects of bullying

Methods of research
Print material
Electronic media
Survey

1.0Background
A brief background into this pervasive practice is needed to set the context for the research 1.1Definition of bully amongst youth community
Bullying is a conscious, willful, deliberate, hostile and repeated behavior by one or peers, which is intended to harm others. Bullying includes different behaviors, the major behaviors are: 1.physical violence and attacks

2.verbal taunts, name-calling and put-downs
3.threats and intimidation
4.extortion or stealing of money and possessions
5.exclusion from the peer group
6.intends to harm or distress
7.occurs repeatedly over time
8.occurs when the person being bullied has weaker power or strength than the person who bullies - U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Olweus (1993), Pepler and Craig, 1997

“Bullying is not about anger. It is not a conflict to be resolved; it’s about contempt –a powerful feeling of dislike toward someone considered to be worthless, inferior or undeserving of respect. Contempt comes with three apparent psychological advantages that allow kids to harm others without feeling empathy, compassion or shame. These are: a sense of entitlement, that they have the right to hurt or control others, intolerance towards difference, and a freedom to exclude, bar, isolate and segregate others”. - Barbara Coloroso “The Bully, the Bullied and the Bystander. Bullying is the power of aggression. Bullying amongst youth community can also be called peer abuse, which shares many characteristics with other types of abuse like child mistreatment and home violence. Traditionally, many people of the past think of bullying as being physically injured (eg. hitting, kicking, and shoving another child). However, bullying may also involve verbal actions like speaking words or other non-verbal, non-physical activities. In addition, bullying behaviors may involve direct, relatively open attacks against a victim, bullying frequently is indirect in nature. - bullying.org

1.1.1 Environment that facilitates bullying
Recent research on children being bullied was based on the conditions around bullying incidents, in the location of the bullying. In most cases, bullying incidents are rare to happen outside the school. Bullying is much more common at school than on the way to and from school, like on the bus, at the bus stop, or other places. Common locations for bullying at school include the playground (for elementary school children), the classroom (whether the teacher is present or not), the hallways or corridors and during lunch. - Harris et al., 2002; Melton et al., 1998; Nansel et al., 2001; Olweus, 1993a; Rivers & Smith, 1994;Whitney & Smith, 1993; Unnever, 2001 1.2Who are the victims?

Children are usually bullied by another child or by a very small group of peers. It is rare for children to be bullied by large groups. Bully-victims show many characteristics some of them are students who: •return from school with torn, damaged, or missing pieces of clothing, books or belongings; •have unexplained cuts, bruises, and/or scratches;

have fewer friends;
are mentally afraid of going to school;
have lost interest in school work;
have physical symptoms include headaches, stomach aches; •have trouble in sleeping and/or has frequent nightmares; •appear as...
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