Essay on School Violence Trauma: Bullying
Number of words: 690
Traumatic encounters have three components, the event, experience, and effects. The event is a set of occurrences, the experience is the abuse the individual undergoes from this event, and effects are the perpetual consequences from this experience. Traumatic events are either acute, chronic, complex, or historical. Acute events occur once, while chronic ones happen repeatedly. Complex events transpire from multiple exposures to traumatic events from an early age due to inadequate adult care, while historical ones are cumulative experiences of several generations from a particular group that still undergo the effects. This paper focuses on the chronic trauma of violent school bullying.
Bullying is the deliberate and undesirable victimization of a submissive individual by their peers to hurt them physically, emotionally, psychologically, or socially (The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, n.d.; Lapidot-lefler, and Dolev-cohen, 2015). This aggressive act hinders the victim from experiencing a stress-free and safe learning atmosphere. The hostility may include physical, verbal, and social abuse, where the target gets tripped, hit, teased, threatened, or publicly embarrassed (The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, n.d.). Effects of bullying depend on the frequency, severity, or power gap between the perpetrator and the mark. These harmful effects include decrementing of the self-image, academic performance, and social intercommunications of the target (The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, n.d.). More adverse effects include mental issues like anxiety, depression, and substance abuse.
The association between violent bullying and trauma is complicated. First, the victims of trauma from bullying are prone to experience more distress. Studies found that bullying may lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), where twenty-seven percent of boys and forty percent of girls showed those clinical signs (Idsoe, Dyregov, and Idsoe, 2012, cited in The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, n.d.). These symptoms were more adverse on bullies who were initially targets. Secondly, the victims are likely to become targets where the trauma from bullying entices further bullying when the targets acquire interpersonal or social distress (The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, n.d.). Lastly, they are prone to become bullies, where they start engaging in bullying conduct.
Bystanders are peers that witness violent bullying incidents (The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, n.d.). The effects of the bullying on them are feelings of guilt or insecurity from their inaction, or susceptibility to anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. Studies reveal that bystanders witness at least eighty-five percent of the school bullying (Craig, Pepler, and Atlas, 2000, cited in Lodge, and Frydenberg, 2005). Their reaction can prolong bullying if they join the harassment or give it attention. For example, playground bullying research revealed that fifty-four percent of the time bystanders reinforce bullying by being passive, twenty-one percent of the time they actively shape the bullies by cheering, and twenty-five percent of the time, they intervene (O’Connell, Pepier, and Craig, 1999, cited in Lodge, and Frydenberg, 2005). Therefore, campaigning for antibullying practices among peers is a significant intervention.
I have gained supplementary information from this research about labels and bullying. For example, appropriate language needs to get used in a way that avoids labeling the bully or the victim. That is because the labels may discourage positive change, and they focus on the individual rather than the external causative factors. The section that sparked my interest was the research on trauma and its varied effects. It opens the mind to understanding the separate dimensions of violent bullying.
Lapidot-lefler, N., & Dolev-cohen, M. (2015). Comparing cyberbullying and school bullying among school students: Prevalence, gender, and grade level differences. Social Psychology of Education : An International Journal, 18(1), 1-16. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11218-014-9280-8
Lodge, J., & Frydenberg, E. (2005). The role of peer bystanders in school bullying: Positive steps toward promoting peaceful schools. Theory into Practice, 44(4), 329-336. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/218800600?accountid=1611
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (n.d.). Bullying. NCTSN. Retrieved from https://www.nctsn.org/what-is-child-trauma/trauma-types/bullying