Psychologists identify bullying as a kind of dysfunctional behavior that some people indulge in only for the purpose of self-protection. Bullying need not always be physical in nature. It may assume varied forms, including manipulation, humiliation, intimidation and isolation, among others. Bullying is usually done intentionally or consciously.
Teenage bullying is prevalent in most schools across the United States. Bullies exhibit aggressive behavior repeatedly with the sole purpose of hurting the other physically or mentally while trying to gain power over the targeted person. Many teens feel distressed with the idea of going to school owing to continual verbal and emotional abuse they are subjected to from their bullying schoolmates.
Estimating ubiquity of bullying among American teens
According to a report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), roughly 28 percent of students, aged 12-18 years, admitted to having been bullied in school at some point or other. The BJS report also suggests that the majority of bullying still takes place in schools.
Elucidating the universality of bullying behavior in American schools and its adverse effects, a 39-state survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), revealed that 7.2 percent of students do not go to school due to personal safety concerns. Prior studies have indicated that mostly overweight children are the butt of all jokes as they are the most likely to be bullied.
Effects of bullying
Most guardians and teachers underestimate the ripple effect of bullying, as they tend to look at it as an essential rite of passage to adulthood. The myth – adjusting to bullying behavior and its aftermath will help withstand obstacles in later life – has only resulted in its unwarranted justification. Bullying behavior or any act akin to it, if not thwarted timely, can result in grievous mental health problems in those affected by it. The trauma of being subjugated and tormented on a regular basis can heighten the potential of teens being afflicted with anxiety and depression problems.
Studies have revealed how constant bullying of adolescents can hamper their cognitive abilities that are manifested in their strong dislike for schools, coupled with lack of focus in studies. As bullying is characterized by constant hostility and belligerence, it can also result in a host of emotional and psychological disorders.
With August being observed as the “Don’t Be a Bully Month,” schools and teachers must engage students in positive activities and design/execute anti-bullying policies to deal with such unjustified behavior. There is also a growing need to encourage teenagers to share their problems and experiences with parents/guardians, instead of allowing themselves to be exploited.
While bullying can make a student reluctant to go to school, its other common side effects include headaches and stomach pains, reduced appetite, anxiety, aggression and depression. Besides, inability to stand up to bullying behavior can create feelings of sadness and worthlessness in teenagers. Psychologists often recommend teen anxiety treatment to their adolescent patients who access medical care to seek recovery from the resulting stress.
Sovereign Health is a leading behavioral and mental health care provider in the U.S. Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego provides necessary treatment to its teen patients suffering from mental disorders tailored to meet their requirements. Our teenage mental health facilities are among the best in the country. For more information about the kinds of treatment available for teenagers, you may call our 24/7 helpline or chat online with our representatives.