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09-25 How to identify bullying behavior

How to identify bullying behavior

While teens have a general idea of what a bully is, they may still lack the practical knowledge of how to deal with it directly in day-to-day life. Fortunately, numerous academic observations have helped outline what bullying behavior looks like and how to address it effectively.

Prominent aspects of a bully

Dartmouth College provided a list of different behavioral patterns that most bullies exhibit. Overall, these individuals maintain consistent, abusive actions rather than an isolated incident of where one acts out against another person. Among others, the most typical bullying trends include:

  • Blaming others for errors in addition to his or her problems.
  • Exerting power and control via unreasonable demands and over-criticism.
  • Delivering insults, put downs or threats and deriving satisfaction from its results.
  • Difficulties managing anger, impulsivity and discipline.
  • Diminishing or denying accomplishments.
  • Displaying intolerance and exclusionary attitude.
  • Is a poor winner and loser.
  • Has a general lack of empathy towards others.

Types of bullying

Bullying among teens cannot simply be lumped into one kind of example. In the 2010 publication, “School Bullying Among US Adolescents: Physical, Verbal, Relational and Cyber,“ lead author Jing Wang, Ph.D., and fellow colleagues from the National Institutes of Health detailed multiple bullying subtypes in the adolescent world. For those who had bullied others or had been bullied at school within the previous two months:

  • 8 percent were bullied physically
  • 6 percent were verbally abused
  • 4 percent were bullied via social or relational factors
  • 6 percent were cyber-bullied

Other important findings included how gender and ethnicity played into circumstances. For example, adolescent males were more drawn to physical or verbal altercations and adolescent females were more involved in relational bullying. Also, boys were more likely to perpetrate cyber bullying, while girls were more likely to be victims of online abuse. African-American teenagers were implicated in more physical, verbal or cyber bullying, but experienced less verbal or relational victimization. Overall, higher parental support was correlated with less abuse across all types of maltreatment. Interestingly, having more friends was associated with higher levels of bullying and less victimization for all bullying forms, except for cyber bullying.

Bullying has many varieties, but all of them are distasteful. If you or your teen is struggling with traumatic abuse or maltreatment, Sovereign Health Rancho San Diego provides a well-needed safety net. Bullying may also be a result of substance abuse, mental disorder or co-occurring conditions. Call or visit us online to speak with a professional that can help.

Written by Lee Yates, Sovereign Health Group writer

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