Bullying of any kind is wrong but why do people do it? We all say we are against it but how many of you out there have said an unkind word about someone else? Why did you? All of us are guilty of bullying or being unkind sometime in our lives. If you gossip about others what are your children hearing? That it is ok to talk about others? To say things about how they are dressed, live, talk or their physical appearance? Think before you talk. If you see bullying online speak up don’t jump in and add to it. No matter who they are. People jump into situations when they have no clue why someone is doing or saying the things they do. Particularly online. It can be just a personal feud you are jumping into. The person you are defending may be lying. Denigrating and bringing others down is just plain wrong. So if you say you are against bullying make sure you aren’t guilty of the same behavior just under another name.
Children who bully others have seen it at home. Perhaps they are bullied where they should feel safe. Ever told your child things like “you are stupid” “you need to eat more of that?” “too bad you aren’t pretty” “sigh you are really dumb aren’t you”.
We all say things to each other in frustration but we need the 10 second rule. Think about what you say before you say it. Young people today are surrounded by bullying. They see violence everywhere, they have access to text, facetime, Facebook, Instagram as well. Do your kids use these? Do you know who they are talking to and what they are saying?? It is really frightening the number of parents who have no clue what their children are doing online. Are they bullies or victims? Find out before it is too late. Sit your children down and explain why bullying is wrong. You hold the key to your childs future. Bullying can have long term effects they can grow up to be shy and withdrawn or in the case of the bully they can become more aggressive as the high they feel from attacking others gets less and less. There is a lot of information out there. Get involved. See if there is an antibullying forum in your town or city or school.
Civilized people don’t bully. It needs to stop.
One of the many antibullying pages on Facebook. Support them.
From Psychology Today
A significant number of youths are the victims of bullying, and the topic has been studied for decades. But online or cyberbullying is a newer phenomenon. It is a significant and growing problem, with reports indicating that up to 50 percent of school-aged children experience bullying via technology (Mishna, Cook, Gadall, Daciuk, & Solomon, 2010). For victims of cyberbullying, research has identified a wide variety of negative outcomes, including social, emotional, and academic problems.
Bullying (both traditional and cyber) is aggressive behavior that is repetitive, intentional, and occurs between two individuals with unequal amounts of power (e.g., physical size, age, social status). Bullying can take many different forms, including physical (e.g., hitting), verbal (e.g., name calling), and relational (e.g., excluding someone or spreading rumors). Young people engaged in bullying participate in different roles, including the victim and the bully, and there are a percentage of kids who are involved in the behavior as both a bully and a victim (bully-victims).
Cyberbullies use electronics, such as cell phones and computers. And, unlike traditional face-to-face bullying, the bully can be anonymous. The ability to be anonymous might increase the likelihood that youths will engage in the behavior. Furthermore, a cyberbully does not necessarily see the reaction of the victim, making it easier to engage in mean behaviors.
Cyberbullying potentially can be more upsetting for the victim because the bullying behavior might include a wider audience and be more permanent. For example, a harassing picture can be sent to a large group of people or posted somewhere for people to view for a long period of time. Cybervictims also can have a more difficult time escaping from the bullying. With traditional bullying, the victim might be able to leave the situation, but fleeing isn’t an option in the virtual world, where mean comments or pictures exist online or on technology.
The reasons and factors that influence students to engage in bullying online are multiple and complex.
Some studies have found that youth who bully face-to-face are also likely to engage in online bullying (e.g., Wang, Ianotti, & Luk, 2012). Thus, if a youth is bullying someone in person they might also be bullying others online. However, a significant proportion of individuals who bully online do not bully in face-to-face situations (Twyman, Saylor, Taylor, & Comeaux, 2010).
Other research has found that young people who engage in cyberbullying have lessempathy (defined as sharing another person’s emotional state) than students not involved in cyberbullying (Steffgen, Konig, Pfetsch, & Melzer, 2010). In a large study, 40 percent of students who engaged in online bullying reported not feeling anything after bullying online, while only 16 percent of the cyberbullies reported feeling guilty. Moreover, some students reported online bullying made them feel “funny, popular, and powerful” (Mishna et al., 2010).
Adolescent cyberbullies have been found to engage in other problematic behaviors as well. For example, they have been found to be more likely to engage in substance abuseand have higher levels of participation in school violence (Sourander et al., 2010; Wang, Iannotti, and Luk, 2012).
Peers, teachers, and parents also can influence the likelihood that a youth will engage in bullying online. Young people who believe other students are bullying online are more likely to engage in the behavior themselves. In addition, adolescents who believe the adults in their lives will punish them for bullying online are less likely to engage in the behavior (Hinduja & Patchin, 2013).
Parents play an especially important role. Students who bully online are more likely to report poor parent-child relationships and a lack of parental monitoring of online behavior (Ybarra & Mitchell; 2004).
This blog entry focused on the “why” of cyberbullying, and it is important to answer this question as a step toward developing interventions to stop it from occurring. It is obviously equally important to explore what you can do to help the targets of cyberbullying, but that is a topic for another blog. In the meantime, check out the following link, which provides a tip sheet to help kids learn how to best respond to cyberbullying:http://cyberbullying.us/Top_Ten_Tips_Teens_Response.pdf(link is external)
Dr. Michelle Demaray is a professor of psychology at Northern Illinois University. She is in the School Psychology Program and teaches courses in child development, assessment of emotional and behavior issues in children and adolescents, and professional issues in school psychology. Her research interests include social support, and bullying and victimization in schools.
Hinduja, S., & Patchin, J.W. (2013). Social Influences on Cyberbullying Behaviors Among Middle and High School Students. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 42, 711-722.
Mishna, F., Cook, C., Gadalla, T., Daciuk, J., & Solomon, S. (2010). Cyber Bullying Behaviors Among Middle and High School Students. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 80, 362-374. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-0025.2010.01040.x.
Sourander, A., Klomek, A.B., Ikonen, M., Lindroos, J., Luntamo, T, Koskelainen, M., Ristkari, T., & Helenius, H. (2010). Psychosocial Risk Factors Associated With Cyberbullying Amond Adolescents: A Population-Based Study. Archives of GeneralPsychiatry, 67, 720-728. doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2010.79.
Steffgen, G., Konig, A., Pfetsch, J., & Melzer, A. (2011). Are Cyberbullies Less Empathic? Adolescents’ Cyberbullying Behavior and Empathic Responsiveness. CyberPsychology, Behavior & Social Networking, 14, 643-648. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2010.0445.
Twyman, K., Saylor, C., Taylor, L.A., & Comeaux, C. (2010). Comparing Children and Adolescents Engaged in Cyberbullying to Matched Peers. CyberPsychology, Behavior & Social Networking, 13, 195-199. doi:10.1089/cyber.2009.0137.
Wang, J., Ianotti, R.J., & Luk, J.W. (2012). Patterns of adolescent bullying behaviors: Physical, verbal, exclusion, rumor, and cyber. Journal of School Psychology, 50, 521-534. doi: 10.1016/j.jsp.2012.03.004.
Ybarra, M.L., & Mitchell, K.J. (2004). Youth engaging in online harassment: associations with caregiver-child relationships, Internet use, and personal characteristics. Journal of Adolescence, 27, 319-336. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2004.03.007.