Bullying has long been a part of adolescent life. Research on bullying goes back to the 1960’s but not many have longitudinal (William E. Copeland, Dieter Wolke, Adrian Angold, & E. Jane Costello, 2013). In this essay, I will examine three studies done on the effects of bullying in adolescents, and I will discuss both the short term and long term effects on both parties. After reviewing the literature, some conclusions and implications will be drawn from the data.
Introduction Bullying seems to be getting a lot of attention nowadays. From national news headlines to videos going viral on the internet, to bullying prevention programs, it is an issue that has a lot of talk. Stopbullying.gov defines bullying as “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, n.d.). Children who bully usually have different risk factors, such as being aggressive and easily angered; have less parent involvement, and think badly of others. Children at risk of being bullied are usually seen as “different” in some way, don’t make friends well, or are seen as weak and can’t defend themselves (U.s. Department of Health and Human Services, n.d.). Because both those who bully and those who are bullied are at risk for psychological problems, it is important to really understand the effect that bullying can have on someone. Bullying during the adolescent years can be prevalent and can have a huge impact, especially during the time when teens are trying to form their own identities and learn how to form peer relationships. Because learning how to form peer relationships is essential to self esteem and most life situations, if one is not able to do this adequately during adolescence, problems might arise later on (Feldman, 2008). In this essay I will review three studies that have looked that the immediate short-term effects of bullying as well as the long term effects. I will review the results of each study, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of each study. I will compare and make conclusions from the studies, and look at implications that come from the given data. Finally, I will go over what can be done by those who work in a setting with adolescents to direct the problems of bullying.
Literature Review The article Adult Psychiatric Outcomes of Bullying Being Bullied by Peers in Childhood and Adolescence examines whether bullying or being bullied has significant long-term psychiatric problems. This cohort study looked at 1,420 participants from 11 counties in Western North Carolina where the examiners divided the participants up into the four following groups: bullies only, victims only, bullies and victims, and neither. The examiners interviewed both children, ages 9, 11, and 13, and their parents about their bullying experience 3 months prior to the interview. The interviews were annual up until the child reached the age of 16, and then again at 19, 21, and 24-26 years of age. There were a total of 6674 assessments made, with an average of 83% of possible interviews completed. This study took information in regards to other factors as well that could have influence as well over the outcome of children’s lives, such as the child’s psychiatric well being, economic status, unstable family structure, family dysfunction, and maltreatment. This information was important to take into account when looking at results as to not have skewed information. Some of the general results that they found were that that 26.1% of the respondents had reported being victims at least once, and 8.9% has reported being victims of bullying more