What causes children to become bullies on the long run?

Apr 15, 2012
by: rodzul

Bullying is an interesting topic. Recently, I read a couple articles on this particular topic. This topic caught my attention because I think many people aren’t aware why people become bullies. From my perspective, people believe bullies are just people who enjoy bothering others for the fun of it without knowing the actual reasons behind it. Although this is true, people today are more aware about bullying and most schools don’t let it get out of hand. Bullying today is considered to be threatening and unacceptable.

Bullying is never the way to solve anything. No matter what a person's reasons are for bullying it harms others. This can affect and hurt someone both emotionally and physically. Bullying is something that becomes serious over time and should be taken into consideration and not be ignored. One who is being bullied should speak up and not let others push them around. Most people that are bullied are usually people who are said to have low self esteem. Bullying happens to all types of people, at all type of ages and could follow you into adulthood.

According to the article, “ What makes a bully?” there are several types of bullying. There are also several reasons why people chose to bully others. This one statement stood out for me, “According to Dr. Daniel, there is no one cause of bullying. Individual, familial, peer, school and community factors can all contribute to why a child feels the need to bully.” This statement stood out for me because not everyone takes this into consideration. I doubt most people are aware why people grow up to be bullies. A child’s life can be miserable at home, which can be one of the reasons why t take out their anger on others at school. Another statement made in this article that caught my attention was, “Bullying is defined by the American Psychological Association as an aggressive behavior that is intended to cause distress or harm, and that involves an imbalance of power or strength between the aggressor and the victim.” This is a good way to define what the word “Bullying” actually means. I think bullying causes harm not only to the victim being bullied but also the person that is bullying someone. One doesn’t know if this particular person was once bullied in the past, which is causing him to bully others. There really isn’t a specific answer for why bullying happens, these may just be some reasons people have for doing it. This article is very informative and has answers to most of my questions.

In the article, “What Happens Over Time To Those Who Bully And Those Who Are Victimized?” they made a good point. They made a statement that said, “Olweus also documented a connection between bullying and later criminality showing that 60% of those who bullied in grades 6 and/or 9 had at least one criminal conviction by age 24; 35-40% had three or more convictions (as compared to a group of non-bullying boys).” This is a good example to show what long term effects bullying has on people. Bullying can never lead to something positive and should be stopped when a case of bullying is presented in schools, at home, or anywhere at all.

“Dealing with Bullying and Cyberbullying,” this article talks about different types of harm bullying does to people. “Your physical health is likely to suffer, and you are at a greater risk of developing mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, or adult onset PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).” This statement points out the effects bullying and cyberbullying has on people. One’s mental health are as much at risk as one’s physical health. “There are a lot of reasons why children bully. Some are bullied themselves, at home or elsewhere, others bully only when they feel stressed or overwhelmed.” As said, there isn’t a specific reason for bullying, different people have different reasons. Not all people have the same reasons as to why they bully other people. According to this article, bullying also involves relationship bullying. “Relationship bullying: Refusing to talk to someone, Excluding someone from groups or activities, Spreading lies or rumors about someone, Making someone do things he or she doesn't want to do.” It is clear that bullying is not only physical.

In the article “Behind Every Harassed Child? A Whole Lot of Clueless Adults,” they made a couple of interesting statements. “The feeling of aloneness is one of the most painful consequences of bullying. It is also, in some ways, a cause of it, since it is almost always socially isolated children (the new kid, the fat kid, the gay kid, the strange kid) who are singled out for mistreatment.” This is interesting because it is true. For the most part people who are bullied are bullied because of how they are, because they are different and are usually considered “an outcast”. Something that stood out to me was this statement, “Alex, a 14-year-old in Sioux City, Iowa, whose daily routine includes being teased, humiliated and assaulted (especially on the school bus), cannot bear to tell his parents what is going on. He even sticks up for his tormenters, who he says are “just messing around” when they stab him with pencils and call him vile names. “If not for them, what friends do I have?” he asks his distraught, confused mother.” Overall, this might be true in some cases. People who are bullied might have some type of fear to tell their parents or anyone at all. Not being able to speak up for themselves might make them feel like it’s nothing serious.

“Helping kids deal with Bullies,” this article talks about ways to get help and what kids who are being bullied should do. This is very helpful because it gives various suggestions.“Firmly and clearly tell the bully to stop, then walk away. Practice ways to ignore the hurtful remarks, like acting uninterested or texting someone on your cell phone. By ignoring the bully, you're showing that you don't care. Eventually, the bully will probably get bored with trying to bother you.” When I read this it caught my attention because most people think it’s easy for kids to ignore bullies. It’s easier said than done. It’s probably extremely difficult for kids to deal with this type of harassment. But I think it is very helpful to speak up and tell someone they trust and I agree with the following statement as well,“Talk to someone you trust, such as a guidance counselor, teacher, sibling, or friend. They may offer some helpful suggestions, and even if they can't fix the situation, it may help you feel a little less alone.” Speaking up can probably help a person not feel alone. With other people’s help it can make the situation seem less overwhelming. Kids who bully want to feel in control and by getting help and advice it can prevent situations from getting out of hand.

Bullying can be extremely harmful to others but if it’s stopped on time, it can prevent physical and emotional harm to a person. Bullying should never be ignored and no one should be afraid of speaking up.

Works Cited

Daniel, Jessica Henderson, PhD. “ What makes a bully?” Children's Hospital Boston. August 2006. April 4, 2012.

McDougall, Patricia, Hymel, Shelley, and Vaillancourt, Tracy, PhD. “What Happens Over Time To Those Who Bully And Those Who Are Victimized?” Education.com. 2006. April 4, 2012.

Robinson, Lawrence and Segal, Jeanne, Ph.D. “Dealing with Bullying and Cyber-bullying.” Helpguide.org. January 2012. April 4, 2012.

Scott, A. O “Behind Every Harassed Child? A Whole Lot of Clueless Adults.” The New York Times. March 29, 2012. April 14, 2012.

Lyness, D’Arcy, PhD. “Helping kids deal with Bullies.” kidsHealth, The Nemours Foundation. September 2010. April 14, 2012.


In Response to Your Post

Submitted by monotone4 on Mon, 2012-04-16 23:43.

Dear Zulema,

I enjoyed your post on the topic of bullying and it's origins and thought it to be quite well-rounded in discussing the topic.From reading your article I really felt I learned something new about bullying despite being around it, both in high school and earlier on through life through the evidence and statics you give to the reader to emphasize the problem bullying has become.

For myself the movement of stoping bullies has been somewhat of a contradiction of sentiments of content that this problem is getting solved on a scale not seen before; while, in contrast feeling maybe bitter or apartheid towards the issue as someone who has been a victim and bystander of bullying and seeing it as a necessary obstacle that one must face in order survive in the world.

I guess I am stuck like many between two mentalities of bullying and it's societal role, which your article has seemed to sparks a awareness of in how K feel about the topic. I may recommend despite the fluid MPPA rating to maybe check out the new film about bullying called "Bully" that is airing in select theater around the country and is about the same issues you cover in your article.

Thanks again for your unique and thought-provokeing post.

Here is a link to the the film "Bully" site: http://thebullyproject.com/

rodzul I think what

Submitted by The_Insparation on Thu, 2013-02-07 12:17.


I think what influences people to become bullies is that they get bulied themselves, and they pick on kids to make them feel as if they're on the top. It's irresponsible. I was bullied, but I'm never going to become one. I'm AntiBully.