Effects of Bullying on Child Health

Effects of Bullying on Child Health

İlknur Yıldız
Copyright: © 2023 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-5426-8.ch018
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Bullying is an important problem that concerns children, families, and society. In this chapter, the effects of bullying on children's health are discussed. The aim of the chapter is to reveal the effects of bullying on the health of children and adolescents in all aspects and to determine the measures that can be taken to prevent these effects. The chapter focuses on the definition of bullying; its types, prevalence; physical, psychological, and long-term effects; and preventive approaches. It is thought that the information in the chapter will contribute to all professionals working with children.
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Bullying, which is widespread among children and adolescents and has serious lasting consequences, is an important public health problem. Preventing and recognizing bullying and developing solutions for its consequences are important to a child's healthy growth and development. Early action and intervention can prevent or minimize the serious negative consequences of bullying. Families, educators, health professionals, and society play a crucial role in this regard. This section discusses the definition, types, prevalence, effects, and prevention of bullying.

Definition of Bullying

Bullying is defined as aggressive behavior by a stronger person or persons toward a less strong person intended to cause harm and often recurs over time (APA Resolution on Bullying Among Children and Youth, 2004; Gürhan, 2017). Dan Olweus (1994), who conducted the first studies on bullying, stated that three criteria must be met for a behavior to be judged as bullying:

  • 1.

    Aggressive behavior with the intent to cause harm,

  • 2.

    Continuous behavior,

  • 3.

    An imbalance of power between the bully and victim.

In addition, Dan Olweus (1994) stated that bullying behavior usually occurs without overt provocation and can be considered peer abuse.

Until the 1970s, bullying was accepted as normal in child development. However, bullying drives children to suicide in Norway, which has led to this situation being considered an abnormal and important problem. Studies on bullying started in Norway and then continued in many different countries such as England, America, Japan, Austria, Ireland, Canada, Israel, Italy, Greece, and the Netherlands (Pişkin, 2002; Kartal & Bilgin, 2007; Karataş & Öztürk, 2009).

Aggression, violence, and bullying are related terms. Bullying is a subset of aggression and is considered a specific type of violent behaviour (Kartal & Bilgin, 2012). For an act to be considered bullying, it must not only be offensive but also have a purpose, be ongoing, and there must be an imbalance of power between the parties (Pişkin, 2002; Gürhan, 2017; Dolgun, 2018; Süner et.al.,2021).

Many factors can play a role in the aggressive behavior of bullies. These are as follows;

  • In the early years, the caregivers', especially the mother's, emotional attitude toward the child is very important. Negative emotional attitudes, such as warmth and lack of interest, can increase the child's risk of being aggressive and hostile toward others later in life.

  • If the caregiver tolerates the child's aggressive behavior toward peers, siblings, and adults and does not set clear boundaries, this can increase the child's level of aggression.

  • Parents who use parenting methods that involve physical punishment and violent emotional responses to the child may cause the child to become more aggressive.

It is said that children who get angry quickly may be more aggressive in the future compared to calm children (Olweus, 1994).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Health: A state of complete physical, social, and mental well-being, not the absence of disease or infirmity.

Bully-Victim: Individuals who are both bully and victim who are bullied while being bullied.

Bully: Individuals who deliberately and constantly act in a way that causes discomfort to their peers who are physically or psychologically weaker than themselves.

Victim: Individuals who are constantly exposed to the words and actions of their peers who are stronger than themselves, with the aim of harming them.

Aggression: Intentional behavior and actions aimed at hurting or harming others.

Cyberbullying: It is bullying that takes place in a virtual environment using digital technologies.

Violence: All kinds of attitudes and behaviors that result in or are likely to result in physical, sexual, psychological or economic loss and harm by applying the power to another person, self, a group or a society.

Traditional Bullying: Bullying that takes place in face-to-face settings.

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