Happy kids at elementary school

The Psychological Consequences of Bullying in Elementary School Children

Bullying is known as a form of abuse that is intentional and results in pain and distress.

Bullying is known as a form of abuse that is intentional and results in pain and distress. It is prevalent in all schools and among boys and girls alike. Bullying is usually not a one-time incident and the behavior can be performed by both a single individual or a group. Verbal bullying is the most common form of bullying in comparison to its physical or psychological variations. Statistically, the problem is more widespread among boys than girls, meaning that boys are more likely to become bullies. However, girls are more likely to be involved in psychological bullying. There are five major categories regarding bullying behavior into which those involved are grouped by psychologists:

  • Dominating bullies
  • Anxious bullies
  • Bully-victims
  • Classical victims
  • Provocative victims

In these papers, it was held that male bullies are more likely to be disruptive in class, unable to concentrate, and influenced by their need to look tough, while female bullies were generally unbalanced, talkative, and rude. However, both genders depicted a tendency toward being dominating. Bullied boys and girls, on the other hand, have specific common characteristics like shyness, reservedness, anxiety, and being afraid. A research conducted among children in elementary school categorized the important psychiatric symptoms among those involved in bullying incidents (including bullies, bully-victims, and victims) as follows:

  • Ineffectiveness (that carries with itself symptoms such as pessimism, self-deprecation, school-work difficulty, self-blame, indecisiveness)
  • Interpersonal Problems (fighting, loneliness, reduced social interest, somatic concerns)
  • Anhedonia (lack of friends, a dislike toward school, reduced appetite, indecisiveness)
  • Negative mood (sadness, crying spells, irritability, misbehavior)
  • Low self-esteem (self-hate, negative body image, self-blame, pessimistic worrying)

It is reported that ineffectiveness scored highest among bully-victims, and it is more prevalent among male bullies than female ones. Interpersonal problems, similar to ineffectiveness, scored highest among male bully-victims. Furthermore, the prevalence of anhedonia is outstanding among male victims. Although female bully-victims have displayed the highest amount of negative mood, unlike the male population, female victims also seem to develop this problem to a great extent. However, the dominant characteristic of female victims would be their low self-esteem. The negative consequences of bullying on a child’s life and mental health have turned bullying into one of the most serious problems among children. Those adults who think or hope bullying is a transitory phase that will come to pass need to take the matter more seriously and seek help from schools and consultants in order to take effective measures in eliminating this behavior.

Share this post