Long-term effects of being bullied in school
Bullying is a type of an aggressive behavior, shown by a person, repeatedly for a period of time, with an aim of harming or creating fear in the victim. An imbalance of power is generally noticed between the victim and bully.
The problem of bullying has been noticed since many generations and is seen in people of all age groups. However, the problem was largely ignored as it was considered as a part of learning and growing up. In the beginning, studies were focused on the victim of bullying and studies showed the adverse impacts on the psychology of the victim. Later, reseach showed adverse impacts on the future of the bully too.
Bullying can take place at various locations like: schools, colleges, offices, social gatherings etc. School bullying was the first to be research extensively. Short-term and long-term impacts of school bullying were the favorite topic for most child psychologists for quite a long time.
Effects of Bullying in School
Bullying in schools has a strong impact on the psychosocial behavior and mental health of the child, as he grows up to become an adult with memories and learning of the past. Long term effects can be noticed both in the bully and the victim.
A major percentage of childhood victims of bullying grow to become loners as adults. They show minimum social interaction and are always afraid to face any new situation. They may suffer from mental problems like depression, anxiety disorders, general tension, sleep disorders etc. They lack self confidence and have low self esteem. The overall academic performance is affected because of absenteeism or complete drop out from school. Physical health problems like stomach pain, headaches and getting succumbed to infectious diseases are found at a higher rate in these victims.
On the other hand, if a childhood bully is not corrected, he may grow up to become a criminal as an adult. Only few people find bullying to be beneficial as they feel that childhood bullying has made them more self determined, helping them to rise beyond their imagination.
What Schools can do
Parents are the first to notice the adverse effects of bullying. However, teachers and school authorities are generally the first to notice the actual act of bullying. They also have a higher authority over students in the school setting. So, they have a higher potential of identifying and taking corrective and preventive actions. Schools should have policies to handle and prevent bullying. Teachers and school staff can
- Make a note of and report incidents of bullying
- Counsel both the bully and victim
- Involve parents in the process, where feasibly
Parents should support the process with following the advice from schools and supporting their wards during the correction phase. Professional help might need to be sought if the adverse affects are not getting corrected just at home.
Days spent in school have a major impact in grooming one’s personality. An act like bullying should be strongly condemned in schools as it hampers the overall development of child. A conscious effort should be made by teachers and parents to stop bullying. By controlling bullying in schools we can ensure that then next generation of children will form a healthy and friendly society.