Bullying – What Causes Children to Be So Mean

Bullying - It's wrong. Speak up if you see it happening!
Bullying – It’s wrong. Speak up if you see it happening!

The topic of bullying is so sad.  I can remember dealing with a certain bully when I was in elementary school.  Almost everyday I’d see her in the hallways and she’d make it a point to walk by and bump me.  One day I became so fed up, I bumped her back and yelled at her.  Well, why’d I do that!? It only gave her an excuse to get in my face, which is exactly what she was hoping for – she wanted any excuse to get into a fight with me.  Needless to say, I walked away and didn’t provoke her.  I often wonder today if I were to run into her.  I’d definitely ask her why? However, some children are just plan mean and don’t really have a reason for it.

Kids can be cruel for many reasons and most often on a fleeting basis. Studies on this topic are inconclusive concerning the exact reasons why.  However, there is a new study that sought answers in a way no other study has, by simply asking these bullies why?

Let's help put a stop to Bullies.
Let’s help put a stop to Bullies.

Surprisingly, the bullies with the most hostility have stated that they pick on other children because they were not good at sports of all reasons. However, the most frequent bullying was carried out by children who perceived other children to be gay or lesbian;  this is also in line with other studies on bullying.  In my opinion, I believe that both of these examples may be learned behavior possibly from an aggressive child’s surroundings.  Either of these reasons are disturbing to me because they create social attitudes among other children, in the school environment.  Sadly, the kids who are not good at sports or display atypical mannerisms may become subject to bullying as a result because they are not living up to the expectations of other children

Make your zone a "No Bully" zone.
Make your zone a “No Bully” zone.

 

Although the above mentioned research was conducted in the U.K., the results likely apply to children in the United States as well, since issues of sporting and sexual orientation are common to both countries, Rivers said.

Other research on this subject revealed that bullies were more likely than non-bullies to live in families without two biological parents, such as living in single parent families, living with extended family members or with foster parents. Such situations may mean bullies, in some cases, do not receive as much attention at home. Further, bullies see tend hold a negative view of themselves, therefore, they may pick on children in order to feel better about themselves, and they may especially single out those who have trouble fitting in for other reasons.

The study was presented in a poster session on Aug. 13 at the 118th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association in San Diego.

If you’ve or someone you know has experienced bullying in some way, please write and tell us your experience.

As always, until next time 😉

~ D. Linn Whorley

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