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The Psychology Behind Bullying In Adolescents

1516 words - 7 pages

Bullying by definition is a form of aggressive behavior in which someone intentionally and repeatedly causes another person injury or discomfort. Bullying can take the form of physical contact, words or more subtle actions. [Why] Bullying has grown new outlets over the last decade. With social media outlets and text messaging added to the game, bullying is not just about getting tormented face to face anymore. Cyber bullying can include sending out mean or threatening emails and instant messages about a person, spreading rumors about someone and also include photos that a person would consider to be humiliating. [Chamberlin] Bullying can have many outlets. The most common form of bullying is still face to face confrontation. But the other outlets, such as cyber bullying are definitely not something to take lightly or consider low on a scale of importance. Sexual harassment, racial differences, not being “cool enough”, or just simply being viewed as a weaker individual may attribute to many of the reasons a person is preyed on.
When someone first thinks of bullying, their perception of the bully may be someone who chooses to be mean or cruel to another due to their own low self-esteem. This concept however is one that may not be true at all. In fact, according to Jaana Juvonen, a professor of developmental psychology at UCLA, who has published multiple books and articles on this subject, a bully usually has a very high self-esteem and is usually from the group that one would consider being the “popular crowd”. [Lin]

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Coming up with a clear reason why a person would choose to bully another individual can come from trying to establish what the bully gains through this action. A person feels powerful when they bully and power is addictive, just like drug. Being in
control of ones surroundings may contribute to that power. [Robertson] The bully may feel safe in their environment when he or she feels they are in charge of what is happening. Bullying does just this. It takes any focus off of any faults he or she may have and places negative focus on the individual who is being attacked. Another possibility is implied that a person may resort to bullying due to issues in their own home which are unhealthy. Maybe a lack of love, kindness, or attention causes a person to lash out at others as an outlet for their pain. A need for attention could be a contributor to this type of negative behavior. Perhaps a person acts out via bullying because it gets them noticed as opposed to being civil or polite. A person may act out due to failure towards academic achievement or some other goal that the bully may find value in. [Why] A bully may act as such when in certain situations where value is not placed on how people treat one another. When people fail to address a bully’s behavior as inappropriate, this manner continues and often progresses negatively over time. When someone attempts to imagine how a bully views...

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