Bullying refers to the use of force, coercion, or threat to intimidate, abuse, or aggressively control others. The behavior is usually repeated and habitual. Bullying is among the widespread phenomena among the children and can manifest itself in various forms such as exclusion, pushing, name calling, hitting, or gossiping. The involvement of children in the act of bullying as either victim or bully has a serious effect as far their health is concerned. Victims of bullying are at higher risk of future low self-esteem, poor physical health, and psychiatric issues like anxiety, psychotic symptoms, and depression. (Jansen et al., 2012). On the other bullies also are likely to face various challenges. In most cases, bullies are likely to have poor emotional adjustment and behavioral issues later in life.
History and Statistics Related to the Topic
Back in the 18th century, harassment or bullying was viewed as it’s today. By that period bullying was less recognized and understood. Unlike today, bullying in the 18th century was not seen as dangerous as it is seen today. Today, the practice remains a critical problem among the adults and children. The tremendous transformation or evolution of bullying has resulted in a further understanding of the adverse effects of the practice, especially among the children.
Historically, the turning point for bullying occurred in the mid-1970s when several studies were conducted to examine the psychological effects of bullying among the children. These studies significantly contributed to the fight against the practice since it brought awareness, and influenced other researchers to conduct more research on bullying.
One of the effects of bullying on the child’s self-esteem is rejection or self-criticism.
(Etolen, 2012). Children who are constantly belittled about something eventually come to believe that it’s true. What makes it worse is when they’re belittled about things which they can’t change such as their skin color, race, and height. This makes them feel like they’re less of a person. The second effect is the loss of confidence. Bullied children mostly feel like they are not good at something, and they shouldn’t try since according to them they will fail. Severe damage of self-esteem, especially among the children, has been connected to isolation. As a result, separation has also been related to psychological issues such as anxiety and depression.
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Today, 87% of the youth have experienced bullying in the United States of America.
According to the report produced by the Indicators of School Crime and Safety (2014), close to 28% of children between the ages of 12 to 18 reported to have been bullied while at school.
When it comes to gender, females are more likely to experience bullying compared to male.
According to Floros et al. (2013), adolescent girls are more likely to experience harassment as compared to boys.
Significance to Health Issues
Bullying contributes to various mental problems which affect not only the performance of a child but also their well-being. Ideas presented in this study will help in understanding the relationship between bullying and psychological problems such as depression and anxiety.
Depression and anxiety have been identified as among the causative agents of health-related issues such as lack of sleep, and changes in the sleeping patterns. Knowing the connection between the two will assist in coming up with a proper strategy on how to curb bullying among the children and helping the victims to overcome the effects of the practice. Additionally, the results will also assist in identifying possible characteristics of children who bully others. Kids who abuse alcohol at a tender age and engage in criminal activities are likely to bully others.
Therefore, understanding these characteristics at an early age will help in finding a solution.
Apart from understanding the effects, data presented will act as a cross-reference by other researchers who may want to study more about bullying and its impact on the self-esteem of children.
The role of the Nurse Ex. Education of the Public
Universal education of parents and children is one of the ways a nurse can intervene in the issue of bullying. while the proportion of children who are victims, bullies, or both is at an alarming rate, a majority of children neither victims nor bullies. Nevertheless, the presence of children who observe bullying without taking any action may precipitate the idea of bullying.
Educating the parents and children on the causes, effects, and ways to reduce bullying will contribute to reducing the problem. Educating can be through community events and classroom meetings with students.
Relevance to Nursing Practice
The primary purpose of any scientific research is to refine or discover new knowledge concerning a particular existing problem. The ideas presented in this study will help in improving the patient outcome. Understanding how bullying affects the self-esteem of children will assist in coming up with measures on how to low self-esteem in the children. Low self-esteem can be caused by various factors such as poor academic performance. Putting the concept of bullying as one of the causative agents will help in widening the potential causes which in turn will assist in coming up with an adequate remedy. Based on the history, it is evident that bullying is a dynamic concept which keeps on changing as time goes by. Because of its dynamism, it is also evident that its effects, especially to the victims, also keeps on changing with time. Therefore, the results from the study will help in increasing the knowledge about bullying.
Bullying is among the widespread phenomena among the children and can manifest itself in various forms such as exclusion, pushing, name calling, hitting, or gossiping. The involvement of children in the act of bullying as either victim or bully has a serious effect as far their health is concerned. Today, bullying remains a critical problem among the adults and children. The significant transformation of the practice has resulted in a further understanding of the adverse effects of the practice, especially among the children. One of the effects of bullying on the child’s self-esteem is rejection or self-criticism. The second effect is the loss of confidence. In addition to the loss of confidence, victims of bullying can also get into depression due to isolation.
Etolen, N. (2012). Effects of bullying on a child’s self esteem – Our Family World. Our Family World. Retrieved 16 June 2017, from
http://www.ourfamilyworld.com/2012/04/25/effects-of-bullying-on-a-childs-self-esteem/ Floros, G.D., Simos, K. E., Fisoun, V., Dafouli, E., and Geroukalis, D. (2013). Adolescent online cyberbullying in Greece: The impact of parental online security practices, bonding, and online impulsiveness. Journal of School Health, 83(6), 445-453.
Jansen, P., Verlinden, M., Berkel, A., Mieloo, C., van der Ende, J., & Veenstra, R. et al. (2012).
Prevalence of bullying and victimization among children in early elementary school: Do family and school neighbourhood socioeconomic status matter?. BMC Public Health, 12(1). http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-12-494