School Bullying Hurts: Evidence of Psychological and Academic Challenges among Students with Bullying Histories.

Amanda Brandt, Krishny Zaveri, Ketty Fernandez, Lauraine Jondoh,
Evelyn Duran, Lindsey Bell, Jennifer Gutierrez, Nicole Benna, Daniel Cruz, Ph.D.*,
Caldwell College

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Part of the URJHS Special Edition on School Bullying

Abstract: Bullying carries a lifelong series of emotional scars that permanently affect children into adulthood. Bullying is associated with depression, anxiety, and poor school performance. Yet, despite considerable evidence, the effectiveness of bullying programs remains questionable. The current study examined the impact of bullying on the psychological well-being of students and on academic achievement, specifically in the area of reading comprehension. Results indicated that bullying was strongly associated with increased psychological problems and with poor reading comprehension performance. These results suggest that bullying results in student low academic achievement and implies that bullying programs must be monitored for effectiveness and anti-bullying enforced.

Introduction: Bullying is known to cause emotional, physical, and psychological pain. Unfortunately, children at school every day face bullying and often do not get much needed help. As much as people would like to say that words do not hurt, they do, and they can leave a person with permanent emotional scarring from which they may never recover. Some may argue that school bullying is the worst form of bullying because of the emotional pain that it carries through adulthood. All schools are supposed to showcase a safe learning environment for all of the kids, but effective monitoring and prevention of bullying continues to be problematic and programs ineffective. These children are at an age where they should not have to worry about being bullied when they attend school. An article written by Smokowski and Kopasz (2005), reviewed the characteristics of bullies and victims, family backgrounds, the short-term and long-term effects of bullying, and bullying prevention programs. The article described how bullying directly relates to school achievement. School achievement is very important to every student, and we have a significant problem on our hands when something completely unnecessary, and arguably preventable, such as bullying affects a child’s ability to learn. According to these researchers, anxiety and depression are among the major factors that inhibit or hinder a student’s ability to do well in school when they are being bullied. Students who are being bullied may focus more on safety and less on academic progress. Another factor mentioned quite a few times is absenteeism. Many bully victims are absent from school more than the average student in order to avoid being targeted. The large number of absences, in addition to the psychological problems observed in these students, takes quite a toll on their quality of life and academic achievement.

Read the full text:

Part of the URJHS Special Edition on School Bullying