Essays on Bullying

Essay Introduction

Literature Review “Bullying can be formally defined as an imbalance of power between the bully and the bully’s victim or as aggressive actions by someone with greater power toward a weaker target” (Bosworth & Judkins, 2014). Bullying incidents can take place at any time and anywhere. Not only does it affect the victims, but bullying also affects the victims’ families, schools, and communities. There are two forms of bullying, traditional bullying and cyberbullying. Traditional bullying typically includes verbal and physical bullying. Cyberbullying typically occurs over the internet or social networking platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc.

Research Paper on Bullying

Since most learning institutions bring students with different backgrounds together with the goal of educating them. Students typically interact with each other in classroom settings and sometimes outside of class. In most cases, the interaction outside of a classroom is often alone and without the presence of a teacher. Students have different experiences when they are in school. Some experiences are positive, and some are negative. One of the most negative experiences that students can experience during school is being bullied. School bullying can be described as victimization and intimidation between the bully and the victim in a school setting. School bullying can occur at any given time, and the subject of school bullying is a concern for most students that are attending middle school and high school.

Thesis Statement for Bullying Essay

Students that are most likely to be involved in bullying-related activities are sixth graders through tenth graders (Lawrence, 2007). In school, bullying is a major social problem that affects children and teenagers globally (Hong & Espalege, 2012). In school, bullying is unique because it involves repeated intimidation and harassment between two students or a group of students, with one being the aggressor and the other being the victim (Brown et al., 2005). Approximately 28% of teenage students in the United States reported incidents of bullying, where they are bullied by another student (Robers, Zhang, Truman & Snyder, 2012). Studies have shown that boys are more likely to engage in bullying activities than girls, both as bullies and victims (Brown et al. 2005). Brown also pointed out that most bullies are 12 years of age or older. It is estimated that there are approximately 3.2 million students in the sixth to tenth grade that are victims of bullying each year (Cohn & Canter 2014). Of this number, more than two third of the victims believe that the school responds poorly to bullying. Also, approximately 25 percent of teachers view that there isn’t anything wrong with bullying or putdowns; and only 4 percent of the teachers intervene during bullying incidents.

Argumentative Essay Examples on Bullying

Teenagers are often bullied for looking or acting differently, and in some instances, bullies target their victims for physical characteristics such as height, weight, color, and ethnicity (Geiger & Fischer, 2006). In addition, sexual orientation, disability status, socio-economic status, belief, and learning ability are other reasons for bullies to target their victims. As compared to students that are attracted to the opposite sex, there is an elevated risk of victimization for students that identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) (Evans & Chapman 2014). In addition, Evans and Chapman also noted that LGBT students are more likely to have their properties stolen or damaged, threatened, or physically injured by bullies; and verbal bullying toward LGBT students has a more harmful effect on high school students. In recent years, correlations have been discovered between school shooting suspects and their reports of being bullied, threatened, or injured prior to the shooting (Bowllan & Nancy, 2001). Additionally, there is growing evidence that bullying is the underlying reason that can lead to serious violence at school (Whitted & Dupper, 2005).

The victims of bullies often feel that they are socially unaccepted, and this diminishes their ability to stand up for themselves. Victims that can’t stand up for themselves tend to become easy targets. In most cases, bully-victims that feel unsafe at school are more likely to bring weapons such as knives and guns to a school than those who are not bullied. Social withdrawal and shyness can be associated with peer rejection which is a direct result of being a victim of bullying (Undheim & Sund, 2010). In the wake of recent school shootings, a lot of schools have been focusing on safety through the implementation of increasing security, surveillance usage, metal detectors, and increased police presence (Mattaini & McGuire, 2006). Creating a sense of security through increasing security measures do little to change or decrease school violence (May 2014). Many researchers believe that motivating healthier decision-making and prosocial behaviors in school will decrease school violence (Mullet, 2014).

Research Paper Ideas: Connection between Bullying and School Violence

Similar to that traditional bullying, cyberbullying is harassment, verbal abuse, and stalking through the use of the internet. Cyberbullying has been defined as the willingness to cause repeated harm through the medium of electronic text (Patchin and Hinduja, 2006). The mean by which cyberbullies bully their victims is through the internet from a personal computer or a cellular phone. Cyberbullies can send hurtful and damaging messages to the victim or to other online users. Most of the cyberbullying occurs on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube. In some cases, cyberbullying will take place over text messaging and or emailing. Most of the cyberbullying started in the form of online fighting and harassment. Cyberbullies use the internet due to its lack of control from parents or authority and censorship (Kessel et al. 2008). Due to the limited availability of personal computers and cellular phones, the subject of cyberbullying wasn’t the focus of study in past years. However, with improving technologies and technological breakthroughs, personal computers and the internet can come in the form of a cellular phone. Cyberbullying is at the fingertip of every bully. The usage of cellular phones among youth has tripled since 2004, from 24 percent to approximately 75 percent (Kessel et al. 2008). Approximately 70 percent of students have experienced cyberbullying at one point or another (Kessel et al., 2008). Kessel also pointed out that up to 50 percent of the students have acknowledged that they were involved in cyberbullying. Additionally, Kessel also pointed out that within the last 10 years, the incident of cyberbullying has rapidly increased among 12 to 17 years old students. Approximately 20 percent of teenagers between the age of 11 and 19 revealed that they were the victims of cyberbullying, with almost three fourth (73%) stating that they knew the bully (Hinduja & Patchin 2008). Also, about 10 percent of the victims indicated that they had taken pictures with the bully, therefore making them feel uncomfortable, embarrassed, and threatened to confront their bullies. Studies showed that 25 percent of the victims experience cyberbullying at least once or twice a month, 11 percent of the victims indicated that they experienced it once or twice a week, and 8 percent indicated that they experienced it on a daily basis (Hinduja & Patchin 2008). Similar to that traditional bullying, cyberbullying victims are not comfortable telling authority figures about their cyberbullying incidents. Only 24 percent of cyberbullying victims tell their parents, and that number decreased to 14 percent of the victims that are willing to inform school officials (Hinduja & Patchin 2008). Hinduja and Patchin also noted that of all the cyberbullying victims, 28 percent of the victims didn’t tell anyone, and 41 percent told a friend.

Furthermore, Hinduja and Patchin pointed out that approximately 31 percent of the victims who didn’t tell anyone viewed it as “it wasn’t a problem”; 12 percent indicated that there wasn’t anyone to tell; 11 percent thought that telling it would not stop the cyberbullying and 10 percent doesn’t know where to go for help.

Effectiveness of School Security Measures

According to Kessel, similar to traditional bullying, boys are more likely to bully than girls, boys will use physical and cyberbullying, and girls are more likely to use verbal means. Kessel also pointed out that in cases of cyberbullying, girls experienced cyberbullying more than boys. Studies showed that most of the cyberbullying bullies are adolescents, and there isn’t a specific reason why cyberbullying occurs (Kessel et al. 2008). In most cases, bullies who use traditional means such as verbal and physical harms are threats and also participate in cyberbullying. Both traditional bullying and cyberbullying have negative effects on the victims, the victims’ families, and their communities. These negative effects can be associated with anxiety, depression, and decreased social and educational achievements. In addition, victims of bullying can develop other negative psychological effects. Bullying also creates a sense of powerlessness, agitation, anxiousness, and failure in the victims’ families due to the fact that they are unable to limit what they can do to help the victims.

Long-Term Effects of Bullying

Many victims of bullying have developed long-term psychological issues due to exposure to frequent bullying. One of the psychological effects is the victims are unable to develop social skills and don’t participate in social interactions. A study done by Kim and Koh (2006) showed that the victims of frequent bullying are unable to develop adequate social skills; in most cases, these students are unable to act their age, and they are overly dependent on adults. All of which could potentially lead to social isolation due to their inability to interact with their peers. Besides social difficulties, victims also develop other psychological symptoms. A study of more than 7,000 African-American and Hispanic middle and high school students who were victims of bullying reported that they experienced feelings of anxiousness, fearfulness, and nervousness when leaving the comfort of their homes (Peskin, Tortolero Markham, and Addy, 2007). With respect to anxiety, a study found that victims of frequent bullying can develop anxiety disorder in early adulthood. Victims of bullying may also develop a higher risk for suicidal thoughts and attempts (Klomek et al. 2007). Middle school and high school students who are victims of bullies are more likely to contemplate or attempt suicide. According to the Division of Violence Prevention of the Center for Disease Control, approximately 24.9 percent of all middle school victims seriously considered suicide and about 22.5 percent of victims who are in high school. It’s important to note that other factors such as socio-economic status, abusive childhood experiences, domestic violence exposure, and other mental health issues also contribute to the consideration of self-harm.


In addition to negative psychological effects such as social difficulties, anxieties, and suicidal thoughts or attempts, bullying can also affect victims somatically (Sansone & Sansone, 2008). Some of the symptoms associated with negative somatic effects are eating disorders, colds, poor appetite, sore throats, and colds (Wolke, Woods, Bloomfield & Karstadt. 2001). In a survey done by Srabstein, McCarter, Shoa, and Huang (2006), they found that more than 16,000 bullied victims from sixth grade through the tenth grade reported experiencing headaches, stomachaches, dizziness, and sleep disturbance.  

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