Bullying. It’s something that is talked a lot about in today’s world. We are constantly hearing about how it is bad or not right. Many of us experience bullying on a regular basis may it be at school, at work, maybe just in the course of everyday life. We might find ourselves asking, Why should I care about bullying? It doesn’t affect me. However, maybe we don’t realize the facts surrounding bullying. A journal published in American Psychologist says this:

“There is compelling evidence of anxiety as an outcome of victimization, impacting young adults” (Copeland et al., 2013, p.7). “Consistent with media reports, childhood peer victimization has been tied to greater risk for suicidal behavior (attempts and completions)” (Mcdougall, Vaillancourt, 2015, p.304).

If you are bullying someone there is a real possibility that you could be contributing to anxiety or suicidal behavior (attempts and completions). Maybe still it is not enough to know what it might be doing to someone else, but it may not just be a problem for someone else to deal with:

According to the National Center for Education Statistics “Students who are both targets of bullying and engage in bullying behavior are at greater risk for both mental health and behavior problems than students who only bully or are only bullied” (Center for Disease Control, 2016, p. 1).

What does it look like in today’s world?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics “More than one out of every five (20.8%) students report being bullied” (Pacers National Bullying Prevention Center, 2016, p. 1).

It’s not just about what other people are doing anymore. It’s about what you are doing and what people are saying to you. I imagine every person can think of a time that they or someone that they know has been bullied. So it’s important to be informed.

People can talk about anything or anyone in school or online. Some of the most common things that are talked about amongst young adults are who is pregnant or thinks they might be pregnant, what someone’s sexual identification is, or who is sleeping with who. All these things are big parts of our world today and they are easy to get caught up in.

It is very common for us at the Pregnancy Resource Center to see young women who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. As a result, one of the things that these women might be worried about is how their peers will react. Will they be pushed away by their friends? What will happen to their reputation? Will they be bullied by family as well to make decisions they are not comfortable with? In any case, it’s important that young women find comfort in some type of support system even if that’s only in their peer groups. Put yourself in their shoes and imagine how different your life would be if you were her… Choose today to see situations such as teen pregnancy, in a different light. Offer hope to those in unique situations and learn to stand out among those who only live to tear down others.

Whether it’s online to their face bullying has the same kind of effects. Sites like Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, and other social media create places where it’s easy for young adults to talk about others while remaining “anonymous”. While these sites are great for connecting with peers and family they often breed hate because of the anonymity they offer. Be careful not to be dragged into that lifestyle.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics “More than half of bullying situations (57%) stop when a peer intervenes on behalf of the student being bullied” (Hawkins, Pepler, Craig, 2001, p. 519).

It may not seem like speaking up for someone will do much, but imagine what it would feel like to have someone in your corner? You can make a difference.

If you or someone you know is struggling with being a bully or being bullied call us (760) 945-4673 or come by. We would love to talk out these situations with you.

 

References

Bullying Statistics. Pacers National Bullying Prevention Center (2016). http://www.pacer.org/bullying/resources/stats.asp

Center for Disease Control. (2016). Understanding Bullying: Fact Sheet. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/bullying_factsheet.pdf

Copeland, W. E., Wolke, D., Angold, A., & Costello, E. J. (2013). Adult Psychiatric Outcomes of Bullying and Being Bullied by Peers in Childhood and Adolescence. JAMA Psychiatry,70(4), 425.

Hawkins, D. L., Pepler, D. J., & Craig, W. M. (2001). Naturalistic Observations of Peer Interventions in Bullying. Social Development,10(4), 519.

Mcdougall, P., & Vaillancourt, T. (2015). Long-term adult outcomes of peer victimization in childhood and adolescence: Pathways to adjustment and maladjustment. American Psychologist,70(4), 300-310.