Photo by: Elizabet21 via Wikimedia Commons
A new study suggests that victims of bullying are more likely to bring weapons to school.The researchers found that VoB faces risk factors that urge them to bring weapons, such as a gun, a knife or a club, in school grounds.The study was a collaboration of researchers from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center, and Feinstein Institute for Medical Research.
The researchers analyzed the data from the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey and determined VoB groups through self-reporting.Self-reports from the victims indicated the primary risk factors "being bullied at school" and additional risk factors "fighting at school," "being threatened or injured at school," and "skipping school out of fear for one's safety." Researchers compared the VoB groups with non-bullying victims with respect to weapon carrying under variables of gender, grade, and ethnicity.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bullying is defined as any unwanted aggressive behavior by another youth or group of youths due to a perceived imbalance of power, which has been repeated multiple times or is likely to be repeated.Negative physical and mental health and academic issues are some of the adverse effects experienced by VoB, and these things can last even after the bullying years.They also have a higher tendency to develop violent behaviors as a possible reaction to everyday bullying threats.
"In the wake of Columbine and other cases of targeted school violence, there has been increased recognition of the risk of retaliatory violence by students who have been victims of bullying," noted researchers led by Tammy B.Pham from the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center.
The study findings revealed that 20.2 percent of students reported that they were VoB in the past year, and 4.1 percent of these students brought a weapon on school grounds in the past month.The researchers also found that VoB who suffered at least one of the additional risk factors more frequently brought a weapon to school.VoB who suffered all three additional risk factors were even more likely to bring a weapon to school.
"Practitioners who are working with youth should carefully screen for bullying victimization and related factors and provide youth with or refer them to tailored services based on the individual's broader constellation of risk and protective factors," noted Dr.Melissa K.Holt from Boston University in a separate study at Pediatrics.
In a published study in 2011, researchers from Johns Hopkins University and Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development examined the retaliatory violence among assault-injured youth.The youth were interviewed at baseline from six months to 18 months.The interview assessed the fighting behavior, retaliatory attitudes, weapon carrying, and history of injury.
The researchers found that the level of violence from retaliatory attitudes among youth, ages 10 to 15, had a high association with aggression.Youth under such circumstance was also at risk of developing more frequent fighting over time.
Negative Effects of Bullying
People who were bullied, who witnessed bullying, and those who bullied may become victims of the negative effects of bullying.Negative effects include the risk of developing mental health conditions, substance abuse, and suicidal behavior.Victims of bullying are likely to experience one or more negative feelings or thoughts:
- Mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression.
- Emotional problems, such as an increased feeling of loneliness and sadness.
- Physical health problems, such as headaches.
- Poor performance in school such as dropping out or skipping school, lower academic achievements, and lack of interest to join school activities.
- Eating and sleeping pattern changes.
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies.
- Low confidence and self-esteem.
- Problems socializing with others.
People who were the bullies also subject themselves into negative attitudes and risky behaviors, such as substance abuse like alcohol and drugs, violent tendencies like getting into fights and vandalizing properties, a higher chance of committing crimes, and abusive behavior to romantic partners, spouse, and children.People who witnessed bullying may also suffer negative effects including substance use, mental health issues, and poor academic performance, according to Stop Bullying.
Suicide-related behaviors should also be a concern of parents, guardians, and practitioners in victims of bullying.Victims of bullying are at risk of developing suicidal behaviors pushed by the feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.These negative feelings are often enforced by bullying, complex interpersonal relationships, and other stressors in the person's environment.Strong family support and sense of belongingness or connectedness may reduce the chance of developing suicidal behaviors.