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The effects of Bullying can be widespread:
Effects on the individual include:
- learned helplessness, and
- Reactive Depression, a form of clinical depression caused by exogenous events
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Gastric problems
- Unspecified aches and pains
- Loss of self esteem
- Relationship problems
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Suicide (also known as bullycide)
Effects on a school include:
- High levels of truancy and school refusal
- High staff turnover
- Disrespect for teachers
- High level of absence for minor ailments
- Weapon-carrying by children for protection
- Legal action
- Against the school or education authority
- Against the bully's family
- low levels of school engagement and school retention
- lower levels of academic achievement,
Effects on the organisation such as a workplace:
- Loss of morale
- High level of sick leave absence for depression, anxiety and backache
- Decreased productivity and profit
- High level of staff turnover
- Loss of customers
- Bad reputation in industry
- Negative media attention
- Legal action
- Against the organisation for personal injury
- Against the organisation and individual bully under discrimination laws
The effects of bullying can also be serious and even fatal. It is still a greatly unresearched area.
The link between bullying and school violence has attracted increasing attention since the 1999 Columbine High School massacre. That year, two shotgun-wielding students, both of whom had been identified as gifted and who had been bullied for years, killed 13 people, wounded 24, and then committed suicide. A year later an analysis by officials at the U.S. Secret Service of 37 premeditated school shootings found that bullying, which some of the shooters described "in terms that approached torment," played a major role in more than two-thirds of the attacks. It is estimated that about 60-80% of children are bullied at school. Since bullying is mostly ignored, it may provide an important clue in crowd behaviour and passer-by behaviour. Numerous psychologists have been puzzled by the inactivity of crowds in urban centres when crimes occur in crowded places. Many have suggested bullying as one of the reason of this decline in emotional sensitivity and acceptance of violence as normal. When someone is bullied, it is not only the bully and victim who are becoming less sensitive to violence. In most cases, the friends and classmates of the bully and the victim accept the violence as normal.
In a landmark study, 432 gifted students in 11 states of USA were studied for bullying. More than two-thirds of academically talented eighth-graders say they have been bullied at school and nearly one-third harboured violent thoughts as a result.
Mona O’Moore of the Anti-Bullying Centre at Trinity College in Dublin, has written, "There is a growing body of research which indicates that individuals, whether child or adult, who are persistently subjected to abusive behavior are at risk of stress related illness which can sometimes lead to suicide." Those who have been the targets of bullying can suffer from long term emotional and behavioral problems. Bullying can cause loneliness, depression, anxiety, lead to low self-esteem and increased susceptibility to illness. In the long term it can lead to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and an inability to form relationships - even leading to celibacy.
The National Conference of State Legislatures said:
- "In 2002, a report released by the U.S. Secret Service concluded that bullying played a significant role in many school shootings and that efforts should be made to eliminate bullying behavior."
- Main article: Bullycide
There is evidence that bullying increases the risk of suicide. Bullying leads to several suicides every year. It is estimated that between 15 and 25 children commit suicide every year in the UK alone, because they are being bullied.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Gifted and Tormented
- ↑ Anti-Bullying Center Trinity College, Dublin,
- ↑ Williams, K. D., Forgás, J. P. & von Hippel, W. (Eds.) (2005). The Social Outcast: Ostracism, Social Exclusion, Rejection, & Bullying. Psychology Press: New York, NY.
- ↑ School Bullying. National Conference of State Legislatures, Washington, D.C. (retrieved 7 December 2007).
- ↑ Kim YS, Leventhal B (2008). Bullying and suicide. A review. International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health 20 (2): 133–54.
- ↑ Statistics on bullying