Bullying is the act of one teen belittling or intentionally causing harm to another teen. Bullying often occurs multiple times, being repeated over time. However, a single occurrence of hurt or harmful behavior is also considered bullying.
A bully is someone who intentionally harms another person. The bully typically has some sort of power over the person they are bullying; this power can be real or perceived. The person being bullied often has a hard time defending themselves against the bully.
Bullying includes behavior that causes someone else to feel inadequate, inferior, or induces harm. Teen bullying includes things like harassment, physical harm, harmful words, or intentionally ostracizing another teen.
Types of Teen Bullying
Bullying takes a variety of forms. A teen who is a bully may choose to cause harm (physical, emotional, or mental) to their victim through physical, verbal, emotional, sexual, or cyber bullying.
Physical bullying is the most easily recognizable form of bullying. A bully will dominate their victim through physical force. Examples of physical bullying can include: pushing, shoving, hitting, kicking, biting, damaging possessions, etc. A bully will often inflict physical harm on a victim in order to instill fear or to convince the victim to do something.
Verbal bullying hits the victim’s self-esteem. This form of bullying is easy for a bully to carry out. It’s a quick and direct form of bullying that uses demeaning language to harm another teen. Verbal bullying can include excessive teasing, name calling, threatening language, demeaning jokes, rumors, gossips, or slander. Verbal bullying is intended to harm and humiliate the bully’s victim.
Emotional bullying is much more complex than verbal bullying. The goal of emotional bullying is to ostracize an individual and make them feel alone. This type of bullying may lead to depression or anxiety in its victims.
Emotional bullying is carried out by making someone feel bad about themselves. Teens may leave their peers out of events or conversations. They may tell lies to prompt others to avoid the victim. They may purposely harm their victim’s reputation or humiliate them publicly.
Sexual bullying is often overlooked as a form of bullying. However, this behavior in teens can cause physical and emotional harm to the victim. Sexual bullying can take many forms. It can include saying mean or demeaning things about a person based on their gender, appearance, sexuality, etc. Sexual bullying could include a teen touching another teen inappropriately or in an unwanted manner. Exploiting someone sexually, like posting photos of them online or sharing candid or personal photos is another form of sexual bullying.
Cyber bullying has become a real problem among teens. With access to an endless supply of social and digital channels, cyber bullying can take many forms across the world wide web. Cyber bullying is intended to humiliate or demean a teen by using the web or other digital media. This could include: spreading rumors via social media or text messages, sending demeaning photos, posting videos, or ridiculing a teen online. Cyber bullying is particularly dangerous, as a victim will not have a ‘safe place’ to turn in the virtual world. This type of bullying also has lasting implications as images or videos shared over the web may be hosted there even into the teen’s adult years.
Teen Bullying is Common
Bullying is becoming an increasing problem in the United States. According to ABC News a new study has found that if you are a teen today, then you are one of many who is bullied or bullying. In fact, almost one third of teens are involved in bullying in some form (either on the receiving or giving end of bullying behavior).
Additional research from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development found that of the sixth- through tenth- graders who were surveyed, 30 percent were involved in bullying at school.
Bullying tends to occur the most in students in sixth to eighth grade. Boys are more likely to participate in bullying at this age then girls, however both genders actively participate in bullying.
Pacer Center’s Teens Against Bullying found that there are a number of reasons teens bully another teen. According to a study, the top reason a teen is bullied is because of how they look (55%). The shape of a teen’s body (37%) and race (16%) were other reasons teens are bullied. Students with disabilities are bullied twice as much (or more) than their peers. Students and teens identifying as LGBTQ are also victims of bullying.
Who Are Teen Bullies
Bullies come from all walks of life. There is not a particular person or stereotype that is ‘always’ the bully among their peers. Bullying could be the quiet honor student who sarcastically demeans her classmate for failing a test. Bullying could be the cheerleader who ‘body shames’ a girl in gym class. Bullying could be the guy in history who pushes his peer into the locker as he leaves class. It is not the appearance of a teen that makes them a bully. Their behavior and their character make them a bully.
Bullies can also be created by the group effect. When given the choice to become like the bully or be bullied, students will often choose to join the team.
CRC Health cites five reasons that teens may become bullies. First, a teen may have problems at home which result in them becoming a bully. Behavior is often learned, as teens experiencing neglect, conflict, abuse, etc. in the home can learn to display these traits and act out in harmful ways against their peers.
Certain personality traits may also lead a teen to participate in bullying. Studies show that teens who are aggressive, impulsive, dominant, or lack empathy may engage in bullying.
Stress can also cause bullying. A teen who is highly stress, leading them to frustration may act out against others. Stress could be caused by family conflict, academic pressure, lack of friends, concerns about their appearance, or being bullied themselves.
Overconfidence or insecurity can also lead to bullying. A bully may feel superior to his victims, or on the other side of the coin, the bully may feel inferior and need an emotional lift. Bullying can induce feelings of power, popularity, and self-confidence.
The Effects of Teenage Bullying
The problem of teen bullying can lead to both immediate and extended effects. Bullying first produces the obvious results of physical harm to those who are bullied physically.
On a deeper level, teens who are bullied emotionally, verbally, or affected by cyber bullying can be deeply impacted. These actions can lead a team to become depressed. In some cases it has led teens to commit suicide. Drug use and stunted social development could also be the result of bullying.
Retaliation can also occur as a result of bullying. Bullied teens may fantasize about violently seeking revenge for the pain they have been through. There are some instances where bullying has led to violent actions such as violent aggression or even homicide.
What to do if Your Teen is a Victim of Bullying
Teens who have been bullied are wounded. Sometimes teens who are the victims of bullying suffer physical wounds. They may seek revenge, or act out in aggression. Other teens who have experienced verbal, emotional or sexual bullying may be hurt very deeply. They may be suffering from depression, involved in self-harm, or contemplating suicide. Seek immediate help in the event of any threat of suicide. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: 1-800-273-8255.
Residential therapeutic treatment is an option for teens who have been victims of bullying. Shepherd’s Hill Academy is a therapeutic boarding school, offering a safe and controlled environment for your teen to heal and thrive. Our fully-accredited academy allows your teen to not only maintain their academic standings, but in many cases teens excel beyond where they were previously. Our 5:1 student to staff ratio ensures that your teen is not only safe, but receives individualized treatment to meet their individual goals.
Our nature-based program creates a safe place for bullied teens. With no exposure to the internet, text messaging, or popular culture, teens that were bullied (particularly by cyber media) are able to see themselves as worthy again.
Our 100% separate campuses for boys and girls ensures that your teen is not distracted by the opposite sex. Your teen does not have to worry about what the other gender thinks of them. They are free to discover who they really are and heal more thoroughly.
If your teen has been the victim of bullying, give us a call. Find out how Shepherd’s Hill Academy to offer healing to your teen. Inquire online now.
What to do if Your Teen is a Bully
Shepherd’s Hill Academy serves individuals who are troubled or suffering from behavioral disorders. If your teen has been a bully and is also troubled, Shepherd’s Hill Academy may be a solution.
With a strict 5:1 student to staff ratio, your teen will learn and be mentored from men and women of character. They will learn respect, integrity, and other traits that will help them be successful and productive adults.
Teens are taken out of their comfort zone and are involved in a wilderness therapy component. This environment removes all modern convenience, comfort, and digital connection. Here your teen will be challenged to ponder the deeper meaning of life.
Shepherd’s Hill Academy also specializes in individual therapy, group therapy and equine therapy to help you teen get to the root of their behavioral issues. Our unique and proven approach has helped many students get back on track.
Find out if Shepherd’s Hill Academy is a good fit for your teen. Call now or inquire online today.