Bullying, Stress, and Your Teen Explained

Nov 15, 2022

World Kindness Day & Anti-Bullying Awareness Week

With World Kindness Day on November 13th and Anti-Bullying Awareness Week taking place between November 14th and 18th, A Brighter Day is acknowledging, celebrating, and bringing awareness to these two special occasions. We hope you were able to do a kind act for yourself or for another person on Sunday and we are hoping to provide some education about the importance of Anti-Bullying Awareness Week!

Anti-Bullying Awareness Week is observed every year in the third week of November.

Recognizing that bullying has a long-term effect on the victim’s mental health and quality of life, the holiday seeks to combat bullying by encouraging a zero-tolerance policy. Schools and communities can set up systems to eradicate bullying and build a safe community that welcomes everyone with open arms. 

A bully seeks to harm, intimidate, or coerce. 

Bullying is defined as “a long-lasting and systemic form of interpersonal aggression from an individual (perpetrator), where the victims are persistently exposed to negative or violent actions from other student/s over a period and struggle to defend themselves against these actions”. Bullying is a significant stressor in the lives of children, teens, and young adults. It can take shape in the form of teasing, social exclusion, verbal hostility, and physical violence. 

Bullying can occur during or after school.

While most reported bullying happens on school campuses, a significant percentage also happens in places such as on the bus, at sports practices, and on the playground. It can also happen while traveling to or from school, in the youth’s neighborhood, or on the Internet via texting, phone calls, and social media. 

There are three main types of bullying:

Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean things.

Verbal bullying includes:
    • Teasing
    • Name-calling
    • Inappropriate sexual comments
    • Taunting
    • Threatening to cause harm

Social bullying, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships.

Social bullying includes:
    • Leaving someone out on purpose
    • Telling other children not to be friends with someone
    • Spreading rumors about someone
    • Embarrassing someone in public

Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions.

Physical bullying includes:
    • Hitting/kicking/pinching
    • Spitting
    • Tripping/pushing
    • Taking or breaking someone’s things
    • Making mean or rude hand gestures

Here are some statistics to show how prevalent both in-person and cyberbullying is.

According to the 2019 School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey, nationwide…

    • … about 22% of students ages 12 – 18 experience in-person bullying.
    • … about 16% of students ages 12 – 18 experience cyberbullying.

According to the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, nationwide…

    • … about 19.5% of students in grades 9–12 report being bullied on school property in the 12 months preceding the survey.
    • … about 15.7% of high school students were electronically bullied in the 12 months prior to the survey.

In most cases, the effects of bullying are focused on the victim, but bullying can negatively impact all who are involved. 

Kids who are bullied:

Many studies have found that bullying is the root of negative psychological issues such as depression, anxiety, reduced self-esteem, decreased school attendance and avoidance symptoms, somatization, as well as suicide ideation/attempts/completions. Additionally, it has been shown that bullying experiences are associated with emotional difficulties, including feelings of loneliness, adjustment difficulties, low academic performance, low self-esteem, and a lack of social skills.  

Kids who bully others:

Kids who bully others can potentially engage in violent and other risky behaviors into adulthood. Kids who bully are more likely to abuse alcohol and other drugs in adolescence and as adults, get into fights, vandalize property, and drop out of school, engage in early sexual activity, have criminal convictions and traffic citations as adults, and be abusive toward their romantic partners, spouses, or children as adults.

Those who witness bullying:

Kids who witness bullying are more likely to have increased use of tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs, have increased mental health problems, including depression and anxiety, and miss or skip school.

While many media reports often link bullying with suicide, most youth who are bullied do not have thoughts of suicide or engage in suicidal behaviors. Although kids who are bullied are at risk of suicide, bullying alone is not the cause.

Many issues contribute to suicide risk, including depression, problems at home, and trauma history. Specific groups have an increased risk of suicide, including American Indian and Alaskan Native, Asian American, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth. This risk can be increased further when these kids are not supported by parents, peers, and schools. Bullying can make an unsupportive situation worse.

Is your teen being bullied?

Text BRIGHTER to 741741 to connect with a trained counselor.

It’s for parents, teens, and everyone in between.

For more resources on bullying, prevention tips, and other information, visit www.stopbullying.gov and www.abrighterday.info

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