Composition Essay on Bullying


The main aim of this literature/article review is to explore the issue of bullying and its effects on adolescents. The article that will be reviewed include “Friends Can Hurt You: Examining the Coexistence of Friendship and Bullying among Early Adolescents” by His-Sheng Wei and Melisa Jonson-Reid; “Bullying and Victimization: Prevalence and Relationship to Gender, Grade Level, Ethnicity, Self-Esteem, and Depression” by Dorothy Seals and Jerry Young; and “Bullying Victimization and Conduct Problems among High School Students in Taiwan: Focus on Fluid Intelligence, Mood Symptoms and Associated Psychosocial Adjustment” by Myriam Chia-Chien Liu et al. One more article that will be reviewed is “Bullying Victimization, Internalizing Symptoms, and Conduct Problems in South African Children and Adolescents: A Longitudinal Investigation” by Boyes et al.

The article that will be reviewed first is Friends Can Hurt You: Examining the Coexistence of Friendship and Bullying among Early Adolescents by His-Sheng Wei and Melisa Jonson-Reid. The reason for reviewing this article first is that bullying among friends is a common phenomenon that has not received much attention. Friendships are considered to be protective zones where maladaptive behavior such as bullying and victimization cannot occur (Wei and Jonson-Reid 245). Wei and Jonson-Reid in their study examined the likelihood of verbal and physical bullying occurring in friendships or warm relationships. The researchers utilized peer nomination inventories to analyze the nature of friendship and the likelihood of bullying among 237 seventh graders in a Taiwanese middle school (249).

The study recorded a total of 1,327 cases of physical bullying and 1,084 cases of verbal bullying among friends. The nature of friendship between the aggressor and the victim could be either unilateral or reciprocal. Unilateral relationship refers to cases in which the adolescent nominated a peer as a friend, but the peer did not nominate them. In reciprocal relationships, both peers nominate each other as friends (245). Reciprocal relationships accounted for 8 percent of incidents of verbal bullying and 12 percent of cases of physical bullying. Approximately 8 percent of the students subjected to physical or verbal bullying considered the perpetrator as a friend. Nine percent and 12 percent of the aggressors in the above cases considered their victims as friends (251).

The researchers estimated that 25 to 30 percent of incidents of bullying occur in friendships. Bullying occur more frequently in reciprocal relationships than unilateral relationships. This article is useful to the current study because it shows that bullying occur even in friendships contrary to the popular opinion. In fact, friendships account for 25 to 30 percent of all incidents of bullying in schools (251). A 2003 study by Dorothy Seals and Jerry Young, “Bullying and Victimization: Prevalence and Relationship to Gender, Grade Level, Ethnicity, Self-Esteem, and Depression,explored the likelihood of victimization and bullying occurring among teenagers in the 7th and 8th grade. The study also examined the connection between victimization and bullying to ethnicity, depression, self-esteem, gender, and grade level. The study was in the form of a survey and it collected data from 454 public schools (Seals and Young 737).

Twenty-four percent of the participants reported that they had been victims of bullying. The results of the study also indicated that more boys took part in bullying compared to girls (739). More students in the seventh grade took part in bullying compared to eighth graders. Ethnical analysis indicted that the relationship between the likelihood of engaging in bullying and ethnicity was statistically insignificant. Bullying was related to higher levels of depression in both the victim and perpetrator. However, perpetrators and victims did not show a significant difference in their levels of self-esteem. This article contributes to the current study by showing the effects of bullying in school (736).

The first and second articles show that bullying is highly prevalent among friends than understood, and bullying is a common phenomenon in schools that has negative consequences for both the victim and the perpetrator (735). One of the negative side effects of bullying is depression. A study by Boyes et al. establishes that bullying victimization is connected to mental illness. Longitudinal studies done in developed nations have shown that children and adolescents are more likely to develop mental disorders if subjected to bullying. The study aimed at looking at the connection between bullying victimization and the internal and external signs among South African youth (Boyes et al. 1313).

The findings of the above study indicated that bullying was highly prevalent with up to 50 percent of the participants reporting to have been subjected to bullying victimization. Victims of bullying that were more likely to develop internal and external symptoms like mental disorders were youth that had been exposed to bullying victimization at least four times (1314). The first, the second and the third article discusses the prevalence of bullying in friendships, school, and the external and internal consequences of bullying. The study indicates that adolescents and children are more likely to suffer from mental disorders such as depression when exposed to bullying. An article by Myriam Chia-Chien Liu et al. titled Bullying Victimization And Conduct Problems Among High School Students In Taiwan: Focus On Fluid Intelligence, Mood Symptoms And Associated Psychosocial Adjustment indicates that adolescent who have been bullied show significant emotional problems and psychosocial maladjustment (Liu et al. 231).

The above study included 32,390 learners that were recruited from the TEPS (Taiwan Education Panel Survey), which is a countrywide longitudinal data on youth. The instrument used to collect data was self-report questionnaire. Approximately 9,025 young people reported that they had been subjected to bullying (31.8 percent), while 4 percent showed conduct problems (232). The group of students that had been subjected to bullying and the group that had conduct problems showed poorer fluid intelligence compared to the group that was never bullied. These two groups also attained the highest scores in the depression-anxiety test and registered a poor psychosocial adjustment. A followed up survey done two years after the study found that the bullied group and the group with conduct problems were not interested in pursuing higher education (232).

Moreover, the two groups showed an increased use of drugs. The findings of the four studies are an indication that bullying in schools and behavioral problems are a serious public health concern that should be addressed through prevention and intervention. The article contributes to the current review by demonstrating the psychological and emotional problems that victim of bullying experience (232). Bullying is considered repetitive aggressive actions that are meant to disturb or cause bodily harm to others. The aggressive acts can take many forms that include psychological, physical, relational, and sexual behavior that usually entails a psychological or physical strength inequality between the victim and the perpetrator of acts of bullying (232). Surveys have shown that the prevalence rates of bullying range from as slow as 5 to 20 percent to as high as 50 to 65 percent among adolescents. The prevalence rates of bullying differ greatly from one country to another, and vary depending on samples, subtypes, ages, and the time point of the study (232).

The four article reviewed above discusses bullying victimization and its impacts on adolescents. The first article makes an interesting revelation by showing that bullying is highly prevalent in relationships than previously thought. The next three articles show the negative effects of bullying in school. For example, students who are bullied may experience negative psychological, social and emotional outcomes. Some of the negative outcomes include depression, poor fluid intelligence, anxiety and emotional problems. The authors of the four articles offer useful information for the current study by identifying the negative outcome of bullying and its prevalence in schools. The evidence from the article will support my own self-analysis because I have been a victim of bullying perpetrated by a friend.


Works Cited

Boyes, Mark E., et al. “Bullying Victimisation, Internalising Symptoms,and Conduct Problems in South African Children and Adolescents: A Longitudinal Investigation.” J Abnorm Child Psychol 42: (2014): 1313–1324.

Liu, Myriam Chia-Chien, et al. “Bullying victimization and conduct problems among high schoolstudents in Taiwan: Focus on fluid intelligence, mood symptoms and associated psychosocial adjustment.” Children and Youth Services Review. 47 (2014): 231-238.

Seals, Dorothy and Terry Young. “Bullying and Victimization: Prevalence and Relationship to Gender, Grade Level, Ethnicity, Self-Esteem, and Depression .” Adolescence. 38.152 (2003): 735-747.

Wei, Hsi-Sheng and Melissa Jonson-Reid. “Friends can hurt you: Examining the coexistence of friendship and bullying among early adolescents.” School Psychology International. 32.3 (2011): 244-262.