Sample Criminal Justice Paper on Effects of Bullying in School

Effects of Bullying in School

Bullying is marked by some aggressive behavior towards another person, especially in school environment. In most cases, such behaviors take place because of the power imbalance between the bully and the victim, with the action having the potential to be repeated. Many studies indicate that bullying has adverse effects on the victims, especially anxiety and depression. However, studies also indicate that the bullies and witnesses also may have certain effect in their lives. This literature reviews different studies that attempt to show the emotional effect of bullying in schools.

According to Smokowski & Kopasz (2005), one out of three students in American schools experience bullying. These authors make a review of the effects of this vice in light with certain factors like being a perpetrator, a victim and being a bully and a victim at the same time. This research uses the data from the different reported cases, making a follow up to find out the emotional effects after some times. Their findings indicate that bullying has proved negative long-term effects on the both victims and bullies. Some of the effects include anxiety, drug abuse, depression and other behavioral disorders. However, the studies goes ahead to look at some of the prevention measures against bullying in schools.

The long-term effects of bullying are a serious concern to the scholars. The study conducted by Lund, Nielsen, Hansen, Molbo, Due & Christensen (2008) seeks to find the impact of bullying in midlife, especially between 30 to 50 years of age. In this research, the authors use the data from the depression inventory in order to find out the link between the condition and recall of bullying during school days. Their result shows that people who had been exposed to bullying were at high chance to be diagnosed with depression, unlike those who were never exposed during school days. This study concludes that bullying is a major contributor to the development of depression.

Mental health of students pays a major role when it comes to the subsequent ability to be productive in the society. The psychological impact of bullying may easily influence the adulthood of both the victims and the bullies. Children exposed to such behaviors develop the mindset of being able to match up to others. This comes from the fact that bullying is an activity that indicates imbalance of strength and ability. Therefore, such children may grow to develop anxiety and depression in future. According to the study by Yen (2010) proves this outcome, going ahead to advocate for early identification for appropriate treatment measures.

Most studies concentrate on the effects of bullying on the bully and the victims; however, Rivers, Poteat, Noret & Ashurst (2009) conduct a research on the impact of the problem on the students who are witnesses. They sample 2,000 students of ages 12 to 16 in fifteen schools; using questionnaires to ask a number of questions that include the measures against bullying and the risk of mental health. Their result shows that witnesses have a higher risk of developing mental health problems than those students who are directed affected. On the same note, Richards, Rivers & Akhurst (2008) agree with Rivers, Poteat, Noret & Ashurst’s (2009) findings by noting that witnesses are affected from the fact that they have a potential to intervene when bullying occurs. Therefore, there action or lack of it in response to bullying may lead to serious mental anxiety and depression, some ending up abusing drugs. It is apparent that bullying has serious negative effects on students. These calls for serious review of measures that will help stop the problem with the school systems.


Lund, R., Nielsen, K., Hansen, D., Molbo, M., Due, P. & Christensen, U. (2008). Exposure to

bullying at school and depression in adulthood: A study of Danish men born in 1953. Eur J Public Health 19 (1): 111-116.

Richards, A., Rivers, I., & Akhurst, J. (2008). A positive psychology approach to tackling bullying in secondary schools: A comparative evaluation. Educational and Child Psychology, 25, 72–81.

Rivers, I., Poteat, V. Noret, N. & Ashurst, N. (2009). Observing Bullying at School: The Mental Health Implications of Witness Status. American Psychological Association, Vol. 24, No. 4, 211–223.

Smokowski, P. & Kopasz, K. (2005). Bullying in School: An Overview of Types, Effects,

Family Characteristics and Intervention Strategies. Children Schools 27 (2): 101-110.

Journal of Psychiatry (Taipei) Vol. 24 No. 1.

Yen, C. (2010). School Bullying and Mental Health in Children and Adolescents. Taiwanese