When we hear about bullying, the victim – the person who gets bullied – comes to our mind and we start sympathizing with them. Not many people know that apart from the victim being affected, the bully experiences a similar predicament.
Teen bullying, just like any other form of bullying, has become rampant in our society. If we look back at the past few years, we will come across innumerable incidents focusing on teen bullying. Time and again, most research has proven that the victims get strongly affected by it, ignoring the fact that apart from the victims, bullies also get affected.
That’s true. Just like the victims, bullies also get affected by teen bullying as they are at greater risk of mental health problems such as self-harm and suicidal thoughts.
Teen Bullying: Bullies are Victims Too
As we have mentioned above, sometimes bullies are victims too. It is just that we never see the two sides of a picture. There is a common misconception regarding bullying that most of the teens fall into a category of bully, victim, or simply not involved. However, this is not the case.
According to the recent research, it has been seen that three-quarters of the teens who reported that they had bullied others in the past were also victims of bullying.
On being asked whether they had experienced any recent bullying behaviours, many teens reported that they had been hit, kicked on purpose, given labels, called foul names, or forced to do something they didn’t want to do.
Then they were asked if they had bullied any person recently using the same bullying behaviours. Similarly, they were asked other questions about whether they had suicidal thoughts, had self-harmed themselves or had tried to take their own lives. One-third of teens reported that they had either bullied someone, been bullied by someone or been both (bully and victim).
Surprisingly, teens who have been both the bully and the victim of bullying reported having the highest levels of suicidal thoughts and self-harm. These mental health problems were mostly seen in teen girls as they happened to be more likely to get affected by bullying.
Who is the One that Bullies?
There could be several reasons as to why teens bully. Most research has suggested that children who bully are more likely to show externalising behaviours that can be defined as aggressive, defiant, and disruptive behaviour.
Teens exhibiting externalizing behaviours are also more likely to contain negative beliefs, thoughts as well as attitudes about themselves and others. These teens have been drawing negative influence from their peers. On the other hand, they have lived in families where there was a lot of parental conflict.
How to Prevent Teen Bullying
Teen bullying is becoming a serious problem as it not only destructs the victim but the bully as well, leading them to mental health disorders. A multifaceted approach needs to be followed that focuses on the bully, the victim, parents, teachers, and school authorities.
As per various studies, it has been seen that teen bullying can be reduced to a great extent with the help of school authorities. School-based interventions can be helpful in reducing bullying behavior to a large extent.
More important, it is up to the parents to not exhibit any bullying behaviours in the presence of their teens. When there are no problems at home such as parental conflict, then teens would not pick on these behaviours and stay away from being involved in such a situation.