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In recent times where people are being more
aware and updated about things happening around one of the most talked about
issue is ‘bullying’. Bullying is one word that is overused and out of all the
aware population hardly a few know what exactly bullying means. Bullying  is a common term used by a lay man in
everyday life.  Bullying has various
shades. It differs in nature and severity.A recent study conducted by the Indian
Market Research Bureau showed that every third child in Indian schools is being
bullied and this leads to various unwanted consequences and affects the the
life of the children.So the question lies on how we define bullying.

Different definitions express  about 
different forms and nature of bullying.Bullying in simple terms can be
defined as a act done by a person or a group of people intentionally and or
repeatedly by people,who consider themselves dominant to a person or group of
people who are weak/marginalized and can be hurt verbally,mentally,physically
or emotionally.It is a form of aggressive behaviour causing discomfort to another
 person.It can be real or perceived.

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Physical bullying is a form of bullying that
includes 
hitting,punching.kicking,pushing and damaging property.It can have a
short term or long term effect depending on the severity.

Verbal bullying includes name calling,insulting remarks
or comments,racist taunts ,intimidation and verbal abuse.While verbal bullying
can start over harmless but it can escalate to severe levels .

Social bullying
is often termed as covert bullying and is mostly harder to recognise and can be
carried out behind’s a person’s back. It is designed to harm
someone’s social reputation and/or cause humiliation. Social bullying includes lying
and spreading rumours,negative
facial or physical gestures, menacing or contemptuous looks,playing nasty jokes to embarrass and
humiliate,mimicking unkindly,encouraging others to socially
exclude someone,damaging
someone’s social reputation or social acceptance.

Cyber
bullying is a type of bullying which involves covert or overt behaviour in
which a person uses the digital media or technology or hardware like
computer,smartphone or softwares like social media or instant messaging
app,texts or other websites and online platforms.It can have different forms
and hence can be personal or private and be known only to the person who is
bullying and the person who is getting bullied.It can happen at any time.Cyber
bullying can include imitating
other person online,hacking
someone’s account and personal details,deliberately
excluding someone,spreading
gossips or hurful rumours,sending
abusive,inappropriate texts or images,photoshopping
someone’s pictures,

Relational
aggressio is that type of bullying which almost goes unnoticed by the parents
or the caregivers or family and friends.It is very sneaky and hard to find
out.This type of bullying is referred to as emotional bullying.It is a form of
bullying where teens try to harm the social status or existence of a person
through manipulation.In this the bullies exclude a person from a
group,manipulate people against a person,spread rumours,break their
confidence.The whole purpose behind this type of bullying is to show other
person or a group that they stand powerful amongst the society and have that
control over others.It is seen to be more oftenly used within girls than in
boys and are often termed as ‘mean girls’.A teen who is the victim or is in the
receiving end faces humiliations,insults,teasing,ignorance,vulnerable and
intimidated.Common in middle school.

Sexual bullying
includes calling names on the basis of one’s sexuality,spreading mean rumours
about one’s sexuality,crude comments about one’s body,looks,sexual development
or sexual activity.It also  includes
uninvited touching,groping,pornographic contents,vulgar
gestures,talks.deliberate and repeated behaviour which involves harmful
actions,insults and intimidation targeted sexually.In extreme cases sexual
bullying can take or open the doors for sexual assault.Girls often face sexual
bullying more than boys by boys or girls.Girls can be touched by boys
inappropriately or commented on their bodies or parts also called names like
‘slut’,’tramp’ by other girls.Sexting can lead to sexual bullying.In case a
girl anda boy who are in a intimate relationship break up.If the guy leaks
their private photos to the entire school the girl becomes an easy target for
other guys to approach wrongly and also for the girls to be gossiped about and
commented for.

Prejudicial
bullying is the bullying which revolves around one’s prejudices towards a group
of people,sex,ethnicity,nationality,gender,sexual orientation etc.This bulyying
encompasses all the other types of bullying and can take different forms as per
the situation.In severe cases the bullying can lead to severe crimes.

Homophobic
bullying is a type of bullying which is based on someone’s sexual orientation
and the gender roles that a person takes up to be.Even though we live in the 21st
century where every person has their own freedom and liberty to choose what
they want to do,how they want to be dressed,who they want to fall in love with
such bullying takes place because of the intolerance and unaccepted attitude of
certain people towards all this.Opinions sometimes turn into abuse and
crimes.People who are not open to the liberty can target a person from the LGBT
group show hatered and disapproval.In this type of bullying the victims do not
want to openly report and confront the reason behind the bullying.

Why bullying behaviour in school
children?

There isn’t one single factor that
contributes to the bullying behaviour in children. A bullying behaviour can be
a result of many reasons or factors that involved indivual,family, social
environment etc.

Family changes: Children reared or grew up  in households where there is a lack of warmth
or a lack of attention from the parent or guardian are highly likely to develop
bullying behaviors. Children with permissive parents who fail to either
establish a  set of expectations or who
fail to establish boundaries often become bullies.Overly permissive parent in
many situations does not do anything to stop the wrong behaviour and is seen to
be inconsistent.

On top of it when parents tend
to be inconsistent with their opinions and disciplinary practices and hang
within extreme behaviours harm the children’s self esteem.It is known to
everyone that parents are looked upon by their children as role models and
often imitate and learn from them as well.Therefore, children who are products
of abusive home environments are prone to develop bullying behaviors simply
because aggressive and violent behavior and speech was modeled for them.
Further, when older siblings are allowed to bully the younger children in the
family, that feeling of powerlessness can eventually develop into bullying
behaviors as an attempt to regain a sense of power and control.

Behavioural Factors

Bullies,exhibit
and often show negative and demeaning behaviors toward others often repeatedly.When
children exhibit similar behaviours at an early age it can have a strong reason
behind it.Some reasons that contribute to this behaviour are need to exhibit
physical strength that is need to display power or strength or domination over
others so as to show control,attempt to isolate a person that is to isolate or
exclude a peer and manipulate others to do the same,aggressive behaviour
tendencies in children where they  displace their aggression on others due to any
kind of disturbing or against the will situation happening to them,subjection
to rejection where love,appreciation,affection,care and inclusion are some of
the needs of a human being as he is social in nature and has to function
successfully.When rejection or ignorance is constant it harms the normal
functioning and causes a lot of emotional distress to the person,academic
failure includes bad grades,struggling at school,comparison to
peers,provocation means being provoked by othets is a very easy trigger for
acting out specially very
effective when someone goes through verbal provocation.

Personality Factors:

Not everyone is made up
of the same genes and hence one varies from other and so does the behaviour and
personality of individuals.One’s personality is a big factor in the whole
concept of bullying.One’s temperament,resilience,adaptation etc
matters.Personality is basically set of characteristics that describes a
person.Personality traits are influenced by a lot of factors and no one was
ever born with the purpose of bullying someone.The combination of the intrinsic
as well as the extrinsic factors and how they act upon the person determines
one’s personality.These factors thus as per research as closely associated with
bullying behaviours are lack of tolerance with others which includes overly critical
behaviour and closed mindset also constantly taking about disliking people and
other people appreance,thoughts and opinions,lack of self esteem in which children/persons
with low self esteem already feel terrible about themselves.They lack the power
or control in the daily lives and hence bullying can be used as a tool to show
that they are powerful.In such situations bullying is a tool to regain or gain
control and feelings of worth,value of others towards them,lower threshold
meaning ability to face circumstances is different,lack of empathy in which children
who never think about others and about how they feel and have never put
themselves in someone else’s shoes develop this type of tendency,the need for
power in which those who have been bullied or made fun or have been robbed of
their values etc want to prove their existence to others

    
Peers and social influences:

These are very important factors
especially when we are talking about children.Children spend most of their
times with their peers and hence this time does influence their behaviour and
how they act.Spending time with other
children involved in bullying,aggression linked to efforts to gain higher
status within their chosen social group. This relates to those who already
possess prestige and leadership among their peers, but it can also extend to
those viewed lower on the social hierarchy who simply want to be accepted by
those in higher social positions.Attempts to secure friendships (this is
especially popular among teenage girls who use bullying to gain attention from
other girls),demonstrating aggressive behaviors to eliminate boredom (more
common with older children and teens),spending time with other children who
glorify violence,watching depictions which glorify violence and bullying
behaviors either on television or in popular movies and video games,school
environments which do little to nothing to prevent bullying,school environments
without an anti-bullying policy, and school environments wherein authority
figures provide little or no supervision during recess or lunch breaks.

Mental Health :

The World Health Organisation defines
Mental Health as “as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes
his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work
productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his
community.

The positive dimension of mental
health is stressed in WHO’s definition of health as contained in its
constitution: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social
well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

Mental health needs of school children
:

Positive factors for good mental
health  :

Self-esteem :This is the value we
place on ourselves, our positive self-image and sense of self-worth. People
with high self-esteem generally have a positive outlook and are satisfied with
themselves most of the time.

Feeling loved :Children who feel
loved, trusted and accepted by their parents and others are far more likely to
have good self-esteem. They are also more likely to feel comfortable, safe and
secure, and are better able to communicate and develop positive relationships
with others.

Confidence :Youth should be encouraged
to discover their own unique qualities and have the confidence to face
challenges and take risks. Young people who are brought up to have confidence
in themselves are more likely to have a positive attitude, and to lead happy
and productive lives.

Negative factors :

Family breakup or
loss

Separation or divorce or the loss of a
parent or sibling is extremely painful. Finding ways to cope and adjust to the
changes wrought by these events is critical for everyone, but particularly for
youth. How grief is handled can affect young people negatively for years to
come. If children are having difficulty coping, professional help is
recommended.

Difficult behaviour

When people are unhappy, they either
internalize their unhappiness or act out. The latter usually appears as bad or
difficult behaviour, such as using abusive language, being aggressive or
violent, damaging property, stealing, lying, refusing to comply with requests
or expectations at school or home, or displaying other inappropriate actions.
If such behaviour is serious and persistent, the young person and his or her
family might require professional help.

Physical ill health

Diseases, injuries and other physical
problems often contribute to poor mental health and sometimes mental illness.
Some physical causes (such as birth trauma, brain injury or drug abuse)
can directly affect brain chemistry and contribute to mental illness. More
commonly, poor physical health can affect self-esteem and people’s ability to
meet their goals, which leads to unhappiness or even depression. In
such cases, receiving the best possible treatment for both the physical problem
and the resulting psychological consequences is key to optimal recovery to good
mental health.

Abuse

The mental health of abused children
is at great risk. Abused children are more likely to experience mental disorders or mental illness during childhood and into
adulthood.Abuse may be physical, sexual, psychological or verbal. It may not
always be evident or easily recognized. Regardless of the form it takes, abuse
cannot be tolerated. Children need to be protected from abuse and helped to
overcome its negative effects. Abuse can cause feelings of low self-esteem,
lack of self-confidence, depression, isolation and anger includes all feelings that impair a child’s chance to lead a happy life.Trust in
others and feelings of being safe and cared for are key components to recovery
from abuse. Few children are able to recover on their own. Support is critical,
and professional counselling is sometimes required. If abuse is discovered
early, the chances of a child returning to a healthy state of mind and avoiding
serious mental disorders are greatly enhanced.

Bullying : bullying can affect physical and emotional
health, both in the short term and later in life. It can lead to physical
injury, social problems, emotional problems, and even death.Those who are
bullied are at increased risk for mental health problems, headaches, and
problems adjusting to school.Bullying also can cause long-term damage to
self-esteem.

Children and adolescents who are bullies are at increased
risk for substance use, academic problems, and violence to others later in life.Those
who are both bullies and victims of bullying suffer the most serious effects of
bullying and are at greater risk for mental and behavioral problems than those
who are only bullied or who are only bullies.

National Institue of Child and Human Development
research studies show that anyone involved with bullying are those who bully
others, those who are bullied, and those who bully and are bullied are at
increased risk for depression.

Broad objective : To study if bullying
is a risk factor for mental health problems in school children.

Specific objective :

·        
To
study the comparison of bullying between girls and boys from two cities.

·        
To
study the comparison of the mental health between girls and boys from two
cities.

Hypothesis:

·        
There will be a significant difference in the
mental health of children from the two cities.

·        
There will be significant difference in the
mental health of girls and boys.

Operational
definitions:

Bullying:
is a form of deliberate and purposeful repeated act or action to harm a
person’s dignity.It can be dine emotionally,physically,mentally,verbally etc.

Mental
health: mental health is defined as the state of well being of a person where
the person is not just physically fit and away from diseases but is mentally
stable to take decisions and contribute to the society.

School
children : children between the age group of 
13-14 years studying in 8th and 9th grade

 Review
of Literature: Articles have been collected and have been categorized under the
following sub headings:

·        
Bullying

·        
Forms of bullying

·        
Factors

·        
Mental health of school children

·        
School environment and bullying

·        
Bullying on mental health

Research
Methodology:

Locale
: Nashik and Bengaluru

Selection
of sample: Total sample size is 300.Out of which the respondents are between
8-10th grade.150 girls and boys were selected from schools in Nashik
city while 150 girls and boys were selected from schools in Bengaluru.

Procedure:

The
data collection was carried out by prior permission from principles of  various schools in Nashik and Bengaluru.A
brief information of the purpose of the dissertation was explained and also
informed through a letter from the department ans also in person that
confidentiality would be maintained strictly.

The
questionnaires were handed to each and every student and all the necessary
information and instructions were properly explained to them before the actual
administration.

The
children were given the time slot as mentioned for the two tests in the manual
and later the questionnaires were collected.

Selection
of tools :

In
order to collect the data two standardized tests.Mental health battery-Dr Arun
Kumar Singh and Dr.Alpana Sengupta (130 items).Peer victimization scale- Dr.Sunita Bisht and
Dr.Manju Gera  (44 items) were used.The
tool was selected on the basis of the objective of the study.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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