Risk Factors and the Effects of Bullying
Young people at risk of being bullied:
- Students who don’t “fit in”. This may include young people who are overweight, underweight, are members of a visible minority group, or can’t afford the clothing or possessions deemed “cool”.
- Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ) youth.
- Young people who experience depression, anxiety, or learning or developmental disabilities.
- Youth who have difficulty getting along with others or who provoke or antagonize other students.
- Students who experience lower levels of academic achievement.
Young people at risk of becoming bullies:
- Are popular, have social power, or who are concerned with popularity or dominating others.
- Are isolated from their peers, feel excluded, and may be more easily manipulated by peer pressure.
- Are aggressive or become frustrated more easily.
- May have less parental involvement, inconsistent discipline at home, or are subject to parental abuse.
- Belong to peer groups that contain other bullies or encourage bullying behaviours.
- May view violence in a positive way.
There are many kinds of children who become bullies. These are some of the risk factors that have been tied to bullying behaviour. However, there is no way of knowing which factors in which child will create bullying behaviour.
Source: StopBullying.gov “Risk Factors”
Short and Long Term Effects of Bullying
- Depression, sadness, loss of interest in activities
- Anxiety, tenseness, fears, worries
- Loss of self-esteem
- Increased levels of aggressive behaviour
- Headaches, stomach aches
- School absenteeism
- Can lead to adult distress if psychological harm: self-blame, fear, depression