Consequences of bullying
Though bullying is pervasive in U.S. schools, teachers and principals
significantly underestimate the amount of bullying that takes place
in their schools and classrooms. Even more importantly, too many
are reluctant to get involved when they do spot it. Children repeatedly
report that when they tell teachers and principals at school about
bullying, the adults don't take them seriously, or they make them
feel responsible for going back to address the bully and “work it
out.” Bullying, in its various forms, is too pervasive and too damaging
for teachers and principals to ignore it. Research has documented
the following consequences of bullying for students and schools:
Effects on victims:
- Young victims become unhappy, distressed and confused.
- Victims of all ages become anxious and insecure and may lose
- Consistent threats and/or physical assault may impair concentration,
result in a refusal to attend school and lead to possible school
- Victims may develop psychosomatic symptoms such as stomach
ache and headaches.
- Constant humiliation and degradation may lead to depression
- Victims tend to be more depressed in adulthood and have poorer
self-esteem than their non-victimized peers.
Effects on bullies:
- Children, especially boys, who bully are more likely to engage
in other aggressive and harmful behavior (e.g., vandalism, substance
abuse, etc.) into adulthood.
- Physical bullying is a moderate risk factor for serious violence
at ages 15-25.
- Bullies are five times more likely than non-bullies to be convicted
of crimes by age 30.
Effects on school social climate:
- Most students feel less safe and are less satisfied with school
life in schools where bullying goes unchecked.
- In schools where bullying is ignored, students may begin to
think that bullying behavior is acceptable. This may result in
increases in bullying behavior and possibly more severe problems