The Growth and development of children are accompanied by behavioral changes, as well as physical development. Behavioral changes manifest in a number of ways and the most common one is through bullying. A number of studies have been varied to monitor various factors and behavioral displays in children displaying aggressiveness and bullying tendencies. This paper investigates bullying by analyzing the study by Gini and Pozzoli (2006) and comparing it with the information in the book by Brooks (2012).
A Summary of the Research Findings by Gini and Pozzoli (2006)
In this article, Gini and Pozzoli (2006) explore the relationship between gender roles and the involvement of children in bullying problems in the course of their elementary years. The gender roles have been analyzed in terms of self-attribution of feminine and masculine characteristics. The study utilized a sample of 113 children aged between 6 and 10. The children were asked to complete a report about themselves on the measures of victimization and bullying on a femininity-masculinity scale. In this study, teachers provided ratings on reactive and proactive behaviors of children. The information from the study was regressed to reveal the bullying score. From the study findings, the masculine traits exhibited bullying behaviours at a heightened level. The bullying behavior was related to masculinity traits irrespective of gender. This means girls who exhibited bullying behaviours had masculine traits. The study further discovered that bullying was related to the victimization of an individual and the evaluation of reactive aggression of teachers.
The study by Gini and Pozzoli (2006) discovered that children who were physically aggressive carried out bullying during elementary school, and these traits were grouped as masculine characteristics. The aggressiveness tendencies were displayed in the form of teasing, taunting, humiliating, and verbally abusing other children. The study further indicated that girls were less aggressive compared to boys and the girls who displayed aggressive behaviours had masculine traits in terms of behavioral display. Aggressiveness reflected bullying tendencies in children, but not all cases of aggressiveness led to bullying.
Comparison of the Study Findings
Gini and Pozzoli (2006), in their study, share similar findings on bullying to a certain extent with the information in the book by Brooks (2012). In the first place, both articles define bullying as the display of physical aggression, whereby the aggression is directed at a certain individual or group. The two articles further acknowledge that bullying is an issue that is inevitable in elementary school children because they spend about 30% of their time interacting with each other, whereby they tend to outdo each other in the process of interacting.
The two articles further agree that bullying is displayed in a number of ways, which essentially involves the demonstration of aggressive behaviors. In this case, behaviours, such as verbal abuse, teasing the victim, humiliating others, and physical assaults are common forms of bullying. Brooks (2012) has gone deeper on this issue, whereby he identifies another form of bullying called relational aggressiveness. This form of bullying, according to Brooks (2012), is feminine in nature, whereby the behavior is mostly seen in girls, or boys with feminine traits. Such behavior is meant to deprive the victim of friends. In this case, the bullying party spreads untrue rumors about the target victim, thereby denying the victim a chance to freely interact with friends. Brooks (2012) claims that such behaviours are meant to hurt or humiliate the victim and thus are considered as bullying.
Brooks (2012) indicates that about 95% of aggressive girls are bullies, and they display it in the form of relational aggressiveness. The same study by Brooks (2012) indicates that about 97% of boys who are aggressive are bullies, and they display their bullying behaviours in form of verbal abuse, teasing the victim, humiliating others, and physical assaults. The study by Gini and Pozzoli (2006) indicates that bullying in girls is different from bullying in boys. Gini and Pozzoli (2006) state that bullying in boys is direct, whereby boys directly assault the victim unlike in girls, whereby bullying is indirect. The indirect bullying identified by Gini and Pozzoli (2006) is similar to the relational aggressiveness identified by Brooks (2012).
Characteristics of Bullies
Bullies exhibit a number of characteristics and the first one is a wrong opinion on the authorities. In this case, bullies think that the authorities, including parents and teachers, are unfair towards them, and thus they vent their wrath by bullying others. Bullies have a sense of low self-esteem and most of them were once victims of bullying. Bullies like keeping power to themselves, and are generally unrefined in their manners.
Characteristics of Bullied Victims
Victims of bullying have low self-esteem and are generally weak in terms of physical abilities. The victims further evoke negative reactions from their peers and are generally disruptive. In addition, victims of bullying are impulsive and sometimes withdrawn.
Bullies are generally rough-mannered children whose behaviours can extend to adulthood. According to Brooks (2012), bullies can extend their behaviors into adolescence and adulthood, whereby they are likely to engage early in irresponsible behaviours. In this case, bullies are likely to engage in early sexual activities, abuse alcohol, and drugs, engage in fights and vandalism, and propagate abusive traits on their partners. In addition, they are likely to drop out of school and propagate criminal records.
Bullied victims can develop health problems as a result of physical assaults. They display depression, feeling of sadness, and loss of interest in a number of enjoyable activities, including childhood, plays. Also, they exhibit irregular sleeping and eating patterns and exhibits feelings of loneliness (Brooks, 2012).
How Teachers, Parents, and Other Adults Can Combat Bullying and Reduce its Incidence
Parents, teachers, guardians, and other people in charge of children can help in combating bullying, in a number of ways. In the first place, teachers should promote a positive school environment where children can voice their problems and proper mechanism is taken to address them. Parents, as well as those in direct contact with children, should promote a positive social environment. In this case, they should make children feel loved and avoid using hush tones and reactions. When cases of bullying take place, parents and teachers should convene a meeting and dig into the issues that led to the bullying incidents. Thereafter, they should develop a program to deal with such incidents and promote an environment where both the bullying party and the victim will exist in harmony. Schools and families should also forge a partnership because children spend time either in school or at home. Such partnership should ensure children are engaged both in school and at home, and issues of bullying are sorted.
Brooks, J. (2012). The Process of parenting (9th Ed ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
Gini, G., & Pozzoli, T. (2006). The Role of Masculinity in Children’s Bullying. Sex Roles, 54(7/8), 585-588. doi:10.1007/s11199-006-9015-1