What is bullying? - The American Legion

Florence Stevens MPH
 What
is bullying
 Characteristics of victims and bullies
 Effects of Bullying
 The Role of the Pediatrician in Connected Kids
 Your Role as Community Leaders
The CDC found between 20-56% of young people are
involved in bullying annually.
In a classroom of 30 students, between 6 and 17 students
are involved in bullying as the victim, the bully or both.
 Bullying
is a form of aggressive behavior in
which someone intentionally and repeatedly
causes another person injury or discomfort
 Sometimes children argue with each other or make
bad choices in their behavior- that is not bullying
American Psychological Association
Bullying can include:
• Teasing
• Threats of harm
• Spreading rumors
• Purposefully excluding peers from
• Attacking physically or verbally
 Bullying
with electronic means such as computers,
cell phones, social media etc
 Examples:
o Spreading rumors on twitter or text messages
o Posting embarrassing images or information on
the internet
Cyberbullying can be done 24 hrs a day, shared with
a large audience, and can be anonymous.
Ethnic, cultural, religious minority
Poor social skills
Sexual minority
Health Conditions
Autism and learning disabilities
o Peer shunning is common
o 94% had experienced peer victimization
o 75% had been hit by peers
Graph at stop bullying.gov
 Both
boys and girls can be bullies.
o Boys more likely to engage in physical bullying.
o Girls more likely to engage in social / verbal
 Bullying is not confined
to classrooms, but also
on the playground, and
in the neighborhood
while going between
school and home
 Perceived
as different from peers
 Perceived as weak or unable to defend themselves
 Are less popular than others
 Do not get along well with others
 Specific groups of children may be targets,
including obese or overweight, LGBT youth and
children with disabilities or special health needs
 Depression
 Anxiety
 Headaches
and stomachaches
 Sleeping problems
 Social withdrawal
 Suicidal ideation
 Children
and youth who are bullied are more likely
– Want to avoid school
– Have lower academic achievement
 Several
studies suggest that children’s experiences
of being rejected by peers or bullied in other ways
may lead to lowered academic achievement
Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for
youth 10-17 in the US
Bullied children & youth are more likely than nonbullied peers to have:
 Depressive symptoms
 Harm themselves
 High levels of suicidal thoughts
 Attempted suicide
Common characteristics of children who bully
Aggressive, easily frustrated,
Have less parental involvement or issues at home,
Think badly of others,
Have difficulty following rules,
View violence in a positive way,
Have friends who bully others.
Children and youth who bully others are more likely than their
peers to:
 Exhibit delinquent behaviors i.e. get into fights, vandalize
 Dislike school, drop out of school
 Drink alcohol and smoke
 Bring weapons to school
 Think of suicide and attempt suicide
 Engage in early sexual activity
 Have criminal convictions and traffic citations as adults
 Be abusive toward their romantic partners, spouses, or
children as adults
 Anticipatory
guidance – prevention of
 Identify children at risk
 Help patients create a safety plan
 Refer to mental health and community
resources when necessary
 Follow up
Connected Kids centers on 4 overlapping themes
of anticipatory guidance
 Key
message: “You aren’t alone, it’s
not your fault, and I can help.”
 Asking the Right Questions
o Have you been in any pushing or shoving fights?
o What do you usually do to avoid getting into a
o Are you afraid of being hurt by any other
o Do you feel bullied by other children?
o If you see other children in fights or being bullied,
what do you do?
These children may need help learning how to
respond to bullying.
o “Let’s talk about what you can do and say if this happens
o Teach them how to:
- Look the bully in the eye.
- Stand tall and stay calm in a different situation.
- Walk away.
o Teach them how to say in a firm voice:
- “I don’t like what you are doing.”
- “Please do not talk to me like that.”
- “Why would you say that?”
Often these students require support to change their
 Be a positive role model.
 Use effective, nonphysical discipline, such as loss of
 Develop practical solutions with others.
 Ask for help. If you find it difficult to change the
behavior, reach out to a professional, like a teacher,
counselor or your child’s pediatrician.
American Academy of Pediatrics (www.aap.org)
Patient Education online (patiented.aap.org )
Pediatric Care Online (www.pediatriccareonline.org)
 Talk
to kids about bullying
 Train other leaders to prevent
 Partner together
o Schools, mental health specialists, law enforcement
officers, businesses, faith-based organizations,
service groups
 Build
a strategy
 Know where to get help
For parents:
o Has your child been bullied or hit by
o Has your child demonstrated
bullying or aggression toward
From Bright Futures
For children:
o Do you ever feel afraid to go to
school? Why?
o Do other kids ever bully you at
school, in your neighborhood, or
o What do you do if you see other
kids being bullied?
o Who can you go to for help if you
or someone you know is being
From www.stopbullying.gov
Unexplainable injuries
Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics
Frequent headaches, stomach aches
Changes in eating habits
Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
Declining grades
Sudden loss of friends
Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from
home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide
Kids may be bullying others if they:
 Get into physical or verbal fights
 Have friends who bully others
 Are increasingly aggressive
 Get sent to the principal’s office or to detention frequently
 Have unexplained extra money or new belongings
 Blame others for their problems
 Are competitive and worry about their reputation or
 Don’t
blame the child for being bullied
 Don’t encourage children to fight back
 Telling the child to ignore the bullying may cause it
to escalate
 Bystanders may also be affected by bullying in that
they don’t often know how to respond
mental health professional may be needed if:
o The child is experiencing severe mental health
consequences (depression, anxiety, suicidality)
o The child has particular difficulty in discussing the
o The child is experiencing severe impairment in daily
50-75% of children and youth do not tell school personnel,
are a bit more likely to tell parents
Why do kids keep silent?
• Negative messages about “tattling” or “snitching”
• Gender stereotypes (boys are more reluctant)
• Worried about retaliation
• Lack of confidence in adult’s
• Feel ashamed or powerless
Adults must understand:
o the nature of bullying
o its effects
o how to prevent bullying
o effective policies and rules
o the skills to:
- Stop bullying on the spot
- Follow up routinely with youth involved in bullying
and, if warranted, with their parents
Bullying prevention requires
changes in social climates
Changes in attitudes, norms,
and behaviors takes time and
Creating safe and caring places
for youth involves a
comprehensive effort on the
part of everyone
 Bullying
prevention should be coordinated and
integrated with other efforts
o School groups, such as safety committees
represent the entire staff, parents, community
volunteers, and youth leaders
o Community groups may include
representatives from many disciplines and
partnering agencies
 Consider
establishing and enforcing rules and
policies that address bullying
 Rules
should apply to all children, set standards
for expected positive behavior
 Follow
up with positive and negative
Bullying prevention should have no “end date”
Communities need to continually assess prevention
needs and outcomes, revise strategies and programs,
and champion the benefits in children’s lives and to the
Schools that receive federal funding must address
discrimination based on a number of different personal
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits
discrimination based on race, color, or national origin
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
prohibits discrimination based on sex
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title
II of the ADA (1990) prohibits discrimination based on
Futures Without Violence
Three Bold Steps for
School Community
Change: A Toolkit for
Community Leaderswww.stopbullying.gov
Striving to Reduce
Youth Violence
Everywhere: Community
It Gets Better Projectitgetsbetter.org
Teen web site about dealing
with cyberbullyingwww.thatsnotcool.com
Big Brother/Big Sister
Action Planning
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Your support allows the American Academy of
Pediatrics to continue providing patient education
resources for pediatricians and the families they

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