- On 2013-02-22
- bullying, school culture
A study by Duke Medicine published recently by JAMA Psychiatry has pointed to the long term psychological effects of bullying. The lead author said that “This psychological damage doesn’t just go away because a person grew up and is no longer bullied. This is something that stays with them. If we can address this now, we can prevent a whole host of problems down the road.”
The study also suggested that bullying is also a problem for bullies as well as the victims. This reminded me of a recent article in Slate written by a woman who used to be a bully.
Now bullying comes up reasonably often in the media and quite often the finger is pointed at the individuals involved. Yes … they are responsible for their actions but they exist within the norms of the groups, family, schools and teams they are participating in. Human beings are social creatures. If bullying is occurring within a school then it is a school culture issue as much as an individual issue. Research shows that societies and cultures that are egalitarian and based on equality report less bullying. If the school culture is a powerful reinforcement of community then bullying is unlikely to occur.
What do you think?