July 31, 2016
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Bullying (cont.)

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What makes a bully? Why do kids bully? Why do adults bully?

Bullying is thought to be the result of the bully's need to get and keep control over someone else. Contrary to the stereotype of the bully who is socially inept trying to make him or herself feel better, bullies have been found to have rather high self-esteem and to be social climbers. Child and adult bullies have a tendency to have low tolerance for frustration, trouble empathizing with others, and a tendency to view innocuous behaviors by their victims as being provocative.

Bystanders of bullying, those who witness it but are neither the primary bully nor the victim, tend to succumb to what they believe is peer pressure to support bullying behavior and fear of becoming the victim of the bully if they don't support the behavior. Further, bystanders are at risk for engaging in bullying themselves if they encourage the bullying by paying attention to the behavior or laughing about it.

What are causes and risk factors of bullying?

Risk factors for being the victim of bullying include already suffering from anxiety or depression. Actual or perceived obesity of the victim is also a risk factor. Being underweight is slightly associated with being bullied. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender youth are more often victims of bullying compared to their heterosexual counterparts.

What are symptoms and signs of children and adults who are bullied?

Signs that may indicate that a child may be being bullied include missing belongings, unexplained injuries, and a limited number of friends. Symptoms experienced by victims of bullying may be physical, emotional, and behavioral. Examples of physical symptoms include those often associated with stress, like headaches, stomachaches, changes in appetite, dizziness, and general aches and pains. Psychological symptoms often include irritability, anxiety, sadness, trouble sleeping, tiredness in the mornings, loneliness, helplessness, and feeling isolated. Victims of bullying may start getting to school or work late, taking off more days, or even trying to retaliate against their tormentors.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/5/2015

Source: MedicineNet.com

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