The article talks about bullying, the different dimensions of bullying, the reactions to bullying and the associated impact on adolescents in great detail. A situation may be categorized as bullying when harm is done to one person, one party is weaker than the other and the actions are continuous and not a onetime matter. Bullying has many psychological, social, cognitive influences on the victim but the worst impact is the emotional pain and stress, also known as trauma. Trauma affects the thinking and behavior on the individuals and adversely affects the development of the individuals.
Children and adolescents are more prone to trauma and they react in different ways, some of them go in denial while others while others ponder about it so much that they have repetitive thoughts which results in nightmares and anxiety. Victims in denial avoid any support or counseling and they do not mention their trauma to anyone and neither are they willing to talk about it even to a helpful person. Some students use the avoidance technique and they avoid any thoughts about the experience due to which they eventually loose interest in life and become numb.
Research has been conducted to assess the level of trauma that students were expecting to experience after reading a hypothetical bullying scenario. Results show that females expect a higher level of trauma than males. Females are also more likely to adopt the Avoidance tactic in response to trauma, than the males. However, the likelihood of students adopting the intrusion response is same in both males and females. Contrary to popular belief, the level of trauma does not vary due to races and the African American, European American and American Indian are all equally prone to experiencing trauma.
Research also shows that there are certain variables of repetitive bullying that predict trauma levels. The frequency of exposure to bullying is a major predictor of trauma, meaning an individual who faces bullying more often will probably be more traumatized. It has also been found out that higher exposure leads to Intrusion and not avoidance and the level of intrusion or avoidance depends on the gender of the victim. Females are more likely to use avoidance than they are to use intrusion.
This research has its own limitation some of them being that the participants were rural and homogenous and there was little racial diversity and the situation involved. Never the less, this research has important implications for counselors who can play an integral role in developing an environment free of bullying and trauma. The professional attention will help the students and there have to be both general programs to improve the overall environment and specific ones that cater to the victims.
Students can be taught various problem-solving strategies to enhance the personal ability to tackle bullying. The issue of bullying needs to be addressed at the school and community level on priority basis as repeated exposure to bullying causes traumatic experiences in both the victims and the witnesses. The victims and witnesses should be helped by activities that focus on self-care encouraging the individual to take care of themselves and advising them on how to tackle the feeling of trauma.
Such programs will provide the students with an opportunity to talk about their experience in a comfortable setting and they will get a sense of security, knowing that they are not alone. These activities will increase the internal locust of control of students and they will be able to tackle or control their experiences more effectively. The act of Bullying and the trauma that it causes leads to physical, biological, psychological, emotional, cognitive, and social consequences that have long-term effects.