Bullying: A New Epidemic

Jessica Stebbins, MS, Registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern
IMT 1258
Discovery Institute, P.A. Rockledge, FL
Serving Brevard County

        It seems as though each day there is a new story of the distressing results of bullying. Although many incidents are minor, there are some that will shock the most hardened individuals. In roughly the past year, a child was set on fire by his peers, groups of girls beat a classmate within inches of her life, and when they do not physically harm, some incidents cause such distress that these teens decide to take their own life.
       Many people probably think that it doesn’t happen to their children, in their neighborhood, or in their schools, but the fact is that it does. Studies show that between 15 and 25% of students are bullied at least sometimes and it is reported that up to 160,000 children skip school each day due to bullying. Although in the past there have been definite gender differences in bullying, those lines are beginning to fade. In general, girls are more verbally aggressive than boys but many girls are becoming physically aggressive as well. Boys are more likely to report bullying others but girls very frequently use gossip and social exclusion as forms of bullying. Although boys are more likely to report they are only victims of male bullies, recent news stories have described incidences where an older female has bullied a younger male as well.      
      Although some adults may not believe that bullying is a serious problem as they experienced bullying as a child, it has become a serious problem in schools. Children are affected emotionally, mentally, and physically. In the next few blog articles I will be discussing further concerns about bullying as well as how to help the bully and the survivors of the bullies.
       If you are looking for a counselor in the Brevard County area, please give me a call as I would be happy to work with you.



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