Children are often subjected to all kinds of aggressive treatments coming from their peers, and these can seriously damage their mental well-being. However, it seems than not only individual children have to suffer from this. A recent study revealed that victimization in all its forms can degrade the whole school environment.
Many children are victims of bullying
Children are likely to be the victims of many toxic behaviors both during middle school and during high school. Among these behavior, there is the classic bullying, or harassment. Since technology has taken such a huge leap forward, cyberbullying has also become more widespread. All of them are gathered under a single umbrella term, polyvictimization.
Researchers decided to analyze these behaviors in schools, and developed a study published in the Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma. They measured the impact victimization had on the general school climate, and found out it makes children feel less secure in that environment.
The study looked at the 2015-2016 schoolyear, and used the data collected during the Pilot Climate Survey on middle and high schools in Vermont. During that precise schoolyear, 43 percent of kids reported of experiencing victimization.
Victimization affects the entire school climate
When analyzing each form of victimization, the percentage was highest when it came to bullying, namely 32 percent. Then, another 21 percent were victims of cyberbullying, and 16.4 percent of harassment. This latter behavior implied children being the subject of adverse behavior because of their ethnicity, skin color, disability, or sexual identity.
Researchers suggested that school officials shouldn’t concentrate only on the bullied victims, but on the problem of bullying itself. Those who subject others to such behaviors should be taught the destructive effects of their acts. In case they are not willing to stop, then they should receive the appropriate punishment, so that the problem should be cut off from its root.
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