The literary review looks at different aspects related to the research topic. The first part of the chapter looks at defining and identifying key aspects of bullying. It looks at the general occurrence of bullying and the researches that indicate the extent of bullying in the different parts of the world. The section then dwells on the different types of bullying and how it can affect the individuals involved.
One of the key aspects of bullying in the modern world, cyber bullying is also treated in this section. The different characteristics and elements involved in bullying are treated to understand the phenomenon of bullying.
The section then looks at the different theories that could explain the bullying behaviour. An important section of this section is the role of teachers in overall bullying scenario. It also discusses the different intervention methods currently used. The second section of chapter deals with the second aspect of bullying, namely, empathy. It looks at the definition and historical evolution of empathy. It also looks at the aspects related to the definition and how it is differentiated from other similar terms often used. The section also looks into the use of empathy in related fields of healthcare.
The section specifically looks that researches done on the relationship between bullying and empathy as well. The section finally looks at empathy in relation to teachers. Bullying Defining bullying Smith, P. K. et al (2000) defines bullying as a form of antisocial behaviour that is found in schools, neighbourhoods and homes. Olweus, D. (1986, 1993) defines being bullied or victimized as the following: “A person is bullied when he or she is exposed repeatedly and over time to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons”. Olweus adds the negative and harmful factor of bullying to the definition.
Richter, N. (2005) defines bullying in the following way: “A bully is a person who hurts or browbeats those who are weaker. Browbeat means to intimidate with harsh, stern looks and talk”. American Medical Association defines bullying as a negative behaviour that involves a pattern of repeated aggression against the victim, deliberate intent to harm or disturb despite apparent distress of the victim and a real or perceived imbalance of power with the more powerful individual or group attacking a physically or psychologically vulnerable victim.
Richter and AMA add the factor of imbalance of power to the definition of bullying. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders defines bullying as psychiatric disorder that is characterized by a repetitive and persistent pattern of behaviour in which either the basic rights of the victim is violated. The phenomenon of bullying is characterised by three major aspects: (1) An aggressive behaviour or intentional behaviour to bring harm (2) It is carried out repeatedly and over time, (3) the inter-personal relationship is characterized by an imbalance of power.
Often bullying is found to happen without any apparent provocation. Hence bullying can be considered as a form of abuse. This is mainly at a peer level and can be termed as a peer abuse. The Prevalence of Bullying Bullying among the children is found to typically occur at school or during their way to the school. As children do not have an option of changing the environment by not being in the school, most of them are unable to avoid bullying.
A study conducted by US Department of Education and Justice in 1999 indicated that almost 1 million students (4%) who are aged between 12 and 18 years reported fear of being attacked or harmed in the school vicinity. About 5% reported that they avoided one or more places in the school wile 13% reported that they were targets of language of hate. The National Threat Assessment Center found that more than two thirds of the attackers involved in 37 shootings did the attack for taking revenge for incidents in their lives when they felt persecuted, bullied, threatened, attacked or injured by others.
It was found that exposure to bullying at school played a major role in motivating most of the perpetrators to take up violence. (AMA, 2002) Studies conducted by Olweus in Norway and Sweden with 150,000 students who are from grades one to nine indicated that 15% of the students reported of being involved in bully or victim problems several times within a three to five month period. About 9 percentage of the students reported that they had been bullied by their peers several times and about 7 percentage of the students indicated that they bullied others.
About 2 percentage of students reported that they were bullied as well as they bullied other students. Studies in Europe and United States have indicated higher level of bullying among the children and the youth. In a study that involved 6,500 students who are between the 4th grade and the 6th grade in South Carolina, about 23 percentage of the students reported of being bullied several times during the three months and 9 percent reported of being victim of very frequent bullying, which was qualified as once a week or more.
About one in five reported that they bully other students several times during the period of the study. A study conducted by Nansel with representation of about 15,600 students from 6th to 10th grades provided similar results. Seventeen percent of the students studied indicated that they bullied sometimes during the school term and 19 percent reported bullying others more often. Six percent of the full sample reported both bullying and having been bullied.
Many studied have found that the rates of bullying decrease steadily through the elementary grades such as the study conducted by Melton, Nansel shows. A study conducted by Olweus on about 10,000 Norwegian studies indicated that the rates of victimisation were twice as high among the 4th grade students when compared to the 10th grade. Nansel found that about one quarter of the students in the 6th grade reported being bullied during the current school term which was less than one tenth of the 10th graders. (AMA, 2002)