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What Are the Causes of Bullying in Adolescence?

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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: Rachel Catherine Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 17 August 2018
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Bullying in adolescence may be caused by a lack of confidence and self respect, or from feeling uncomfortable with one's physical appearance or abilities. Some teenagers who intimidate others may do so to gain control and release their anger. Some experts believe that bullying makes adolescents feel empowered, especially those who target their victims over the Internet. In addition, bullying in adolescence may be caused by living in a violent environment or being exposed to domestic violence in the home. According to psychologists, aggressive behavior and bullying may also be caused by lack of social skills, or from a lack of adult supervision at school or in the home, particularly supervision in using the Internet.

Experts believe that many teenage bullies have anger issues. The anger may stem from resentment or frustration, or even depression. As a way of unleashing anger, a bully may target a more defenseless victim, in an attempt to cause intimidation and fear. In many cases, bullying in adolescence goes no further than idle threats. For some victims however, hurtful words may be more painful than a physical attack.

Another hypothesis is that some teenagers who feel poorly about their physical appearance may resort to bullying as a means of boosting the ego. This theory projects that a teenager who believes he is inferior may feel differently about how he perceives himself by bullying those who are weaker. Some psychologists believe the bully is seeking approval through aggressive behavior.

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Experts also claim that when bullies push other kids around, it may be due to lack of social skills. In addition, a lack of empathy for others may stem from a lack of attention at home. Some child experts believe that parents who do not instill values in their children from an early age may be indirectly contributing to a child's bullying.

Aggressive behavior among adolescents may also occur from lack of discipline in the home or at school. Some psychologists also believe that bullying in adolescents may be a result of a parent's prejudices. The theory is, if a parent expresses contempt or resentment for others, the child is likely to develop the same intolerance.

Some bullies may abuse the privilege of computer technology and the Internet to cause suffering to others. In previous decades, bullying in adolescence was limited to face to face harassment. Bullying over the Internet has become more prevalent through text messaging and email.

Cyber bulling is a phrase used to describe harassment that is done over the Internet, often without divulging one's identity. Many child experts believe that unsupervised Internet access is another cause of widespread bullying in adolescence. Minors who are involved in cyber bullying may be charged in a juvenile court of law, resulting in punishment.

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