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Do you see your child behaving strangely? Do you see him depressed anxious? Maybe you should understand why! He could be a victim of bullying or cyberbullying.
Bullying refers to the phenomenon of bullying perpetrated by children and young people against their peers, especially in the school environment. To be defined as such, behavior must have three precise characteristics:
- Persistence over time
- Relationship asymmetry.
The action must be intentional and carried out in order to harm the victim. It must be repeated with respect to a particular partner and characterized by an imbalance of power between those who perform the action and those who suffer it. A child or young person is the object of bullying or is bullied or victimized when he is exposed, repeatedly over time, to negative actions carried out by one or more companions.
The distinctive criteria of bullying with respect to aggressive behavior:
- Reiteration; presence of an imbalance in strength (physical or psychological) and power within the relationship between the bully and the victim;
- Lack of provocation by the victim
What are the consequences for the victims?
- SHORT-TERM: despair and disaffection for school or social activity (sometimes these behaviors are taken to the extreme).
- LONG-TERM: as adults they are more affected by depression.
The difference between bullying and cyberbullying lies in the fact that cyberbullying lacks the face-to-face relationship between the victim and the cyberbully, and that technologies, due to their characteristics of anonymity and diffusion over time and space, modulate these three dimensions. badges in bullying.
In electronic bullying, the imbalance of power that is created between the victim and the cyberbully is not affected by the physicality of the person or by the interaction but rather by the anonymity and perception of invisibility that the cyberbully benefits from. The intention and responsibility of the denigrating action also take on an indirect and widespread form, as it is difficult to trace the main person responsible for the bullying and it is easy for all those who share or comment to partially share responsibility. The recurrence of aggressive conduct over time acquires a peculiar connotation in online bullying, as it often consists in the prolongation of the effects and spread of a single episode of cyberbullying following the absence of physical and temporal barriers created by technology.
Similarly to traditional bullying, cyberbullying occurs both directly and indirectly: in the first case, there is targeted aggression by the cyberbully on the victim; in the second case, the disparaging actions aim to discredit the victim in her social environment, acting behind her back. The victimization methods most frequently encountered in cyberbullying are text messages, when it occurs through mobile phones, and offenses on social networks, what occurs through the internet, and the perceived severity of cyber bullying differs according to the type of action: for example, calls and photographs are rated to have the greatest impact.
Finally, with regard to the roles of involvement of bullies, it is possible to observe gender differences with regard to the cyberbully. In particular, if traditional bullying is more often male, females resort more frequently to cyberbullying, probably because for girls the offense is not of a physical nature but affects reputation and social image.
Furthermore, group action is even more relevant in cyberbullying than in traditional bullying, determining its effectiveness, and is expressed through comments, sharing and views. Research results seem to agree on the presence in both of: depression, decreased self-esteem. With regard to cyberbullying, there is also an increase in risky behaviors such as alcohol and drug abuse in adolescence, but the peculiarity is a proven decrease in school performance, greater absenteeism and a high probability of academic dropout.
If you suspect your child is being bullied or cyberbullied, please feel free to contact us.
Our investigators will carry out all necessary checks to ascertain your suspicions.
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