Term Paper: Motives for Bullying

Sample Term Paper

Words 1,650

This term paper provides some useful discussion on motives for bullying. A power imbalance is found at the heart of the bullying dynamic. A student who is stronger, more hostile, bolder, and more confident than average normally bullies other students who are weaker, more timid, and who tend not to retaliate or act in a confident manner.

Research suggests 3 things that motivate bullies (Olweus, 1995, 196-200). They may:

  • have a need for power and supremacy
  • be hostile toward the environment and feel pleased when inflicting injury and suffering
  • be compelled to acquire things of value that confer status

A power imbalance is found at the heart of the bullying dynamic. A student who is stronger, more hostile, bolder, and more confident than average normally bullies other students who are weaker, more timid, and who tend not to retaliate or act in a confident manner. Sometimes older students bully younger ones, or upper year students bully fresh students. Sometimes bullies pick on students who are disadvantaged by being new immigrants or are from a cultural minority group. As with other interpersonal violence, such as dating violence, racial harassment, child abuse, and wife assault, the power imbalance is a main issue in understanding what is going on. Intrusion must take this into version. It is a myth that bullies are anxious underneath their bravado. Research indicates that their self esteem is, on average, average or above average. It seem that bullies tend to come from homes where aggressive strategies to conflict resolution is modeled, although more research needs to be done on this link.

Victims on the other hand,  tend to be nervous and, in the case of boys, tend to be physically weaker and less skilled than bullies. Victims tend to lack firm responses to peer aggression, and they tend to be low on skills for making friends. They normally do not retaliate when they are picked on, so that they come to be seen as “safe” targets for bullying.

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