Journal of East China Normal University(Educationa ›› 2017, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (2): 51-56+119.doi: 10.16382/j.cnki.1000-5560.2017.02.006

Previous Articles     Next Articles

The Psychological Factors and Treatment of School Bullying

SUN Shijin, SHI Zeyi   

  1. Department of Psychology, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
  • Online:2017-04-20 Published:2017-03-27

Abstract: School bullying occurs both in China and other countries. The pernicious influence of school bullying is gaining more public concern these years. In fact, it is a global phenomenon. After reviewing literature from China and abroad, we discuss the psychological characteristics of bullies and victims as well as the influence of social environment. Treatment methods are presented in the last section. First, the concept of school bullying is defined. School bullying is the kind of intentional, repetitive aggressive behavior that occurs at schools among students who own power differentials. School bullying includes physical, verbal, relational, cyber attack behavior which always influences victims' mental and physical health. Victims and bullies are the main participants of school bullying. As far as bullies are concerned, their aggressive behaviors are related to physiological factors such as age and gender as well as social factors such as their craving for high social status. Bullies should not be regarded blindly as evil because they are actually victims of their family or social environment. Also, their aggressive behaviors may have historical background and causes. Only after ruminating on their aggressive behaviors can we cope with the problem. In addition, the risk factors of victims such as being out of the ordinary, being solitary and being rejected are stated. However, the bullies are attracted to the psychological weakness implicitly presented by the victims. Only after the self-esteem of victim is enhanced can the occurrence of bullying be restrained. Moreover, according to Society Ecosystems Theory, environment such as family, school and society play important role in school bullying and have mutual effect. This article suggests that it is necessary to create a liberal, equal, supportive, and intimate environment. Finally, the paper discusses treatment methods of school bullying. The growing public awareness of school bullying does not necessarily mean the decreasing incidence of it. And school bullying intervention should be problem-based adopting interdisciplinary approaches. For example, legal researchers should set a bottom line of attacking behavior in order to prevent extreme malignance and produce warning effects. Educational researchers should refer to school intervention approaches from China and abroad, such as creating a positive school climate at the school level, carrying out anti-bullying program at the classroom level or providing counseling at the individual level. A fair, liberal, harmonious, supportive and safe environment is mentioned. Furthermore, we suggest that a good intervention program in place will make bullies unwilling to, unable to, and not daring to bully. Setting bottom line of the law makes bullies unable to do so. Behavioral control at schools prevents bullies from daring to do so. Psychological counseling or other psychological methods make bullies unwilling to do so by improving themselves inherently. Lastly, we point out that the connotation and extension of school bullying should be strictly defined and school bullying should not be intervened unlimitedly because conflicts can improve one's interpersonal skills in some way.

Key words: school bullying, bullies, victims, family environment, school environment, social environment