Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Research Dispels Popular Myth That A Bully's Words Will Never Hurt You

Date:
April 17, 2003
Source:
University Of Warwick
Summary:
Research by Dr. Stephen Joseph a psychologist at the University of Warwick into bullying at Secondary Schools dispels the well-known saying "Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me".

Research by Dr. Stephen Joseph a psychologist at the University of Warwick into bullying at Secondary Schools dispels the well-known saying "Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me".

Contrary to popular belief the study reveals that verbal-victimisation has a particular impact on the victim's feeling of self-worth, and that name-calling can significantly reduce self-esteem. In fact, verbal abuse can have more impact upon victims' self-worth than physical attacks, such as punching, or attacks on property, such as stealing or the destruction of belongings.

The study into bullying and posttraumatic stress in adolescents assessed 331 school pupils in England and reveals that as many as 40% were bullied at some time during their schooling. It suggests that one third of bullied children may suffer from clinically significant levels of posttraumatic stress – so rather than helping to toughen up school pupils, bullying could seriously affect their mental health.

The research paper entitled "Peer- victimisation and posttraumatic stress in adolescents" examines the levels of posttraumatic stress experienced and the impact of bullying on the self-worth on victims. Bullying is stressful and can affect adolescents both emotionally and physically, and the results indicate that different forms of abuse have distinct effects on victims.

To analyse the effects of different types of aggression a "Victim Scale" was used to assess the experience of physical victimisation, verbal victimisation, social manipulation and attacks on property. All types of bullying result in lower self-esteem, but social manipulation, such as excluding the victim from taking part in games, is more likely to lead to posttraumatic stress, and verbal taunts typically lead to lower self-worth.

The study also suggests that verbal bullying or social manipulation can lead to victims feeling helpless and that they lack control over their own feelings and actions. Those who feel that power and control lie with the bully, rather than internally, are much more likely to suffer from posttraumatic stress or lower self-worth.

Dr. Stephen Joseph, from the University of Warwick, said: "This study reveals that bullying and particularly name calling can be degrading for adolescents. Posttraumatic stress is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a frightening event or ordeal in which physical harm occurred or was threatened, and research clearly suggests that it can be caused by bullying. It is important that peer victimisation is taken seriously as symptoms such as insomnia, anxiety and depression are common amongst victims and have a negative impact on psychological health."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Warwick. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Warwick. "New Research Dispels Popular Myth That A Bully's Words Will Never Hurt You." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 April 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/04/030417080610.htm>.
University Of Warwick. (2003, April 17). New Research Dispels Popular Myth That A Bully's Words Will Never Hurt You. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/04/030417080610.htm
University Of Warwick. "New Research Dispels Popular Myth That A Bully's Words Will Never Hurt You." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/04/030417080610.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A study suggests that parents become desensitized to violent movies as well as children, which leads them to allow their kids to view violent films. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins