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Michael Butkus, PhD DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan October 9, 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Michael Butkus, PhD DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan October 9, 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Michael Butkus, PhD DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan October 9, 2012

2 In New Jersey, a young man,Tyler, jumped off abridge after pics of him and another male student were sent over the internet 14 year old female student recently committed suicide in her parent’s home because of the bullying she experienced from her peers after she accused an older male peer of rape; she was called names and had things thrown at her Tragic Events

3 Josie was beaten severely by male peer; required left hemispherectomy; cognitive retraining: relearning colors, words numbers; can no longer read; doesn’t remember anything about the beating Phoebe, 15, committed suicide after unrelenting torment-called names; hung herself; irony: she did the same to others in home in Ireland Tragic Events

4 Incidence:  40-80% of school age children have some experience with being bullied; 10-15% chronic victims or bullies (Nansel, et al., 2001)  85% with disabilities are targeted  25% without disabilities are targeted Can occur as early as kindergarten Consistent predictor: being different from the larger peer group Facts about Bullying

5 School age kids rank bullying as a big problem and something they dread Same children are often victimized in several different ways: traditional and cyberbullying Not enough research to really conclude that these kids are at high risk for negative outcomes; eg, suicide It may be that being victimized with a single act of bullying by many or more frequent exposure to one type of bullying may be equally harmful (Anthony, et.al, 2010) Facts about Bullying

6 Up to 60% of teens observe bullying in school at least once a day (Anthony, et al, 2010) Being a bystander can itself cause mental health problems Bystanders have increased fears of being bullied, more nervousness and worry Bystanders may have a drop in attendance too Bystanders

7 Just being a member of a certain ethnic group doesn’t increase risk for bullying but if that group in a school is in the minority, then the odds increase; i.e., imbalance of power issue Ethnic composition of classrooms is the issue not ethnicity per se’; that is, shared power between groups (APA) Bullying and Ethnicity

8 are a kind of interpersonal terrorist violate the rights of others may have issues with anger and relationships may have trouble with empathy may have an intolerance for differences Bullies …

9 Imbalance of power Positive reinforcement Unsupervised spaces Inaction on the part of adults--allow bullying to develop initially and then persist Adults sanction bullying Why Bullies Bully

10 Modeling aggressive idols For a minority of bullies: psychological factors: frustration, depression and anxiety Social or group phenomenon: social climate has much to do with bullying cause Why Bullies Bully

11 Some bullies have cold and uninvolved parents Some bullies have overly permissive parents Some bullies’ parents often don’t know what their children are doing Some bullies’ parents may be physically or emotionally punitive Bullies may be victims of neglect and/or abuse Bullies may have a family background with substance use, psychiatric disorder, and/or incarceration Possible Causes of Bullying

12 Bullies have no friends and are usually rejected Bullies have low self-esteem Being a victim is a character builder Bully victims become violent when they get older Myths

13 benign. a “rite of passage.” only involves physical aggression. the result of low self-esteem. the result of kids having trouble fitting in socially. Bullying is not….

14 Many think CB is worse than bullying in person Many agree that it is a very serious problem but many don’t report it Parents often have no idea what is happening to their child online and don’t have online controls Effects of cyberbullying more pronounced than other forms of bullying CyberBullying

15 Ally: Hey fatty. You are so ugly and disgusting. Just look at yourself. Euuw. Megan: I don’t understand why you hate me so much. I have never done anything to you. Ally: You are just so nasty and ugly. You have no friends and should just go die or something. BYE! Real CyberBullying Example

16 May be quiet, awkward, passive, have few friends, and suffer from low self-esteem Insecurity may signal they are easy targets As many as 1/3 will become bully-victims (from B.A. Brooks, MD) Victims

17 Depression, low self esteem Irritability Suicidal thinking (extreme: suicide) Anxiety (e.g., panic attacks) Increased stress and insecurity Increased crying (in younger victims) Increased physical complaints Psychological Effects of Bullying

18 Appetite problems Sleep problems Decreased concentration Achievement problems School attendance issues (e.g., truancy, drop out, resistance to going to school) Extreme consequence: Homicide Psychological Effects of Bullying

19 Nothing Blame victim Laugh at or belittle victim: “man up!”, “Don’t let them push you around!” Reverse aggression Harsh punishment of bully Simple solutions (videos, speakers, school slogans) Cyber revenge Effects unclear: Peer mediation/conflict resolution Ineffective Strategies

20 Believe that something can be done and you have a right to be treated respectfully in school (and elsewhere) Tell teacher, parent Talk to friends More Effective Strategies

21 Ignore; if that doesn’t work… Move away; if that doesn’t work… Talk firmly; if that doesn’t work… Get adult help Don’t engage cyberbully with more s or send offending to others Keep all the evidence and show to adults Block/change addresses and cell numbers

22 When is Therapy Needed? Many victims suffer in silence; often don’t get treatment (seen as weak or “gay”) Depression SI/HI Anxiety Serious school refusal Acting out, anger, aggression; preoccupation with violence Drug use Cutting Eating Problems


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