Comparison of cyberbullying and physical bullying psychological impact
Bullying is a pervasive social issue that has psychological consequences on its victims. The advent of technology has increased the scope of bullying to include cyberbullying, which is perpetrated through electronic media. Cyberbullying and physical bullying are forms of aggression that have been identified to have significant psychological impacts on the victims. This research essay aims to compare the psychological impact of cyberbullying and physical bullying.
Psychological impact of cyberbullying:
Cyberbullying has been shown to have a significant psychological impact on its victims. Cyberbullying victims may experience anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem, which are similar to the impacts of physical bullying (Bauman, Toomey, & Walker, 2013). However, cyberbullying can be more distressing because the victim cannot escape it since the harassment is persistent and can occur at any time of the day (Hinduja & Patchin, 2018). The anonymity provided by the internet can also embolden cyberbullies, leading to a higher incidence of harassment.
Psychological impact of physical bullying:
Physical bullying has been identified as a risk factor for mental health issues such as anxiety and depression (Hawker & Boulton, 2000). Victims of physical bullying may also experience a decrease in self-esteem, which can persist into adulthood (Ttofi & Farrington, 2011). Physical bullying can also lead to physical harm, which can exacerbate the psychological impacts of the aggression.
Comparison of psychological impacts:
Cyberbullying and physical bullying have similar psychological impacts, including anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. However, cyberbullying can be more distressing because it can occur at any time, and victims cannot escape it. Physical bullying can lead to physical harm, which can exacerbate the psychological impacts of the aggression. Cyberbullying, on the other hand, is less likely to cause physical harm.
In conclusion, cyberbullying and physical bullying have similar psychological impacts, including anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. However, cyberbullying can be more distressing due to its persistent nature, while physical bullying can lead to physical harm. Efforts to prevent bullying, whether physical or cyber, should be aimed at addressing the psychological impact on the victims.
Bauman, S., Toomey, R. B., & Walker, J. L. (2013). Associations among bullying, cyberbullying, and suicide in high school students. Journal of Adolescence, 36(2), 341-350.
Hawker, D. S., & Boulton, M. J. (2000). Twenty years’ research on peer victimization and psychosocial maladjustment: A meta-analytic review of cross-sectional studies. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 41(4), 441-455.
Hinduja, S., & Patchin, J. W. (2018). Cyberbullying: An update and synthesis of the research. In Handbook of child psychology and developmental science (pp. 1-34). John Wiley & Sons.
Ttofi, M. M., & Farrington, D. P. (2011). Effectiveness of school-based programs to reduce bullying: a systematic and meta-analytic review. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 7(1), 27-56.
How can schools and parents prevent both cyberbullying and physical bullying?
Can the psychological impacts of bullying be reversed, and how?