Discussion portion of research project

Effects of being bullied: Overview Bullying is a real problem faced by children in a number of situations, and some children are particularly susceptible to being bullied. This includes children with challenges, who receive visible support like free meals and children belonging to minority groups (Weston, 2009). Weston (2009) provides a comprehensive definition of bullying and suggests that bullying differs based on gender and can include actions that harm the child physically, emotionally and / or socially or behaviors that isolate the child from opportunities to socialize/interact with peers. This study was undertaken to verify if being bullied was associated with the development of personality disorders as described in the DSM – IV – TR like avoidant, dependent, antisocial, borderline, histrionic, narcissistic, obsessive – compulsive, schizotypal, schizoid, and paranoid disorders (Vaughan, Fu, Bender, DeLisi, Beaver, Perron, & Howard, 2010). The researchers believed that it was possible that the plethora of negative emotions that the bullied child is exposed to may increase their vulnerability and inhibit healthy personality development.
In order to verify this hypothesis, secondary data was collected from a number of research papers since it is neither possible to anticipate nor ethical to manipulate the experience of being bullied (Shaughnessy, Zechmeister & Zechmeister, 2009). Peer reviewed articles were chosen and explored for data about the short-term and long-term consequences of being bullied. This data was then used to verify the hypothesis that bullied children are at greater risk for personality disorders. Analysis of the data chosen showed only one study (Vaughan, et al., 2010) of those chosen provided evidence that being bullied was associated with personality disorders. The hypothesis may be tentatively accepted, but more data is needed to establish a genuine link between being bullied and personality disorders.
Analysis of the data did strongly support the relationship between being bullied and the development of mood-related problems, in particular depression in young children (Gianluca, 2008; Lemstra, Nielsen, Rogers, Thompson & Moraros, 2012). Although it was not associated with adult depression; other issues related to attention were identified (McGee, Scott, McGrath, Williams, O’Callaghan, Bor & Najman, 2011). While parental support and warmth were found to moderate the negative effects of being bullied, both children and adults did show a likelihood of anxiety, emotional problems and behavioral issues (Bowes, Maughan, Capsi, Moffitt & Arseneault, 2010). Thus, bullying does seem to be associated with disordered functioning in some way. The importance of including information about bullying in mental health assessments has been emphasized across studies(Gianluca, 2008; Weston, 2009) . It is possible that the lack of evidence supporting the hypothesis may be due to the non-inclusion of such data in the assessment of personality disorders. Further research that uses case histories and narratives may help in understanding if the conclusions drawn are valid or not.
Works cited
Bowes, L., Maughan, B., Capsi, A., Moffitt, T., Arseneault, L. (2010). Families promote emotional and behavioral resilience to bullying: evidence of an environmental effect. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry. 51(7). Retrieved May 17, 2012, from ProQuest database.
Gianluca, G. (2008). Associations between bullying behavior, psychosomatic complaints, emotional and behavioral problems. Journal of Pediatrics and child health. 44. Pp. 492-497. Retrieved May 17, 2012, from ProQuest database.
Lemstra, M., Nielsen, G., Rogers, M., Thompson, A., Moraros, J. (2012). Risk indicators and outcomes associated with bullying in youth aged 9-15 years. Canadian journal of public health. Retrieved May 17, 2012, from ProQuest database.
McGee, G., Scott, J., McGrath, J., Williams, G., O’Callaghan, M., Bor, W., Najman, J. (2011). Young adult problem behavior outcomes of adolescent bullying. Journal of Aggression, Conflict, and Peace Research. 3(2). Retrieved May 17, 2012, from ProQuest database.
Shaughnessy, J., Zechmeister, J., Zechmeister, E. (2009). Research methods in psychology. (8th Ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill Publishing.
Vaughan, M., Fu, Q., Bender, K., DeLisi, M., Beaver, K., Perron, B., Howard, M. (2010). Psychiatric correlates of bullying in the United States: Findings from a national sample. Psychiatric Quarterly, 81(1). 183-195. Retrieved from ProQuest database
Weston, F. (2009). Working with children who have been bullied. Journal of school nursing.
5(4). Retrieved May 17, 2012, from ProQuest database.