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Bullying and Its Effects on Students Physical and Psychological Wellbeing

            Bullying is one of the main challenges that affect students’ academic performance. It is detrimental to the psychological and emotional well-being of learners. Furthermore, it leads to both short-term and long-term problems, which include affecting students’ level of concentration, anxiety, depression, learning difficulties, and psychological problems. Bullying has various dynamics, which may include insulting, physical abuse, mockery, verbal abuse, and threats. Bullying affects students both physically and psychologically, which affects their academic performance, thus, there is a need for educational institutions to introduce stringent measures to curb the vice.

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            Bullying has adverse effects on students’ short and long-term academic performance. Studies have established that there is a positive relationship between academic performance and bullying, which can be attributed to various reasons. One of these is that it makes students have fear of going to school since they feel unsafe. Consequently, this leads to missed classes, which affects students’ performance. Besides, even if feeling unsafe lowers the students’ level of concentration while in class, which is detrimental to their academic performance.  Therefore, bullying is a major cause of poor academic outcomes for many students considering it adversely affects their ability to concentrate and makes them miss some classes since they feel unsafe when at school.

            Additionally, bulling affects learners’ level of motivation as well as attentiveness while in class.  Espelage et al. (2013) conducted a study to establish to establish the effects of bullying on learning. The study focused on physiological and emotional well-being of the affected students. The research established that bullied students have lower motivational levels to attend school. For instance, these students feel that the school environment is not suitable for them, which means that even when they go to school, they are insecure. Additionally, instances such as recalling their bullying experience, or even the fear of being bullied again affects their level of concentration in class (Espelage et al., 2013). Therefore, failing to attend classes combined with the negative thoughts associated with bullying negatively affects the learner’s academic outcomes relative to those of the other students who do not experience bullying.

            Furthermore, bullying causes different levels of depression in the victims depending on the extent of the bullying. Additionally, some of the bullied students do not share their negative experiences with their parents or their teachers, which makes it difficult for these concerned parties to detect (Espelage et al., 2013). For instance, the victims may feel uncomfortable to discuss their experiences. Therefore, these experiences, combined with the failure of parents and teachers to detect, as well as the students’ failure to share their experiences may lead to anxiety and depression, which may adversely affects the students’ academic performance (Hammig & Jozkowski, 2013). As an example, depressed students are less likely to concentrate in class, which automatically translates to poor performance.

            Additionally, depression leads to loneliness and feelings of sadness. The feelings associate with instances of bullying, such as insults or emotional abuse, may be difficult for the students to take. The students who experience bullying, for instance, have higher chances of not eating properly. Furthermore, they may experience difficulties to fall asleep considering they know that similar humiliating and negative experiences are awaiting them when they wake or when they attend school (Hammig & Jozkowski, 2013). It is imperative for parents and guardians to ask their children questions when they note instances such as not eating and sleeping properly. Moreover, when students fail to sleep properly, they may not concentrate while in class because of sleepiness (Juvonen et al., 2011). Besides, when if they do not eat properly, their physical and psychological development is negatively affected and they are less likely to concentrate while in class.

            Additionally, instances of bullying make students lose interest in their favorite activities. Such activities are important for students. They assist students to develop organizational and time management skills. Furthermore, they enhance students’ ability to focus and enhance their ability to grasp new concepts (Konishi et al., 2010). Hence, since bullying affects their ability to participate in such activities, their academics are also likely to be affected. Therefore, it is imperative to bullying instances early enough for the appropriate measures to be taken before the effects escalate to more serious physical and psychological problems.

            Additionally, bullying affects the victims’ self-esteem, which in turn affects their academic performance. Studies have established that bullying leads to loss of confidence in the affected children. These children may feel as if they are not good enough at certain activities compared to the bully, thus they may want to avoid them (Strøm et al., 2013). Moreover, bullying leads to self-rejection and self-criticism. When children are belittled regarding something, they are likely to believe that it is true, even when it is not. Furthermore, such belittlement tends to be worse and more damaging to their self-esteem when elements that they cannot change, such as their skin color or height (Espelage et al., 2013).  Such incidents instances make the victims feel inferior, which affects their self-esteem. A low self-esteem may affect the students’ learning process, which may affect their academic outcomes. For instance, such students are less likely to ask questions when they do not understand certain concepts in class. Therefore, bullying lowers the self-esteem of the victims, which makes their learning difficult.

            Additionally, the low self-esteem results in isolation of the victims. When the victims’ self-esteem is severely damaged, they are more likely to avoid family members and friends. Furthermore, these students have higher chances of developing anxiety and becoming depressed. Moreover, isolation may lead to more damaging psychological problems, which may include suicidal thoughts and severe depression. Besides, when the victims isolate themselves, it becomes difficult for parents, guardians, and teachers to identity their problems, which makes it even more difficult for them (Hammig & Jozkowski, 2013). For instance, when it becomes difficult for teachers and parents to detect that these students have been bullied, it becomes difficult to take corrective measures.

            However, while bullying is a major problem that affects thousands of students, others argue that it is natural part of the society. It is a part of the natural cycle, where the bully offends and is punished for his or her offense. As such, it is bad for both the bully and the victim. The bully feels shameful for his or her acts or the punishment that may follow. Additionally, the prevalence of bullying is in some instances perceived as a reflection of the society that humans live in. For instance, bullying is sometimes perceived as the product of children’s’ immediate environment. For instance, it may because of their association with other children who influence their behavior. Furthermore, the failure teachers may fail to detect bullied students since they may have stresses that may it difficult for them to evaluate the behavior of their students. Additionally, parents may also be a part of the problem. As an example, they fail to spend sufficient time with their child, which makes it difficult to detect whether their children are the bullies or the victims (Juvonen et al., 2011). Therefore, while it is important bullying from a different perspective, the result of societal problems and part of the environment children grown in. Besides, there is a need for more measures to be taken to ensure that corrective measures do not focus on the punishing the bullies, but also assisting the victims to forget their negative experiences.

            Therefore, bullying is a major problem that affects the academic achievements of thousands of children. Bullied children may not want to attend school because of the negative experiences. They perceive school as an unsafe environment, thus even when in class they tend to be inattentive. Besides, bullying causes the victim to develop anxiety and depression. These affect their ability to concentrate when in class. In addition, depression causes the victims to develop a low esteem. This is associated with low confidence and isolation. These may lead to other more damaging psychological problems that may inhibit learning processes. However, others argue that bullying is a natural process and a product of the environment that children grow up in. Nerveless; there is a need for more stringent measures to be taken considering bullying is one of the main elements that leads to poor academic outcomes for thousands of students.


Espelage, D. L., Hong, J. S., Rao, M. A., & Low, S. (2013). Associations between peer victimization and academic performance. Theory into Practice52(4), 233-240.

Hammig, B., & Jozkowski, K. (2013). Academic achievement, violent victimization, and bullying among US high school students. Journal of interpersonal violence28(7), 1424-1436.

Juvonen, J., Wang, Y., & Espinoza, G. (2011). Bullying experiences and compromised academic performance across middle school grades. The Journal of Early Adolescence31(1), 152-173.

Konishi, C., Hymel, S., Zumbo, B. D., & Li, Z. (2010). Do school bullying and student—teacher relationships matter for academic achievement? A multilevel analysis. Canadian journal of school psychology25(1), 19-39.

Strøm, I. F., Thoresen, S., Wentzel-Larsen, T., & Dyb, G. (2013). Violence, bullying and academic achievement: A study of 15-year-old adolescents and their school environment. Child abuse & neglect37(4), 243-251.


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