According to research by Janice Gallagher, one out of four children is bullied, and one out of five defines themselves as a bully (qtd. in Lumsden 3). Children who have problems at home or who have been bullied themselves often end up becoming bullies; consequently, children who are bullied suffer from a wide variety of emotional problems which often remain unresolved and result in further problems during adolescence and adulthood.
There are so many reasons which accumulate into a child becoming a bully. Most often, bullies will target children who have physical differences such as being overweight or wearing glasses. The real reason bullying happens is due to a power imbalance between the children (Miller 252). For example, physically strong bullies will almost always choose victims who are physically weaker than themselves (Bullying par. 5), and will not tend to pick on other children who might retaliate. In addition, domestic problems such as abuse or neglect may manifest as bullying behavior, which the child uses as a coping mechanism.
Many bullies believe this type of abusive behavior is normal because they experience it daily at home; children learn by example and mimic what they see. Sometimes bullying behavior can be caused by a need to gain acceptance within a peer group, or to gain attention from adults (Bullying and Your Child 3). Whatever the cause, bullies almost always have some underlying emotional reason for their behavior. Unfortunately, many child bullies do not grow out of it and carry their abusive impulses through into adulthood. A public interest paper published by the American Psychological Association states that [b]ullying behavior has been linked to other forms of anti-social behavior, such as vandalism, shoplifting, fighting, and the use of drugs and alcohol (Bullying par. 6).
The effects of bullying can be both short...