This study researches the nature of school violence in the United States. The study on the school violence and in particular bullying has always involved many quantitative studies. The author uses a variety of peer-reviewed sources for a further understanding of the nature of the topic. Therefore, this study ventures into using qualitative studies that involve an extensive literature analysis on the nature of school violence. The results of the study indicate that bullying has a considerable risk to the students ranging from exposure to alcohol abuse, depression, health risks and anxiety disorders. The study also notes that the perpetrators of school violence are not only the student but also the school professionals and the guardians. The study employs a qualitative approach that links the nature and demographics of bullying. Finally, the researcher provides suggestions for addressing school violence.
Keywords: Bullying, risk-factors, school violence, forms of violence, effects of bullying and nature of bullying.
Nature of School Violence in the United States
Background of the Study
In todays American society, bullying is becoming rampant in school settings. There is a need to look at the main causes of these violent acts to address the vice and provide solutions to this problem. Blame has been shifted to exposure to violent videos, movies, and even music as some of the causes of violence in schools (Mncube, 2014). School violence may involve verbal or physical attack while on the school compound. In the past, molesting peers and fights were treated as school violence. Nonetheless, it is becoming a problem to schools around the world. The degree of violence is on the rise, and it involves persons being harmed and even others being killed. Students go to school with a variety of weapons such as knives, guns, swords and other deadly weaponry. The weapons are employed in hurting and killing others. With the rising incidences of shooting, the recent one took place in Littleton, Colorado (Kueny and Zirkel, 2012). It is attracting public outcry and agencies are becoming concerned about which solutions are to be employed to efficiently end the violence in schools. The objective of this study is aimed at investigating the main causes of violence in schools, the effects, and the possible methods of prevention.
1.1 Statement of the Problem
Bullying happens in any circumstances, contexts, and places. The venues of bullying have been spread to now encompass the online platform through electronic media. The electronic platforms include cellphones and the cyberbullying. This includes the technological advancement that perpetuates bullying. Electronic bullying diminishes the normal conceptualization of bullying where the majority understood bullying as a form of physical abuses or aggression by outsiders (Georgiou, 2012). Bullying extends to the latest models of verbal abuse among students. All these forms of violence and aggression have had an impact on the students to the extent of having some risk factors that accompany the practice among students. However, in the recent past, the rate of violence among students in the United States has been on the rise. This places the majority of the policymakers and organizations on the alarm on how to control the phenomena at an early stage. Also, there is a shortage of qualitative studies that explain the nature and prevalence of bullying among students in the United States involving varied demographics. This study ventures into filling the existing gap by providing a cross-analysis of the literature and providing a qualitative explanation of bullying in schools in the United States.
1.2 Objectives of the Study
The objectives of this study are:
To describe the prevalence of bullying in the United States (Smokowski, 2013).
To identify the causes of bullying in schools.
To explain the risk factors of school bullying.
To describe the nature and demographics of the victims of school bullying (McNicholas and Orpinas, 2016).
1.3 Questions of the study
The following questions will guide this study:
How frequent is bullying in the United States?
What are the causes of bullying in schools?
What are the risk factors for school bullying?
How is the nature and demographics of victims of school bullying?
Smokowski, Cotter, Robertson, and Guo (2013) ventured into studying the nature of bullying. The sample included 3610 youths from diverse races. The participants had an average of 12.8 years. This study is effective since the researchers use binary regression models in predicting the prevalence of bullying in schools in the United States. The study was aligned towards elaborating the risk factors of bullying. The variables under study include age, race, gender, and psychiatric status. The study found out that Hispanic and African American students are at increased risk of victimization. The situation is even worse among the Indian students. The study also found out that students are victimized for a variety of purposes. For instance, lacking relationships and power, being physically weak, and being insecure are among the causes for bullying in schools. This study is very instrumental in having an in-depth understanding of the relationships in bullying victimization. Shetgiri, Lin, and Flores (2012) examine the trends involving the factors and prevalence of perpetration of school violence among children. The age of the participants ranged from 10-17 years. The study utilized the data from the National Survey of Children's Health which significantly impacted on the validity and reliability of the findings. The study also employed a report from parents that measures and questionnaires which were employed to measure the factors that are related to school violence. The variables included gender, the emotion of the child, behavioral or developmental problems, and parental anger concerning the child.
Schapiro, John, and Adesman (2014) went on studying the link between weapon ferrying and school bullying in the United States. The researchers observed the increased rate of school bullying alongside other school-related tragedies in the United States. On the other hand, the public health had intensified efforts to curb the increasing rate of bullying and related school violence. The researchers note that physical abuse together with the undying fear of retaliation is among the greatest forms of bullying in high school. Besides, other forms of bullying include verbal taunts which are common in middle schools and grade schools. The study relies on the fact that there exist gaps in information relating high school bullying and weapon carrying among students. The study relied on the data from the CDC survey on the youth risk behaviors in 2011. Majorly, the study was aligned towards demonstrating the rate of carting weapons in high schools alongside identifying the risk factors and the demographics. Furthermore, the study relied on questionnaires designed to measure how an individual was a victim of bullying (VoB). The variables in the study include age, grade, sex, weight, BMI, and height.Papas and Axe (2015) focused on explaining the relationship between bullying and suicide-related characteristics which involve disabled and adolescent participants in the United States. The study was carried out at a time when there was widespread school violence and therefore the public health concern that linked bullying with health consequences. The consequences involved increased vulnerability to suicide. The researcher notes that the effects of bullying are even higher in physically disabled adolescent students. This usually leads to suicidal thoughts among the victims of school-based violence.
McNicholas and Orpinas (2016) analyzed the rate and prevalence of victimization involving physically disabled students. Bullying is referred to as a repeated relationship that involves high rates of aggression in environments that has an imbalanced power. Disabled children are more exposed to bullying than those students who are not disabled. However, there is limited research that aligns with this fact. The study employs a mixed approach by using both qualitative and quantitative study designs in examining the characteristics and prevalence of bullying victimization in the United States. The participants included 161 physically disabled students whose information was available in the disability resource center at the school. The variables include gender, race, mode of study, and age. The respondents completed a survey through an electronic means which greatly impacted on the reliability and objectivity of the study. The questioned were centered around the rate of verbal, physical, cyber, and relational bullying. The questionnaire involved open-ended questions.
Maynard, Vaughn, Salas-Wright, and Vaughn (2016) carried out a study to understand the prevalence of bullying victimization involving immigrant school-going youth. The study was carried out in the United States. Bullying remains to be one of the serious socio-developmental problems in the United States among other countries in the world. Therefore, there exist a range of long and short-term consequences among the victims of bullying. Given that less literature and studies are delineating the correlation between bullying and immigrant students, the researcher endeavors to fill the existing gap by providing a detailed study of the prevalence and nature of the relationship. The findings of the study indicated that the immigrant students are at an advanced rate of experiencing victimization than the native students. Besides, the immigrant students are at an increased likelihood of reporting socioemotional, health, drug and substance abuse alongside interpersonal problems.
Hertz, Everett, Barrios, David-Ferdon, and Holt (2015) examine the relationship between health risk characteristics and school violence victimization involving high school adolescent. The childhood encounter with experience from adverse conditions has been linked to smoking, asthma, obesity, sexually transmitted infections, depression, sleep disorders, and substance abuse. The study employed the data from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey of 2011 to help in conceptualizing the correlation between school-based violence and health risk characteristics. The study used a regression analysis to study the variables such as sex, race, and grade. The study found out that the victimization frequencies varied considerably. Some of the students reported that they had been victimized either in person or electronically with some indicating that they have never been victimized. The study concludes by indicating that the behaviours and functioning of the bullying victims can be an indicator for the policymakers in intervening school violence at an early stage.
Grinshteyn and Yang (2017) examine the relationship between absenteeism and electronic bullying among high school youth. The study takes place in the United States. The study examines the relationship between absenteeism and exposure to electronic bullying with the conception of fear. The study employs a multinominal, multivariate analyses using the survey form the youth risk behaviours 2013 data. The variables under study include demographics, risk factors, and behavioral or physical health. The study found out that there is a significant association between electronic bullying and school absenteeism. This is more often when the victims feel that they are more afraid of further victimization leading to them to abscond schooling to engage in truant behavio...
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