Why Children and Adolescents Use Language, Power, and Persuasion to Bully Others

Topics: Violence, Television, Aggression Pages: 15 (5044 words) Published: April 4, 2012

Why Children and Adolescents Use Language, Power, and Persuasion to Bully Others

Through the influences of media and adults

Mario G. Cavazos, Jr.

Texas A & M International University


The recent deaths of 11 year old Carl Walker-Hoover of Massachusetts and Jaheem Herrera of Atlanta, Georgia serve as a cataclysm that the nightmare of childhood bullying still exists. Early childhood and adolescent bullying has been a problem for many years in the United States and across the world. School administrators, teachers, and parents need to find solutions to end a plague that has accrued and consumed so many children every day in schools across the globe. The abysmal failure of preventing bullying has been ignored by many adults who label the term as a “phase” or “kids being kids.” Nowadays, bullying isn’t usually perpetrated by one bully; rather it is a group of kids who contribute to physical and verbal abuse among other children. Why? What causes children and adolescents to behave in this way? This paper will examine the various ways and reasons childhood and adolescent bullying occurs. The paper will focus on various communication theories—cultivation, symbolic interactionism, and social learning theory—that will help dissect and understand where bullying originates.

Why Children and Adolescents Use Language, Power, and Persuasion to Bully Others

Through the influences of media and adults

Bullying is defined as a hostile activity which harms and facilitates fear through the fulmination of further aggression which translates and creates trepidation. When it comes to bullying, it may either be premeditated, or it may aggrandize at any given moment. Bullying may be keen and easy to recognize. Sometimes bullying can be done on a one on one basis, or by a nexus of children. Bullying may generally divide the issue into the negative and violent effects of the media, or perhaps it may come from parents whose children at a young age mimic their every mood, language, and behavior. First, there are three variations of bullying: verbal, corporal and social/interpersonal relations. Expressed communication or verbal bullying consists of name calling, mockery, terrifying phone calls vicious threats, etc. Corporal bullying includes jabbing, whacking, beating, choking, and other threatening gestures. Social or relational bullying includes segregating, arranging public humiliation, and non verbal communication acts such as disturbing stares. These are examples of how children can communicate through violence. So where and how does this boorish behavior erupt? Bullying occurs in a context where there is a real or perceived power imbalance. Some of the areas of difference may include size, strength, age, intelligence, religion, ethnicity, sexual preference, gender, and race. Children who suffer many years of being bullied as well as children who use violence as a means to communicate through aggression as bullies may encounter a range of problems such as alcoholism and drugs as an anodyne to numb their emotional pain that may amplify into adolescence and adulthood. One of the main problems surrounding bullying in schools involves how parents communicate to their children at homes. Parents need to be sensitive when it comes to communicating with children as well as the castigation they receive at home. They play a huge role in a child’s life as they mold their values and ethics with their children. Language is a main contributor since words have a profound meaning from adults to children. Young children absorb everything they take in. From the moment children are born to approximately four years of age, parents are supposed to nourish their children with positive parenting communication. After fours years of age and...

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