Effect of Bullying on Academic Performance of Junior Secondary School Students (A Case Study of Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC)
Aims and Objectives of the Study
The general aim of this study is to examine the effect of bullying on academic performance of junior secondary school students in Lagos State. Other specific objectives are:
- To find out the consequences of bullying on the victims and the perpetrators.
- To identify the common types of bullying among junior secondary schools students in Lagos State.
- To identify strategies for effective management of bullying.
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
Our focus in this chapter is to critically examine relevant literatures that would assist in explaining the research problem and furthermore recognize the efforts of scholars who had previously contributed immensely to similar research. The chapter intends to deepen the understanding of the study and close the perceived gaps.
Precisely, the chapter will be considered in two sub-headings:
- Conceptual Framework
- Empirical Review and
Concept of Bullying
From the psychological perspective, bullying as a behavioural characteristic can be conceptualized in a number of ways. It can also be taken to be a subset of aggressive behaviours. As with aggressive behaviour generally, bullying intentionally causes hurt to the recipient. This hurt can be physical and psychological. Bullying behaviour infringe on the child’s right to human dignity, privacy, freedom and security. It has an influence on the victims’ physical, emotional, social and educational wellbeing (Wet, 2008). Bullies frequently target people who are different from themselves and they seek to exploit those differences. They select victims they think are unlikely to retaliate such as persons who are overweight, wear glasses, or have obvious differences: big ears, noses, eyes or severe acne. Such victims are common subjects of ridicule in the hands of bullies (Olweus, 2004). However, these differences do not necessarily need to be physical, as students who learn at a different pace or are anxious or insecure may also be target of bullies.
Bullying can be described as repeated negative events, which occur over time and are directed at special individuals and which are carried out by one or several other people who are stronger than the victim. Negative events may be aggressive physical contact in form of fights and shoving, verbal threats and mockery, grimacing or cruel gesturing. Bullying occurs when a person willfully and repeatedly exercise power over another with hostile or malicious intents. A wide range of physical or verbal behaviour of an aggressive or anti-social nature is encompassed in the term bullying. These include humiliating, harassing and mobbing (Hagan & Sprague 1998). Bullying may also assume less direct forms (“Psychological bullying”) such as gossiping, spreading rumours, shunning or exclusion (Pepler & Craig, 1999). Olweus (2004) defines a victim of bullying as when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and overtime, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons. These negative actions are understood as being intentionally inflicted on someone to cause injury, fear or distress. The goal of bullying is generally to cause distress in some manner and it usually takes place among children who are not friends (Garrity, 2010).
Types of Bullying
There are various types of bullying but some of them are as cited below:
- School Bullying: In schools, bullying occurs in all areas. It can occur in nearly any part in or around the school building, though it more often occurs in PE, recess, hallways, bathrooms, on school buses and waiting for buses, classes that require group work and/or after school activities. Bullying in school sometimes consists of a group of students taking advantage of or isolating one student in particular and gaining the loyalty of bystanders who want to avoid becoming the next victim. These bullies taunt and tease their target before physically bullying the target. Bystanders may participate or watch, sometimes out of fear of becoming the next victim. Bullying can also be perpetrated by teachers and the school system itself: There is an inherent power differential in the system that can easily predispose to subtle or covert abuse (relational aggression or passive aggression), humiliation, or exclusion – even while maintaining overt commitments to anti-bullying policies.
- Physical Bullying. According to bullyingstatistics.com, “Physical bullying is a serious problem, affecting not only the bully and the victim, but also the other students who witness the bullying. Parents, teachers, and other concerned adults and young people should be aware of what physical bullying is and some of the ways to handle it.” Physical bullying is the most obvious type of bullying that cause a lot of damage to their victims, physically. Bullies use force and body strength to overpower their victims. Most of this type occurs in and around the schools. Physical bullying includes kicking, punching, hitting, and other physical attacks. Bullying can start at any age. It is a form of aggressive behavior that involves an imbalance of power manifested by the use of force. It is often a warning sign that children and teens are heading for trouble and are at risk for serious violence. Teens, particularly the boys who bully are likely to engage in other anti-social/delinquent behavior like vandalism, shoplifting, truancy and drug use which will lead into adulthood. Bullies have a strong need to dominate others and usually have little empathy for their targets. Male bullies are often physically bigger and stronger than their peers. Bullies tend to get in trouble more often, and do more poorly in school than teens who do not bully others. They are also more likely to fight, drink and smoke than their peers.
- Cyber Bullying. Bullying also can happen to people online this is called cyber bullying. It is when a child or a teen bully on the internet using a computer or mobile phones. Things like sending text messages or e-mail, posting sick pictures or messages about the others in blogs or on websites, using another person’s name to spread rumors or lies about someone else, in other words, bullying happens everywhere. Every day we hear about bullying, whether it is in the news, at school, or from our friends. What has developed as a common thing among people of all ages was having serious effects and caused tragedy for many people. Students go to school and sometimes don’t realize the harm they are causing to other people when they make jokes about others’ disabilities, culture or physical appearances. As technology advances, so do other aspects of life, such as bullying. Now, bullying has spread into cyberspace and can attack individuals through the internet.
- Emotional Bullying. “The saying, if sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me was ever true, it sure isn’t true today” (Gaul, 2012). Bullying in and out of schools is getting out of control. In today’s world, bullying is nothing out of the ordinary. Bullying is a worldwide epidemic, like a virus or cancer it picks and gnaws into the bone of our youth. It leaves its victims tattered to the very soul. Students who are bullied have lasting fears that their torment will continue to harass them. Various reports and studies have established that approximately 15% of students are initiators of bullying behavior (Olweus, 2011). However in our schools we have never been able to see much harassment through physical or mental forms. Emotional Bullying is any act including confinement, isolation, verbal assault, humiliation, intimidation, or any other treatment which may diminish the sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth. (Tracy, 2012)
- Verbal Bullying. These are one of the more difficult types of bullies to identify since their attacks tend to only occur when adults are not present. Even though verbal bullying creates no physical damage, this type of abuse can have lasting psychological impacts on victims. Verbal bullies intimidate and harm their victims using words. This type of bullying may go unnoticed and unreported for long periods of time. Occurs when some uses language to gain power or his/her peers. Make use of relentless insults and teasing to bully his/her peers.
- Sexual Bullying. Sometimes schools and other places use one term or the other legal reasons. For instance, a school document may use the term “Bullying” to describe what’s against school policy, while a law might use the term “Harassment” to define what’s against the law-same behavior might be against school policy and also against the law. With sexual bullying, the focus is on things like a person’s appearance, body parts or sexual orientation includes spreading gossip or rumors of a sexual nature. Maybe verbal (like making rude comments to or about someone), may we technology to harass someone sexually (like sending inappropriate text messages or videos). Sometimes harassment and bullying can even get physical. Sexual bullying doesn’t just happen to girls. Boys can harass girls, but girls also can harass guys, guys can harass other guys, and girls may harass other girls. Isn’t limited to people of the same age, either. Adults sometimes sexually harass young people (and occasionally, teens may harass adults, though that’s pretty rare). Most of the time, when sexual harassment happens to teens, its being done by people in the same age group.
AREA OF STUDY
The Abuja Municipal Area Council was created on October, 1984. It is located on the eastern wing of the Federal Capital Territory and comprise of Twelve Wards namely, City Centre, Garki, GUI, Gwagwa, Gwarimpa, Jiwa, Karshi, Kabusa, Karo, Nyanya, Orozo and Wuse. Each of these wards are represented by an Elected Councillor. The Councillors form the Legislative Arm of the Area Council. The Executive Arm comprise of an elected Chairman and a vice together with an appointed secretary and other supervisory councilors and special advisers. The bulk of Federal Institutions, Ministries, Departments and Agencies are located within the precint of the Area Council..
Research designs are perceived to be an overall strategy adopted by the researcher whereby different components of the study are integrated in a logical manner to effectively address a research problem. In this study, the researcher employed the survey research design. This is due to the nature of the study whereby the opinion and views of people are sampled.
POPULATION OF THE STUDY
According to Udoyen (2019), a study population is a group of elements or individuals as the case may be, who share similar characteristics. These similar features can include location, gender, age, sex or specific interest. The emphasis on study population is that it constitute of individuals or elements that are homogeneous in description.
This study was carried out to examine the effect of bullying on academic performance of junior secondary school students in selected secondary schools in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC). The teachers and the students from three (3) selected secondary schools in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) form the population of the study.
The three (3) selected secondary school for this study are:
Government Secondary School Airport
Government Day Secondary School, Wuse
Army Day Secondary School, Asokoro
DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND INTEPRETATION
Demographic data of respondents
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
In this study, our focus was to examine the effect of bullying on academic performance of junior secondary school students in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC). The study specifically was aimed at ascertaining if bullying has any effect on academic performance of junior secondary students.
The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 120 responses from three schools in Abuja Municipal Area Council were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent.
The findings revealed that there is a significant relationship between bullying and academic performance of junior secondary school students in Abuja Municipal Area Council. The findings also revealed that there is a consequence of bullying on the victims and the perpetrators
As one of the most persistent and destructive forms of aggression in the continuum of violence, bullying deserves the attention of everyone. Reducing and preventing bullying requires the joint efforts of the policymakers, administrators of schools, teachers, students, parents and community members. Thus, for bullying to be reduced to its barest minimum level, the following recommendations are made:
- The schools and home should work with the counsellor collaboratively to instill good values in their children/students.
- The counsellor should inform parents to have skills and knowledge in classroom management and control.
- There should be school-wide education, training and bullying prevention programmes, through behaviour modification theories.
- The school should provide counselling and support for students at risk of being involved in bullying.
- Students who bully often need intensive support or intervention, so it is important for schools and social service agencies to work together.
- The counsellor and teachers must recognize the danger of violent films and discourage their children/students from watching them and use insight training to stop such viewing.
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