Literary Review

Bullying: A Review of the Literature


Worldwide, Bullying has been a big issue, affecting many people psychologically and physically.  This issue has been a huge problem in schools, Michele Borba, author of “Parents Do Make A Difference” wrote that “It is estimated that 160, 000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students”. Source: National Education Association. Parents are concerned with this issue, and they’ve been trying to make a stop to bullying. To stop this harassment and empower all their kids and make them immune to all the hating they receive, and to stop kids from harassing others. This literary review examines the impact of what bullying brings to our community especially our children and what can parents do to stop this from happening.

Bullying: A Review of the Literature

Children all around the world are bullied in school, playground, work environments and even now a day over the net. The exact definition of bullying is a blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people. It is believed that people bully others because of their own self-esteem issues, and that those who grow to be bullies are or were bullied at home as children, and their children are most likely to be bullied on the future. Concerned parents around the world have been trying to make a stop to this problem, empowering their children against bullies and teaching their children to be mature and respectful. Bullying needs to come to a stop and parents and other peers have come with three different questions over bullying:

  1. What empowers people to feel better than someone else, and on top of that make others feel less?
  2. What are the effects of bullying?
  3. How can parents prevent bullying?

The review on the literature about bullying will focus on these three questions.

What empowers people to feel better than someone else, and on top of that make others feel less?

David P. Farrington (1993) wrote, “Bullying is repeated oppression, psychological or physical, of a less powerful person by a more powerful one” (pp. 381-458). Bullying has become a huge matter in our society. How is it that our children think that they can just go and treat someone else with disrespect so they can feel “good” about themselves? How can those children live after they see how one of their victims ends up committing suicide?  Xin Ma (2001), author of Bullying and Being Bullied: To what Extent Are Bullies Also Victims? (Pp. 351-370), says that “The coercive behaviors associated with bullying can be classified into two categories: physical and verbal”. Why does someone have the need to hit, push, treat or humiliate another human being? The reason that someone bullies can be many; they might be suffering from harassment at home or by someone else, so they reciprocate to someone else. The bully might bully because they think that they are somehow superior to others. Some bully, because they want attention or because they want something they cannot accomplish. Some bully to prove something, thinking they might be more popular. Bullies bully due to their mental state. They either have problems with their self-esteem, they never learned how to respect others, or they have some sort of insecurities.

The problem is that sometimes parents, peers, and teachers underestimate the situation, and they think that verbal bullying as a harmless act, and sometimes they don’t even realize their children’s involvement in bullying. This is why bullies sometimes see it also as harmless and irrelevant, because nobody stops them and tell them that it is wrong. Because nobody puts a stop to him or her, they come to a point where it is so common for him or her, but they never realize it is not normal.

What are the effects of bullying?

To live a life of hate and resentment is that the life we want our children to endure? This problem makes the lives of its victims miserable. It undermines their confidence and destroys their self-esteem. Bullying has grown into a problem that children are committing suicide; bullying is so damaging to someone’s life they become depressed. Depression is a condition of general emotional dejection and withdrawal, a great sadness that can last for years if not treated, and can eventually lead to suicide; you don’t need to be harmed physically to be scarred by bullying, every mean word bullies tend to say is enough to affect someone in a very deep and emotional level.

Bullying causes emotional stability, just eleven years ago in April 20, 1999 at Columbine High School in Columbine, two students in their last year, embarked on a massacre, killing 12 students and one teacher; this is what bullying leads to; hate and resentment. Maltreatment also causes other problems that are also important like poor academic performance and school failure, delinquency, and poor peer relationships. Depression caused by bullying tends to isolate the victims leading them to these terrible consequences.

How can parents prevent bullying?

Parents are the biggest influence children have, with their help children learn to live and understand life in general. If parents do not teach their children how to be respectful and just show them the opposite, they will reflect it towards someone else. If you see a person who does not bully someone, or a person who does not accept seeing someone is bullied, they are most likely to have parents that have taught them well. Parents have to be more involved in their children’s life.

Farrington (1993), states, “It is surprisingly common [bullying], there is evidence that over half of children have been victimized and over half have been bullies” (pp. 381-458). Parents can do a difference by being more involved and by creating a healthy and loving environment for their children. Parents should let their children know that they have someone that they can trust, to be that support that children need.


Bullying has become an issue that many people are not aware of, or they just decide to ignore. Bullying IS happening and we need everyone to be aware of it, and to act against it; to be bully-free should be a right. No one has the power to undermine you; this should be something that everyone should know. Bullies are out there threatening lives, and ruining them. The effects of bullying are devastating, and they ought to come to a stop.  Parents are the main people that can help prevent this kind of negative situations. Bullying is a big issue affecting our community, and further research will help answer all questions.


Borba, Michele (1999). Parents Do Make A Difference: How to Raise Kids with Solid Character, Strong Minds, and Caring Hearts, Retrieved March 1, 2010, from

Farrington, David P. (1993). Understanding and Preventing Bullying, Retrieved March 1, 2010, from

Ma, Xin (2001). Bullying and Being Bullied: To What Extent Are Bullies Also Victims?, Retrieved March 1, 2010, from

Nesbit, John C. and Adesope, Olusola O. (2006). Learning with Concept and Knowledge Maps: A Meta-Analysis, Retrieved March 1, 2010, from


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