Bullying and gender: The social/emotional, psychological, and physical effects on middle school students in south Mississippi

Cassundra Peyton-Brown

Abstract

Bullying is a great concern in schools today. When bullying occurs, it hinders school success and academic performance. During the late 1980s and 1990s, school violence was prevalent in middle school characterized by events such as the Columbine shooting. This forced both students and school personnel to deal with school shootings, gang activities and other violent acts. According to subsequent investigations, some of these incidents occurred because students were bullied and teased. This supports the maxim that students can only be successful academically in a safe and orderly environment. The first interest of this study was to assess the effects of bullying on middle school students in terms of the social/emotional impact, psychological impact, and the physical impact. Data collection took place during the 2009-10 school year; collected data were entered into Microsoft Excel and then imported into SPSS version 17.0. A repeated measures ANOVA and t-tests were used to determine the degree to which the independent variables (gender and grade level) mediated the dependent variables (social/emotional impact, psychological impact and physical impact). It was found that the social/emotional and psychological effects of bullying have a greater impact on middle school students than the physical effects of bullying, female participants expressed significantly stronger impact of bullying than the males and there was a fairly equal impact of bullying across grade levels for 7 th and 8th grade students.