As part of our forthcoming launch – this May 16 – of our new program Take action! Stand up against bullying in sports , we are offering you a series of texts on the theme of bullying.

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The first text taught us that bullying is the fact of living repetitive micro violence. However, when we talk about micro violence, the following question must be asked: Considering that it involves a less intense form of violence (insult or threat), do the victims really suffer and does it have lasting effects?

Victims

As mentioned in the previous text, repetition is the important element in bullying. You could say that it’s the equivalent of water torture and that this technique causes damage.

Psychological and social consequences Sports consequences
Anxiety and depression Abandon the sport
Sadness, anger and shame Changes sports
Low self-confidence Distance versus the coach
Suicidal thoughts and self-destructive behaviour Distance versus teammates
Isolation
Delayed development of social skills

(Alder, 2014; Parent & al., 2019; Symons & al., 2014)

Certain people will even have to live with the consequences of bullying all their life. By following their subjects from childhood to adulthood, Ttofi & al., (2011) demonstrated that even 36 years after the events, people who were victims of bullying in their childhood still had a much greater risk of developing depression-related problems.

If certain victims carry the psychological scars of bullying all their life, they are far from being alone, since the bullies will also be scarred.

Bullies

Bullies seem to have the easy role and suffer few consequences. Yet, they don’t come out of it intact. In fact, the main problem with bullies is that they learn to turn to violence to achieve their goals (Galand & al., 2015; Lucia 2015). That’s also why they have a hard time establishing healthy relationships with other people. First of all, they often do not get along very well with their coaches (Evans & al., 2016). Also, if they are popular among their peers, they are rarely well appreciated (Caravita & al., 2009). That’s perfectly normal, after all, who wants to be with someone who spends their time using violence to feel important?

Even worse, bullies tend to develop aggression problems that can also follow them throughout their life. Studies have shown that being a bully during childhood leads to a multitude of problems later in life:

  • aggression problems
  • delinquency
  • problems with the law
  • assault
  • theft
  • carrying a weapon
  • sexual violence
  • relationship problems
  • drug use
  • low social status jobs and
  • unemployment

(Farrington & al., 2011; Espelage & al., 2012).

Generally speaking, bullying augurs an unsuccessful life, even 36 years after the events (Farrington & al., 2011). This is why bullies also suffer serious consequences from their actions.

Bystanders

If research has now established that victims and bullies suffer negative impacts from bullying, the witnesses of bullying are also affected by this problem. The more a person witnesses violence, the more they tend to adopt aggressive and antisocial behaviours. Since bystanders become increasingly desensitized to the violence they observe, they could come to see it as a legitimate way to get respect (Ng-Mak & al., 2002; Schwab-Stone & al.,1995).

Conclusion

In the end, nobody wins with bullying. On the contrary, everyone loses. That is why it is important to act to avoid a person being stuck with serious consequences throughout their life or simply to avoid having a negative atmosphere in their team.

Our next text focuses on our spokesperson: Cindy Ouellet. You can learn more about her and why she is the right person to be part of a project like ours.

In the meantime, consult our website countercyberbullying.sportaide.ca to discover our first bullying prevention tool in sports, a series of four comic strips titled The Adventures of Cindy.

Alexandre Baril

Project manager – Take Action! Stand up against bullying in sport

Sport’Aide

 

Reference

Adler, A. L. (2014). An Examination into Bullying in the Adolescent Sport Context (Doctoral dissertation).

Caravita, S. C., Di Blasio, P., & Salmivalli, C. (2009). Unique and interactive effects of empathy and social status on involvement in bullying. Social development, 18(1), 140-163.

Espelage, D. L., Basile, K. C., & Hamburger, M. E. (2012). Bullying perpetration and subsequent sexual violence perpetration among middle school students. Journal of Adolescent Health, 50(1), 60-65

Evans, B., Adler, A., MacDonald, D., & Cote, J. (2016). Bullying victimization and perpetration among adolescent sport teammates. Pediatric exercise science, 28(2), 296-303.

Farrington, D. P., & Ttofi, M. M. (2011). Bullying as a predictor of offending, violence and later life outcomes. Criminal behaviour and mental health, 21(2), 90-98

Galand, B., & Baudoin, N. (2015). Qu’est-ce qui anime les auteurs de harcèlement : Pouvoir, déviance, détresse, protection ou compensation? Dans C. Beaumont, B. Galand et S. Lucia (dir.), Les violences en milieu scolaire ; définir, prévenir et réagir… (p. 49-67). Québec, Les Presses de l’Université Laval : Research Chair Collection.

Lucia, S. (2015). Auteurs de harcèlement, étude de leur profil et de l’influence du contexte scolaire. Dans C. Beaumont, B. Galand et S. Lucia (dir.), Les violences en milieu scolaire ; définir, prévenir et réagir… (p. 31-48). Québec, Les Presses de l’Université Laval : Research Chair Collection.

Ng‐Mak, D. S., Stueve, A., Salzinger, S., & Feldman, R. (2002). Normalization of violence among inner‐city youth: A formulation for research. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 72(1), 92-101.

Parent, S. et D’Amours, C. (2019). Intimidation en contexte sportif. Detected at https://www.inspq.qc.ca/intimidation/jeunes/intimidation-en-contexte-sportif.

Schwab-Stone, M. E., Ayers, T. S., Kasprow, W., Voyce, C., Barone, C., Shriver, T., & Weissberg, R. P. (1995). No safe haven: A study of violence exposure in an urban community. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 34(10), 1343-1352

Symons, C., O’Sullivan, G., Borkoles, E., Andersen, M. B., & Polman, R. C. (2014). The impact of homophobic bullying during sport and physical education participation on same-sex attracted and gender diverse young Australians’ depression and anxiety levels.

Ttofi, M. M., Farrington, D. P., Lösel, F., & Loeber, R. (2011). Do the victims of school bullies tend to become depressed later in life? A systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, 3(2), 63-73.

«If certain victims carry the psychological scars of bullying all their life, they are far from being alone, since the bullies will also be scarred.»