Awareness of bullying has dramatically increased in America over the last few years. There are many stories in the news about the disastrous consequences that sometimes take place.

However, many people who are not around the bullying on a regular basis fail to see the reason that it may be taking place. Previously, it was thought that bullying only comes from the top of the social pecking order.

Recent studies, however, have shown that the vast majority of bullying happens between kids in the same perceived social strata.


Why bully?

Bullying among adolescents typically is motivated by a desire for some sort of change in social standing.

While many people think that bullying comes from those that are already in a position of high standing among their peers, this is not the case. Instead, the majority of bullying comes from kids who are trying to advance their standing at the expense of their peers.

The question then becomes: What is the cause of this bullying and how does it occur in the first place?

Recent research has shown that children who bully are often victims of bullying or abuse themselves. This may be among their peers, but it could also be something that they have to deal with at home.

Children who have disruptions at home are more likely to bully at school. Problems at home can include divorce, abuse, violence, neglect or a stressful atmosphere. Other issues involve medical conditions, including depression or ADHD.


How do we counteract bullying?

It is important that schools make a diligent effort to understand that bullying may be coming from places that they may not expect. In one form or another, bullying happens to a majority of students.

Those who are looking for the social acceptance that they do not get at home are more likely to bully. They are also more sensitive to bullying from others.

Furthermore, parents can do their part to help with bullying by creating more stable environments at home.

There are certain factors that are hard to control, but a continued emphasis on children’s safety is not something that should be overlooked. Lastly, even in stable households, parents can teach their children about bullying and what to do in the event that they see it happening at school or among their friends.