This essay explores the etiology of bullying. The paper commences with an introduction that highlights the key points that are going to be discussed in the essay. It presents the various points regarding the etiology of bullying in the society and the school setting, which include low self-esteem among individuals in the society, jealousy among children and other societal members, imitation of the actions of other individuals, personal bullying experiences, and mental problems. Firstly, low self-esteem is a key contributor to the rampant bullying in the society, as bullies gain confidence when making weaker individuals suffer. It should be noted that low-self esteem leads to bullying especially among students. Secondly, bullying emanates from the lessons learnt from others. People tend to embrace bullying from the activities of other individuals. This is mainly done with an aim to impress these individuals. Thirdly, bullying is caused by individual experiences that result from past bullying activities. Individuals would want to retaliate for their past experiences using those perceived to be physically weaker in society and school settings. Another significant cause of bullying is the presence of jealousy among individuals. One would always try to express the hateful feelings through bullying the hated individuals. The last point highlighted is that bullying emanates from mental problems. This type of bullying is natural because the individual involved has a lower reasoning capacity; hence, he/she is not accountable for all the actions. This essay explores the works of Beane (2008), who asserts that bullying is a deviant behavior and it is not desirable at all levels. Thus bullying should always be discouraged. In addition, it explores the works of Dixon (2011), McCarthy (2001), and Monks (2011), who assert that bullying is caused by diverse factors that could be effectively managed by parents and even teachers. The essay ends with a conclusion that recaps the main points discussed in the essay.

Etiology of Bullying

Bullying refers to ongoing verbal and physical harassment and abuse that occurs in the community and school settings. It is a deviant behavior as bullies infringe on the victim’s rights. Bullies use various tactics, such as threats and aggression, to gain control over their peers who are presumed to be weaker. The bully dominates over the victim through continuous threats and harrasement. Victims of bullying are usually assumed to be weaker compared to the bullies, and they mostly live in fear. This practice is common among children as those who perceive themselves stronger dominate over the physically and verbally weaker children. The key causes of bullying include jealousy and low-self esteem, imitation of others, and mental problems. This essay explicates the etiology of bullying in society and in most school settings. 

Jealousy is one of the key causes of bullying. It exists where individuals develop hateful attitudes towards others due to a particular issue. According to Monks & Coyne (2011), among children, jealousy could exist where one of them is perceived to be more adored by parents and teachers compared to other. Jealousy leads to the development of bitter feelings among individuals, and the only way to relieve them is through continuous dominance over those perceived to be gaining favors at the expense of the bully. Bullies tend to satisfy their hateful attitudes by continuously dominating over those perceived to be loved in the society. Thus, they continuously threaten and batter the other individuals as in a bid to relieve their hateful feelings. Bullies take full advantage and manipulate all the resources available to express their feelings. They try to prove that they also need respect and love by the society they live in. Jealousy and continuous bullying leads to suffering among victims and could lead to high levels of stress, which could even lead to death.

Bullying is caused by low-self esteem among individuals in the society. Low-self esteem refers to the lack of confidence and motivation among individuals. Most bullies are perceived to be individuals of low-self esteem who do not have adequate drive of their own lives. In order to gain motivation, bullies harass weaker individuals. They dominate over all the affairs of the victims and keep on monitoring their moves from one point to another. Dixon (2011) asserts that bullying is the most effective way of relieving stress among these individuals in the society. Thus, low-self esteem has been reportedly one of the dominant causes of bulling in the society and in school settings. Low self-esteemed students dominate the physically and verbally weaker students making their lives difficult. Such students fear reporting these cases to teachers due to the threats emanating from the strong bullies. Bullies would always want to increase their motivation by ensuring that the physically weaker individuals fear and respect them. However, the continued fear has made it difficult for some individuals to operate appropriately in the society. Bullying is perceived as the trough way to gaining high levels of confidence in the society.

Imitation of other individuals has also led to the rampant levels of bullying in the society and school settings. In the society, there are many activities of bullying, which can be witnessed by children and young people . This could be learnt from parents and other societal members. Children observe the actions of other individuals in society and take it as a desirable practice. They embrace the practice gradually and start exercising it on the individuals perceived to be physically weaker. Bullying is a gradual process that one adopts from the childhood. Beane (2008) reports that bullying grows among individuals as they try to prove their confidence in the society and in school settings. In most school settings, bullying is learnt from those students in upper classes who tend to dominate the physically and verbally weaker students. Bullying is learnt from peers, and most of these individuals practice it in order to impress the original bullies. They would want to carry out similar bullying activities in order to prove to their friends that they are equally strong. Peer pressure, especially among the youth, has been responsible for the development of bullying in the society. The behavior is transferred from one individual to another, hence making it a continuous practice that leads to suffering among the victims.

Bullying emanates from mental problems of some individuals in the society. Mental problems refer to the instabilities in the mental states of individuals. Bullying is a natural occurrence among individuals with mental problems because of their low levels of reasonability about some particular issues in the society. These individuals lack control and would develop hateful attitudes towards some physically weaker individuals; hence, they would take advantage of them. They continuously threaten and batter individuals that are perceived to be weaker. This is due to the natural attitudes that exist in such individuals. It is extremely difficult to stop this kind of bullying, as individuals are not in their healthy state of mind. Mental problems lead to bullying as these individuals try to satisfy their feelings. They have numerous problems and would always want to punish others as a mode of relieving themselves. Thus, mental problems greatly contribute to bullying activities due to the lack of adequate reasonability and monitoring of actions of such disturbed individuals.

Individual’s past bullying experiences have played an instrumental role in leading to the development of the behavior. Some of the individuals who end up picking up bullying as their hobby do it due to the experiences. McCarthy (2001) points out that this is especially common if an individual was once a victim of bullying. Thus, bullying develops among these individuals as a retaliatory measure to address their past sufferings. They practice similar actions that had been initially done on them by their aggressors. Such bullies end up using the same skills employed by their former aggressors. They find life simpler and more entertaining through punishing other individuals who serve as a consolation. Thus, they dominate all the activities of the victims and punish them according to the initial punishment they had been exposed to. Therefore, individually motivated bullying emanating from experiences is always driven towards retaliating for the bitter actions through other individuals.


In conclusion, bullying is a continuous practice of threatening and battering of other individuals perceived to be weaker either physically or mentally. The aggressor is called a bully, and the individuals exposed to suffering are referred to as victims. Bullying involves taking full advantage of all the victim’s weaknesses. Victims are made to live under fearful circumstances as they are exposed to continuous threats and suffering. There is frequent intimidation of the victims, hence making it difficult for them to operate according to their own wishes. The etiology of bullying is diverse. Bullying emanates from low-self esteem among individuals since the only way to gain high self-esteem is through continuous bullying of other individuals. Jealousy is also another key cause of bullish behaviors among individuals. It leads to hateful attitudes that gradually develop into bulling. Imitation of also other individuals and the motivation to impress peers leads to increased levels of bullying especially in schools. Lastly, bullying is caused by the personal experiences that individuals are exposed to. In this case, bullying is used as a retaliatory measure for the past sufferings a victim underwent.

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