Back to Top Skip to main content

Stopping bullying takes understanding, involvement

Children can experience social withdrawal, anxiety, and depression as a result of bullying. From the Stop Bullying campaign to Military OneSource, resources are available to help parents and their families identify and address bullying (U.S. Air Force graphic by Staff Sgt. Jamal D. Sutter) Children can experience social withdrawal, anxiety, and depression as a result of bullying. From the Stop Bullying campaign to Military OneSource, resources are available to help parents and their families identify and address bullying (U.S. Air Force graphic by Staff Sgt. Jamal D. Sutter)

Recommended Content:

Mental Wellness | Children's Health | Suicide Prevention

Whether it’s physical or verbal, face-to-face or online, bullying can have lasting effects as children grow older. But with the help of parents, educators, and experts, this type of harassment can be addressed – or possibly even stopped.

According to Stop Bullying, an anti-bullying campaign overseen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, when adults respond quickly and consistently to bullying behavior, they send the message that it’s not acceptable, and research shows this can stop it over time.

“We do know the impact on children who are bullied,” said U.S. Public Health Service Capt. Amy Park, who leads the Mobile Health Clinical Integration team at the Defense Health Agency’s Connected Health Branch under the Clinical Support Division. “They experience social withdrawal and increased depression and anxiety as a result of having been subjected to various forms of bullying in school and in social settings.”

According to Stop Bullying, there are many warning signs that may indicate someone is being bullied, such as unexplained injuries, difficulty sleeping, as well as loss of interest in school, sudden loss of friends, and self-destructive behavior (including talking about suicide).

A 2012 Bureau of Justice Statistics survey on school crime and safety found that students report only about 40 percent of all bullying incidents to an adult, which may be due to feelings of helplessness or social isolation, fear of backlash or rejection from peers, or feelings of humiliation.

Park noted that bullying others and being bullied are not mutually exclusive. Children who bully others, she said, may get into physical or verbal fights, hang out with friends who bully others, demonstrate increasingly aggressive behavior, get into frequent trouble at school, or refuse to take responsibility for their actions.

According to Military OneSource, children who bully others are disliked by their non-aggressive peers and, as a result, may hang out with other aggressive children – which may worsen the bullying behavior. Such children may also perform poorly in school, and may continue their aggressive behavior as adults. 

Parents of children who are bullied should validate their child’s pain and experience of being negatively singled out by peers, said Park. They should also advocate for their child by engaging with school staff, teachers, and others in the child’s support system.

“I think our children are so much more sophisticated in the different forms of bullying, particularly these days with use of social media,” said Park, who encourages parents to talk to their children about what’s going on in their lives and understand not only what impacts them, but also the stressors they face throughout the day. “Parents are an integral part of problem-solving and helping their kids adaptively cope as issues arise. Involvement is critical.”

Kelly Blasko, a psychologist and the Military Kids Connect program lead at Connected Health for the DHA, said bullying is a form of abuse and can impact children’s ability to handle new situations and create friendships. This can be especially true among military children.

“They’re moving all the time, so they’re often the new kid on the block, and if they’re consistently bullied, that could really impact their mood, their willingness to engage in school,” said Blasko, adding that they might show more psychosomatic symptoms or pretend to be sick in order to avoid school. “In the long run, (bullying) can have long-term effects on their ability to form healthy relationships and to perform well academically.”

While no one-size-fits-all plan to address bullying exists, Military OneSource recommends adults create a strategy for monitoring a child to determine what triggers bullying behavior. It also recommends working with schools to set up programs to address bullying and provide examples of positive behavior and problem-solving techniques. Additional resources to help parents, educators, and children prevent or address bullying – including cyberbullying – are available from Military OneSource and Stop Bullying.

“Bullying is stressful for children and the people who care about them, and we need to be able to provide resources to help,” said Blasko. “Military families give so much to the overall mission of our Armed Forces. It’s the responsibility of all – parents, educators, peers – to help military children feel safe, accepted, and supported.”

You also may be interested in...

Preteens, teens target audience for HPV vaccine

Article
4/29/2019
Students from the Oceanside Unified School District enjoy team-building and mentoring activities at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. Health care experts recommend the HPV vaccine for preteens and teens to protect against human papillomavirus, which is linked to several types of cancer. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Drake Nickels)

Inoculation has 'huge potential' to reduce cancer cases

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | Public Health

Pediatric medical services providers increase access to care for beneficiaries

Article
4/23/2019
Army Lt. Col. (Dr.) Jason Caboot, pediatric pulmonologist, Madigan Army Medical Center, examines Jacob Schaff, an established pediatric specialty care patient at Naval Hospital Bremerton, Washington. The Schaff’s often find themselves traveling throughout the Puget Sound area to seek the specialty care Jacob requires. (U.S. Navy photo by Emily Yeh)

Pediatric medical services providers established a program that increases access to care for beneficiaries

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics | Children's Health

DHA ‘delivers’ nurses for babies

Article
4/16/2019
Air Force Col. Michelle Aastrom, 81st Inpatient Operation Squadron commander, discusses the intensive care unit capabilities with Army Maj. Gen. Ronald Place, Defense Health Agency, director, for the National Capital Region Medical Directorate and Transition Intermediate Management Organization, during an immersion tour inside the Keesler Medical Center at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, recently. The purpose of Place's two-day visit was to become more familiar with the medical center's mission capabilities and to receive the status of the 81st Medical Group's transition under DHA. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Every month Keesler Medical Center’s Labor and Delivery Clinic averages approximately 35 births

Recommended Content:

MHS Transformation | Children's Health | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Breaking the pain cycle

Article
4/9/2019
Ashley Blake, an acupuncture nurse at Naval Hospital Pensacola’s Pain Management Clinic, treats a patient with Battlefield Acupuncture (BFA), one of many opioid alternatives offered at many treatment facilities in the Military Health System. BFA consists of inserting five tiny and sterile 2 mm needles into specific points of the ear where they can remain for up to three days. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Brannon Deugan)

Live in agony or risk addiction? MHS pain management initiatives offer options

Recommended Content:

Prescription Monitoring Program | Mental Wellness | Mental Health Care | Substance Abuse | Physical Disability | Warrior Care | Opioid Safety | Pain Management

Measles vaccine protects against potentially serious illness

Article
4/4/2019
A Salvadoran nurse vaccinates a baby during a Task Force Northstar mission in El Salvador to provide medical care and other humanitarian and civic assistance. The mission involved U.S. military personnel working alongside their Brazilian, Canadian, Chilean, and Salvadoran counterparts. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Kim Browne)

387 cases to date among civilian population

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Vaccine Recommendations | Children's Health

Elmo comes to Madigan

Article
4/3/2019
Sesame Street's Walkaround Elmo visited Madigan Army Medical Center families on April 1 to celebrate the seven-year anniversary of Military Kids Connect and the recent relaunch of its website. (U.S. Army photo by Ryan Graham)

Elmo began helping military kids and families with deployments and other military stressors in 2006

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Pediatric clinic works to keep children healthy

Article
3/22/2019
Air Force Senior Airman Shania Stanford, 366th Medical Support Squadron pediatric clinic aerospace medical technician, checks Jude's vitals during an appointment at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The pediatric clinic takes care of Airmen and their families by ensuring the overall health of their children. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Andrew Kobialka)

The pediatric clinic’s objective is to care for children from birth to the age of 18

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Study's focus: Mending hearts broken by deaths of military loved ones

Article
2/19/2019
Young military family members at a Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors Good Grief Camp in Denver, Colorado, created this collage to memorialize their lost loved ones. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Arielle Vasquez)

Military tests virtual programs for adapting to grief

Recommended Content:

Mental Wellness | Mental Health Care

Brush, clean in between to build a healthy smile

Article
2/5/2019
Jordyn Pafford, sixth grader, receives a dental screening conducted by Capt. James Lee, a general dentist. (U.S. Army photo by Lance D. Davis)

Children who have poor oral health often miss more school

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | Dental Care

Mental Health Assessments for Members of the Armed Forces

Congressional Testimony
1/11/2019

HR 3979, NDAA Report for FY 2015, Sec. 701

Recommended Content:

Mental Wellness

Suicide prevention: Eliminating the stigma

Article
1/10/2019
Marines may feel lonelier during the holidays as a result of being away from their families and supporters. Behavioral health specialists report depression and suicide ideation rates increase during the holiday season and into the post-holiday period in the Marine Corps, according to the Headquarters Marine Corps Force Preservation Directorate. (U.S. Marine Corps photo)

Emotional pain is the same as physical pain, it needs treatment for it to be better

Recommended Content:

Suicide Prevention

Report on Plan to Improve Pediatric Care and Related Services for Children of Members of the Armed Forces

Congressional Testimony
12/26/2018

HR 2810, NDAA Conference Report for FY 2018, Sec 733

Recommended Content:

Children's Health

Recognizing the holiday blues

Article
12/19/2018
Air Force 1st Lt. Danielle Dockery is a licensed clinical social worker with the 88th Medical Group’s Intensive Outpatient Program. (Courtesy photo)

There are some individuals who are normally happy and content who can also experience holiday blues

Recommended Content:

Mental Wellness

Women and depression

Article
10/30/2018
Mental health technicians assigned to the 48th Medical Group Mental Health Flight converse in the hospital reception area at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England. The Mental Health Flight is one of many resources available to assist with depression and other mental health concerns. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Shanice Williams-Jones)

1 in every 8 women develops clinical depression during her lifetime

Recommended Content:

Mental Wellness | Women's Health | Depression | Mental Health Care

Depression awareness: Reach out for yourself, and for others

Article
10/17/2018
In memory of his younger brother, retired Army Master Sgt. Guillermo “Bill” Leal Jr. has devoted the past several years of his nursing career to helping wounded warriors. (Courtesy photo)

There’s hope, and help, for a common condition

Recommended Content:

Suicide Prevention
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 16 - 30 Page 2 of 9

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.