Developing resilience may help kids combat bullying
Ever wondered why bullying has a serious effect on some kids, while others recover easily from the trauma? Researchers, led by one of Indian origin, found that the capacity to recover quickly depends on the characteristic trait of "resilience".
The study says that resilience buffers and protects the children against internalising the harm intended through situations of adversities like bullying both at home or school as well as online.
"Resilience is a potent protective factor, both in preventing experience with bullying and mitigating its effect," said Sameer Hinduja, Professor at the Florida Atlantic University in Florida.
"Resilient kids are those, who for a variety of reasons, are better able to withstand external pressures and setbacks and are less negatively impacted in their attitudes and actions than their less-equipped peers when facing this type of victimisation," Hinduja added.
Although, the ability to be resilient comes naturally, it needs to be nurtured through social and environmental factors as it enables kids to "bounce back" and successfully adapt to stressful situations, the researchers noted.
The study, published in the journal Child Abuse and Neglect, stated that instead, of constantly seeking to protect and insulate children, parents should help bolster their self-confidence, problem-solving ability, autonomy, and sense of purpose - which are all innate strengths.
The researcher studied over 1204 youth between 12-17 years by a validated biopsychosocial 10-item resilience scale including various questions of tackling bullying and related stress.
The results demonstrated that students with higher levels of resilience were bullied at school or online less often.
Their experience with various forms of interpersonal peer harm also varied inversely with the students' self-reported level of resilience.