For general, and teenagers in particular, desire strong

For the basic
understanding of human beings in general, and teenagers in particular, desire
strong social ties and value acceptance, care and support from others. Teenagers
who feel that they are part of a school community are more likely to perform
better academically and be more motivated in school. However, for some students,
school is a place of torment because of bullying. Bullying is a systematic abuse
of power, and can be identified by three key traits: repetition, intention to
harm, and an unequal power between the bully and the victim (Woods and Wolke,


Unfortunately, the
prevalence of bullying has been shown to vary significantly in Hong Kong which
has harmful effects on individual students, their families and the school
community. Recently, there have a news about school bullying occurred in a
Primary school. The boy had been a victim of bullying since the start of school
in September, the boy’s classmates had thrown pieces of chalk, stole his
stationery and on one occasion hit him in the face and jabbed their fingers into
his eyes. Finally, the boy was taken to private clinic for surgery to remove
the eraser from his ear (SCMP reference).

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Type of bullying

Bullying can take
different forms such as physical, verbal and relational bullying. Physical
(hitting, punching or kicking) and verbal (name-calling or mocking) bullying
refers to direct forms of abuse (Smith and Sharp, 1994). Relational bullying
refers to the phenomenon of social exclusion, where some children are ignored,
excluded from games or parties, rejected by peers, or are the victims of gossip
and other forms of public humiliation and shaming (Woods and Wolke, 2004). The
situation of the boy would probably had been bullied in forms of physical,
verbal and relational.


Type of aggressors –
Proactive aggressor

Proactive aggressors
believe they gain benefits, such as power and control over others, from their
aggressive behavior. Therefore, instrumental goals and motivations lie behind
their aggression (Dodge, 1991). Base on the observation by the school social
worker, she reports that the target members will perform as a leader and gathering
others engaged in verbal bullying for showing her power. Moreover, they have a
strong desire to control others, are often egocentric and lack empathy for
their victims. Some studies indicate that proactive aggressors will undermine
school regulations and discipline, have poor conduct, and use their
intelligence to engage in inappropriate behavior to obtain benefits (Crick
& Dodge, 1996).


According to some
research, the family background of proactive aggressors is usually more
complicated. Their parents also have a tendency toward aggression, and some of
them are proactive aggressors themselves. The role of the father is weak, as he
seldom plays a role in parenting. The mother often neglects to teach her
children, adopts an indulgent approach (Curtuer-Smith, 2000), and spends very
little time with them. Such parents are very tolerant of their children’s
aggression, and even normalize it (McNamara & McNamara, 1997), which encourages
and fosters their children’s aggressive behavior.