Relational Aggression : My Own Experiences With Aggression And Bullying Essay

Relational Aggression : My Own Experiences With Aggression And Bullying Essay

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The journal articles for this section of the course, gave me an opportunity to reflect a lot on my own experiences with aggression and bullying during my childhood and early adolescence. When I think about bullying behavior, I define it as acts of verbal and/or physical intimidation, inflicted upon a person in order to humiliate and hurt that person. I was initially surprised to see that according to research, relational aggression is prevalent starting with fourth and fifth graders. Based on my own experiences, I found that relational aggression was prevalent during my middle school years. Just as the research demonstrates (Murray-Close, Ostrov, & Crick, 2007), relational aggression increased over time amongst girls. As discussed by Murray-Close, Ostrov and Crick, increases in intimate exchanges were associated with increases in relational aggression (2007). I found this to be true when I think about the types of cliques and groups that formed in my middle school. Girls clumped together into “exclusive groups” and were supposedly all best friends. However, despite how close they were, the girls would often engage in behaviors such as gossiping, rumor spreading and slut shaming.
The literature also states that boys gradually increase relational aggression over time (Murray-Close, Ostrov, & Crick,2007). This made me think about whether or not interactions with female peers engaging in relational aggression could quicken the speed in which boys begin to engage in that form of aggression. In my experience, I witnessed boys in middle school engage in physical aggression with each other, but also use relational aggression toward the peers who were girls or toward boys that their girl friends were aggressive towards. This in...

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... or in documentaries like Bully.
Now, given the amount of attention brought to the subject of bullying, schools are working to address this issue. I personally think that having surveillance cameras in schools would not be a bad thing. However, things such as getting parent consent and confidentiality in certain settings could make video surveillance problematic. Also, video footage in schools could only do so much. It is not guaranteed to catch all bullying that occurs, especially ones that are not of the physical kind. It also fails to address bullying behaviors that occur outside of the school. I think a lot needs to change to address the way our society handle aggression, it’s a mater of how we do it (in schools, communities, home), when we do it (preventive initiatives or addressing it once it starts) and where to start (early childhood or late childhood).

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