The Changing Face of Bullying

The Changing Face of Bullying

In the article, Traditional and Nontraditional Bullying among Youth: a Test of General Strain Theory, Patchin & Hinduja (2010) explore the changing face of bullying over time. The paper articulates the different forms of bullying from traditional and the now recent nontraditional forms of bullying. In particular, cyber bullying is given a keener analysis as it unfolds through emails, websites, text messages and chartrooms. The research explores the causes of both traditional and nontraditional forms of bullying. In this undertaking, the general strain theory is applied as a guiding framework for the study. The findings of the study point to a direct relationship between bullies and an earlier experience of strain. Indeed, people that experience strain in their lives are most likely to undertake in either or both of the two forms of bullying. Lastly, the paper discusses the repercussions of the results as well as the suggested areas that require further study.

In the execution of the study, the researchers employed a coherent approach that tackled the problem of bullying. Indeed, the area of bullying has raised increased controversy in recent years resulting into concern amongst both parents and education professionals. The onset of cyber bullying in today’s modern world has changed the sphere of bullying as different forms of exploitation emerge. Today, it is likely that students will face some form of cyber bullying at some point during their lives. In essence, most of the bullying that happens in today’s world is faceless and is not easy to identify the bullies at once. Consequently, victims of bullying continue to suffer psychological repercussions with most of them developing a low self esteem.  This paper is an evaluation of the research article with reference to the effectiveness of the researchers in communicating their research findings. The methodology used in research is also critiqued thoroughly to evaluate its appropriateness and the effectiveness of the same.

The effectiveness of the research boils down to its orientation as a deductive study aimed at testing the theory that strain results to bullying. In fact, although there have been vast studies on the issue of bullying and how it results to strain among students, no studies have attempted to link bullying as an outcome of strain in the past (Patchin & Hinduja, 2010). Essentially, the study delves into an area that is rarely studied thus making it highly significant. In addition, the research is quantitative and uses a large sample to formulate facts. The choice of a quantitative approach gives credibility to the research as it uses numerical data in formulating statistical findings and facts. Also, the research is exploratory in nature and is aimed at testing the validity of the link between strains and bullying. In this respect, the goals of the study are best achieved through an exploratory study design as it allows for the testing of the existing theory. The choice of methodology is highly significant in the success of the research as it ultimately guides the path taken by the study (Bouma et al, 2016). In the end, the choice of methodology adopted is highly effective in aligning the study and making it successful.

The study adopts research objectives that are testable and that resonate well with the overall aim of the study. Although the research questions cannot be pinpointed in the article, one can almost feel the certainty of the questions as they read the article. The hypothesis of the study is that some youth may engage in bullying behaviors (both traditional and nontraditional) as a response to strainful life and the negative emotions that they produce. The other hypothesis is that strained youth who wish to ameliorate the negative feelings may engage in bullying to improve the way they feel about themselves. Consequently, the research question can be identified as: can strainful life result to development of traditional and nontraditional bullying behaviors among the youth? (Patchin & Hinduja, 2010) Again, the objectives of the study are not listed down in the article but they can well be deducted from the literature provided. The objective of the study is to identify the relationship between strainful life and the development of bullying behavior among the youth. The nature of the hypothesis as well as the research questions has an influence on the methodology in use in the study. The research objectives call for the testing of numerical data in coming up with conclusions, something that is only achievable through a quantitative and deductive research design. The study is therefore not a haphazard process but one that is guided by the needs of the research.

The choice of a cross sectional research design is further informed by the research question. The question formulated requires that the study compares collected information at a single point in time. Moreover the kind of information required for the research did not require comparisons over a long time and longitudinal designs were not necessary. The choice of a cross sectional design is therefore appropriate in this case as it saves a lot of time that would have otherwise been wasted (Bouma et al, 2016). The study design is dictated by the nature of the research questions and it determines the methodology applied in the study. The researchers had this understanding as they opted for the most relevant study design of cross sectional study. Still, the effectiveness of the research is further enhanced through the demonstration of causality in the research. The study explores the different variables with a focus on the link between the two sets. Ideally, the research analyses the possibility of strain in one’s life resulting into the development of bullying behavior among the youth. Also, the development of these bullying behaviors is traced to the determination to get rid of negative feelings caused by strains in the youth’s lives. The paper portrays different examples of causality thus increasing the validity of the research.

The choice of measures in the study was also informed by the research questions and the aims of the study. As thus, the intended outcome of bullying was measured through two variables. One of the measures was dichotomous variable to represent traditional variable with 1 representing evidence of bullying and 0 representing no bullying among the youths for the last thirty days (Patchin & Hinduja, 2010). The bullying measures tested in the study were selected from a past bullying scale and are similar to those used in similar past studies. In this measure, youths that reported to having being involved in one or no bullying incident were coded as 0. However, those that were involved in two or more bullying behaviors were coded as 1. The second measure of cyber bullying was measured as either 1 to mean cyber bullying or 0 to mean no cyber bullying. These two dichotomous measures represented the dependent variables. The independent variables on the other hand included a 9-item variety scale with different strain measures. Also, males were represented as 1 while females were coded as 0 with similar representations adopted for white and non-whites respectively.

The sampling procedures used in the study as well as the data collection method further add to the effectiveness of the study. The study employed surveys in interviewing 2000 students from 30 middle schools across the district. Only students that were enrolled for the district-wide peer conflict class at the time were eligible for selection. A class from each of the 6th-, 7th-, and 8th-grade was selected for administration of the survey. The students in each class had a fair chance of being selected for the survey and were representative of the wider middle schools students in the district. Data was then collected through questionnaires and accompanying answer sheets resulting in 96% completion rate. As thus, the final sample was made up of 1963 respondents (Patchin & Hinduja, 2010). The sample size is wide and highly representative and therefore results in a true account of the situation within the district. The study was faced with a number of limitations including the lack of a national sample and the use of a single district. Also, the data used was cross sectional and does not represent findings from other times. Also, there was a limitation in asking respondents to report their own behaviors. Nonetheless, the objectives of the study were attained and it was highly effective.



Patchin, J. W., & Hinduja, S. (2011). Traditional and nontraditional bullying among youth: A test of general strain theory. Youth & Society.

Bouma, Gary D., Rod Ling and Lori Wilkinson. (2016). “The Research Process.” Third Canadian Edition. Oxford University Press.



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