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Teens who experience peer violence are more likely to imagine it themselves

Teens who experience peer violence are more likely to imagine it themselves

Teens who experience violence from their peers later in their teens and early adulthood are more likely to have violent and aggressive fantasies towards others. This applies to approximately 97 percent. And 73 percent. Girls – according to research conducted by criminologists from the University of Cambridge in Great Britain.

Bullying affects children and teens, and it means bullying others. This phenomenon usually leads to low self-esteem, anxiety disorders, neuroses, depression, and in the worst cases, even suicide. Bullying occurs all over the world, and professionals who work with young people are still trying to find a way to prevent this type of behavior among students.

Criminology professor Manuel Eisner and his team from the University of Cambridge in Great Britain decided to investigate how exposure to bullying affects the self, the world, and others later. To this end, he has recruited 1,465 young people between the ages of 17 and 20 from schools in Zurich, Switzerland, whose previous ideas and experiences have been carefully analyzed.

The team focused primarily on the experiences of people experiencing various forms of abuse, such as mockery, physical attacks, and sexual harassment from their peers. The researchers recorded whether study participants had thoughts about violence against others in the past 30 days, and if so, what type of bullying or aggression they experienced in the past year.

Study results show that most teens and young adults have experienced bullying at least once. However, people who were often victims of this type of treatment were more likely to fantasize about killing, attacking, or humiliating others.

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Among boys who had not experienced peer violence in the past year, the likelihood of experiencing violence against others was 56%. However, among those who had been exposed, to varying degrees, to five different acts of violence, as many as 85% exhibited an imagination of violence against others. For people who had experienced 10 forms of abuse, this percentage was as high as 97%. With each subsequent type of bullying, the likelihood of violent thoughts increased by about 8%.

Among girls who have not experienced any form of bullying in the past 12 months, 23 percent. Acknowledge violence against others. This number increased to 59 percent. In the case of adolescents who were subjected to five types of abuse, and as much as 73% for girls subjected to ten different forms of violence.

“By thinking about the different situations that could happen, we exercise the brain – just in case they happen in real life. The most common fantasies about different forms of violence against others can be a psychological mechanism to help prepare for such situations,” Eisner explains.

Underworld suggests that fantasies of reverting to others can go back to prehistoric times, when societies were forming and were far more brutal, and revenge – or the threat of it – as a form of protection against others.

According to the authors, studying the mechanisms underlying violent thoughts toward others can help plan appropriate interventions that can stop mania ruminations, especially if started at a young age.

Source: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ab.21965 (PAP)

Author: Agnieszka Niewińska-Lewicka

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