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The main Objective of this study was to find out the effects of school bullying on Students’ on student mental health. A descriptive research design was use for this study with sample size of 70 students. The for instrument of data collection being the questionnaire. The simple random sampling technique was employed. The data was entered into SPSS and analyzed using the inferential and descriptive statistics. Findings of the study revealed that school bullying has a negative effect on Students’ mental health in Bamenda III sub division. The study presents that proactive bullying have a negative relationship on students’ mental in Bamenda III sub Division. Power related bullying also have a negative relationship affects students’ mental health in Bamenda III sub division. Reactive Bullying do have a negative relationship on students’ mental health in Bamenda III sub division The researcher further recommended that students should stop bullying others in schools and in the community at large and also parents should advice their children not to bully their mates because it will affect them negatively, the government should set in rules and regulations against bullying. The researcher ended by suggesting that further research should be conducted in other Secondary schools in Cameroon to see if there exist any correlation between the results obtained.

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Generally in the world, violence is current everywhere especially in school settings. The common form of violence that occurs in school setting is bullying and this violence has a lot of consequences on student mental health, physical wellbeing, psychological wellbeing and equally social health of students which cannot be undermined. School bullying also threatens the student’s health, social pains behavior, and suicidal behaviors. School bullying is an important social problem affecting students in the world according to (Chia et al .., 2020ab). Bullying behaviors have negative consequences such as psychosomatic symptoms like headache abdominal pain and sleeping problems according to (Li et al.., 2019), mental health outcomes like depressions anxiety social thoughts (Grower and Borowsky; 2013, Benedic et al 2015; Weng et al 2017) and health behavior  problems like alcohol, cigarettes ( Topper et al; 2011;Sangalang et al, 2012). Many authors in the world and Cameroon in particular have work on bullying some of them are; Hamilton Ndatisikhakhane and Melanie Yvette Mantine, Jonny Shannon, Cynthia Vinney.

Bullying and mental health issues are the primary concern of students because when students are not mentally sound, they will not be able to learn in the classroom since it affects their thinking. There are many factors responsible for bullying and mental health of students in schools. Some of them are; family breakdown, risk factors such as gender, grade level, ethnicity, socio economic status, self-esteem, popularity and social skills. Also academic achievement and physical disability, peer group risk factors like peer group norms, delinquency, alcohol and drug abuse couple with school risk factors like school and classroom climate, teachers attitude, classroom characteristics and lastly parental risk factors like parental characteristics, family discord, with community risk factors such as neighborhood and societal risk factors like media. Bullying has been identified as a silence factor that is found deep in the minds of the students that cannot be physically seen unless it manifests. In Cameroon, bullying is very common although it is often neglected by the state and school administrators.

There are many types of bullying which include; physical bullying (that is often manifested by kicking, punching hitting, slapping and spitting), verbal bullying, cyber bullying, emotional bullying, Prejudicial bullying, sexual bullying. All this form of bullying goes a long way to affect student’s mental health.

In Cameroon this violence is very common though Cameroonians schools have not seen the need to research and overcome this violence.  There is no one who has carry out research on bullying and how it affects student’s mental health.

This is why it is necessary for the researcher to examine the effects of bullying on students mental health in Bamenda III though it might be carried out in other parts of the country, Cameroon and Bamenda but not in Bamenda III sub division.

1.1 Background to the study

Historically, Burk (1897), was the first person to write on school bullying. But since then there was a wide gap before the issue was taken up again. The most significant turning point for bullying took place in the mid-1970s. Dan Olweus, a research professor of psychology, was the first to conduct an intensive study on bullying among students using his own systematic researching methods (Voo, 2007,). He created the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP), which had significant results in reducing school bullying (Hazelden Foundation, 2007). Olweus’s efforts contributed greatly to the fight against bullying because it brought awareness, initiated other professionals to conduct research, and vastly expanded the meaning of bullying (Voo, 2007). Olweus’s efforts have made a great  impact on school violence and helped to bring safety back into schools. A Patten of bullying in people has been described in books in social history and old newspapers from the 18th and 19th centuries in some countries such as United Kingdom, Japan and Korea.

Conceptually, Olweus (1993) defines  bullying as a specific form of peer aggression which is intentionally  repetitive and it involves an imbalance of power between the victim and perpetrators. On the other hand, Baron (1977) defines bullying as behavior that is directed towards the goal of harming or injuring another living being who is motivated to avoid such treatment. In his view, any behavior that is directed towards harming or in jurying  another person is bullying. For example fighting, kicking, physical assault etc. Arora (1987) define bullying as the act of achieving or maintaining social dominance through overtly aggression means which occurs because no sufficient skill or capacity to integrate with their group. Galloway (1993) defines bullying as physical or psychological abuse of an individual by one or a group of students. In this regard, bullying denotes aggressive behavior.

Proactive aggression. Dodge and Schwartz (1997)  goal directed behavior designed to archieved and objective beyond physical violence example robbery.( Psyclnfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all right reserved) . Proactive aggression can be found  in Bandura’s (1973) social learning model as a strategy that intends to reach a goal, an objective or some kind of benefit through cold-blooded and Some studies have shown that the factors that lead to proactive aggression and the factors that lead to reactive aggression are interrelated, although it might be reasonable to assume that proactive and reactive aggression have different etiologies (Crick & Dodge, 1996). It has also been demonstrated that both types of behavior are linked to different personality traits, styles of sociability, and especially each individual’s personal and social values (Dodge & Coie, 1987).

Reactive aggression refers to aggressive behavior in response to perceived threats or provocation and is the main type of aggressive behavior. (Berkowitz, 1993) Power related Aggression refers to a range of behavior that can result in both physical and psychological harms to oneself, other or objectives in the environment. These types of social interaction centers on harming another person, either physical or mental. Power related aggression refers to a range of behaviour that can result in both physical and psychological harm to oneself or others  in the environment. This type  of social interaction centers on harming another person, either physically or mentally. The expression of aggression can occur in a number of ways including verbally, mentally, and physically. The different  forms of aggression are physical, verbal, and mental. Aggression serve in different purposes that is to express anger. Model distinguishes between three motivational mechanisms that are supported by distinct neuro-biological systems and characterised by distinct motor responses which are offensive aggression, defensive aggression, and marking/display behaviour.

Theoretically, three theories were used to explain this work. The theories are Albert Bandura’s social learning theory, Erik Erikson theory of psychosocial development and Uri Bonfrenbrenner ecological system theory.

Albert Bandura asserts that most human behavior especially aggression is learned through observation, imitation, and modeling. Bandura is famous for his studies of children observing adults who acted aggressively toward a doll. After the children viewed this behavior, they were given dolls to play with. They imitated the aggressive actions that they observed earlier.

Erik Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development  is made up of eight stages but the stage that is in concerned here  is stage five which is identity versus role confusion because it shows how adolescent are seeking identity and some time they seek the identity in aggressive behavior.

Uri Bronfrenbrenner’s ecological systems theory view school environment as a set of nestled structure (Bronfrenbrenner 1979). The current theoretical framework allowed investigation into simultaneous effect of individual traits, interpersonal and contextual factors on bullying behavior. Factors that cause a child or youth to be involved in bullying based on Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory are divided into five systems; microsystem, mesosystem, ecosystem, macro system, and chronosystem . The five systems are interrelated and have a major influence on the development of a child.

Contextually, the use of violence in Cameroonian schools is not accidental but seemingly rooted in the colonial history of Cameroon (Tangwe and Paul, 2009). Over time and space, this has been copied by those in authority as an easy way out for all deviant behavior especially in schools in Cameroon today. A good example is the case of the upper sixth student of Starlight collage Nkwen who was stabbed and killed by another student with a knife. Another case was reported in CCC Mankon and GHS Kejimkaku where the discipline master was bitten up by students, his office invaded, official documents destroyed, another example was seen on the 6th April 2022 where a principal of YONA collage located in the Nkolbisson neighborhood in Yaoundé stabbed by one of his student, 

1.2 Statement of the Problem

School bullying has many effects on mental health on the student in Cameroon especially in Bamenda III Sub Division. School bullying is in the rise in schools in Bamenda III and the school authorities are doing little or nothing about it. In Bamenda III sub division, there a so many students who practice proactive aggression, power related aggression and reative aggression which goes  a long way to affect the mental health of students which can be the bullies or bullied in Bamenda III negatively. Many students in Bamenda III who experience these forms of bullying may experience emotional problems, mental health, poor general health, chronic depression, anxiety disorder, substance abuse, low academic perfomances social, dropping out from school amongst many others. Students are either victims or are bullies themselves. Student in Bamenda III sub division during the learning process are observed being quiet in class. They do not want to answer questions from teachers. This may be because the students are scared of being bullied verbally because verbal bullied is actually observed to be on the rise in our schools especially by teachers and this may affect the way students learn, this study will therefore seek to investigate these assumption and give recommendations to solve this problem if it actually exist .Some of these students usually go unpunished and for that reason they continue to perpetuate this kind of bullying behavior. When a student gets involved in aggressive behavior, he/she may feel irritable and restless; he/she may feel impulsive and may find it hard to control his behavior. With these issues on bullying and much others being on the rise in our school, administration and the government at large need to seek further solutions to these problems. The study therefore seeks to address these issues by studying the effects of bullying on student’s mental health. Attempted solutions and recommendation will further be made at the end of the study.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

1.3.1 Main Objective

To examine if school bullying affects students’ mental health in Bamenda III Sub Division?

1.3.2 Specific Objectives

Specifically, this study set out to;

  • Investigate how proactive bullying affects students’ mental health in Bamenda III Sub Division.

  • Investigate how reactive bullying affects students’ mental health in Bamenda III Sub Division.

  • Investigate how power related bullying affects students’ mental health in Bamenda III Sub Division.

1.4 Research Question         

1.4.1 Main Research Question

What are the effects of school bullying on students’ mental health in Bamenda III Sub Division?

1.4.2 Specific Research Questions

  • How does power related bullying affects student mental health in Bamenda III Sub Division?
  • How does proactive bullying affect students’ mental health in Bamenda III Sub Division.?
  • How does reactive bullying affects student’s mental health in Bamenda III Sub Division.?
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