Empathy and Intervention: Unraveling the Impact of Bullying on Adolescent Development through a Social Work Lens

In recent decades, the act of bullying has been at the center of many media stories. Stories in

which, after being bullied for years, students enter a school and shoot their peers and teachers.

Stories in which, after social media taunts and text messages, adolescents die by suicide to

escape the hurt and shame. While mental health and other factors are certainly involved as

well, these examples show the possible ramifications of bullying. Bullying can have a significant

impact on an adolescent’s self-esteem, mental health, and identity. So how can a social worker

intervene to help adolescents work through their experiences of bullying?

In this Discussion, you take on the perspective of a social worker assisting one such adolescent.

TO PREPARE:

Watch the Southside Community Services video . Reflect on Amy and what she is

experiencing.

Consider the theoretical approaches, skills, and messages you would employ in

working with Amy.

After watching the video, explain how bullying may affect Amy’s

biological, psychological, and social development.

Describe a theoretical approach and two practice skills that you would employ in

working with Amy.

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