n Child Abuse Research in South Africa - Adolescents girls' experiences of being bullied in a secondary school environment

Volume 15, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-1383



Bullying is a world-wide phenomenon that occurs within homes, schools and the community at large. To the victims, bullying can be seriously destructive element in the relationships of children of all ages with both the peers and the individuals. The overall goal of this study was to assess the adolescent girls' experiences of being bullied in a secondary school environment. The researcher used a qualitative, explorative, descriptive and contextual design. Semi-structured interviews, a reflective journal, field notes and observations were used to collect data. After the data was analysed. Two themes with subthemes were identified. The findings of this research study revealed that bullying lowers the academic potential of the adolescent girls as their concentration is mostly focused on what the bully will do next. The victims of bullying experienced negative emotions such as humiliation, anger, fear, anxiety, sadness and depression. They also experienced symptoms of mental discomfort which included low self-esteem, feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness and inferiority, lack of confidence and isolation and self-conscientiousness which could lead to suicide. Family-based problems tended to exacerbate the adolescent girls' experiences of being bullied. In conclusion, bullying has a detrimental effect on the mental health of the adolescent girls. Recommendations included creating awareness for the teachers and parents with regards to bullying behaviour amongst teenagers. An intervention in the form of a programme may be required to assist adolescent girls to cope with bullying behaviour.

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