Various researchers seek to understand the amount of bullying activity that take place in many schools’ worldwide. Although the term bullying seems to be rarely new, safety and security has been a concern as far back as the 1940’s. In 1943, Maslow justified his theory known as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs explaining the five levels of needs that a person should master to be in a position to mature emotionally and cognitively. This hierarchy states that motivation is needed to fulfill basic needs before moving forward to other needs. There are five different levels in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The first level is physical needs. This includes basic needs such as food, water, air, and sleep. These needs must be met before progressing to the next level. The second level includes the need for safety and security. The level of bullying activities that are taking place in our schools can be a definite impact on an individual’s need to proceed through the second level. When individuals know that they are safe and out of harms way, they will be able to move through the third level, which is social needs. Social needs include affection, love, and belonging. It is without a doubt that individuals who are victims of bullying have not felt loved and have not experienced a sense of belonging in an environment that may be hostel. The fourth level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is Esteem needs. This need includes a need for social recognition and accomplishments, which is also a level where bullying is often checked. Only after all four levels of needs are met, will an individual be in a position to progress to the fifth level. The fifth level of Maslow’s Hierarachy of Needs is a need to know and understand.
In an ordinary school environment teachers would love to know that all of their students are at the fifth level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. However, there are many obstacles that prevent children from being at the level where teachers think they should be, and bullying is one obstacle. In the 1990’s Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs went from five levels to eight levels. The last three levels include Aesthetic needs, a real appreciation and search for beauty, balance, and form of an individual. Self-Actualization needs consist of an individual realizing their own potential, and seeking self-fulfillment of their own personal growth. The last and final level is Transcendence needs. This level consists of an individual helping other people to master or achieve self-actualization. All eight levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs are very important. Each level builds on the next level. Before progressing to another level, an individual must meet mastery level on the previous level. An individual being bullied will actually reach the top if he or she can master level eight of the hierarchy chart. This level shows where individuals are strong enough to not only help themselves, but also help others out of situations that are similar to some of the situations that they went through.
In the past ten years, the amount of literature and research on bullying and the impact that it has on individuals is enormous. Bullying has received research attention only since the 1980’s when Olweus (1991; 1993), a Norwegian researcher, began to study this matter. Dan Olweus (1993), known as the father of bullying research defines bullying as a student being bullied when he or she is exposed repeatedly and over time to negative actions on the part of one or more other students. Bullying also known as peer victimization is a problem that has existed in American schools and around the world for quite some time. Bullying is one of the most common forms of youth violence; it has been linked to a host of negative consequences for children’s health and mental health (Flaspohler, Eltstrom, Vanderzee, & Sink, 2009). Although people think that bullying is more commonly done among individual students, group activity is also present in bullying. When children are in groups, with a group of friends, or their peers, it sometimes can have an influence on their behavior. There is always a leader and followers in groups. There are many types of bullying, but they all have a few characteristics in common, such as deliberately hurtful behavior, behavior is repeated over time, and an imbalance of power.