Bullying Leads to More Serious Violence
BETHESDA, Md. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- While a little bullying on the playground may not seem like a big deal, a new study shows children who bully each other are more likely to engage in other violent behaviors.
Researchers from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development passed out surveys to 15,686 students in grades six through 10 to analyze bullying trends.
Before questioning the students, researchers agreed on how they would define "bullying." "We say a student is being bullied when another student, or group of students, say or do nasty and unpleasant things to him or her," says Tonja R. Nansel, Ph.D., of NICHD's Division of Epidemiology, Statistics, and Prevention Research.
Results of the study show both young bullies and their victims were more likely to engage in violent behaviors than children who were never involved in bullying. However, the bullies were much more likely to become violent than the bullied children were.
The researchers also found that boys were more likely than girls to be involved in bullying and violent behaviors. Boys who bullied others away from school were at the greatest risk for engaging in violence-related behaviors.
Among the boys who bullied each other once a week while away from school, more than 70 percent had carried a weapon, 58 percent reported carrying a weapon in school, almost 45 percent said they fought frequently, and 56 percent had been injured in a fight.
Researchers say this is the first study that examines how bullying relates to other forms of violence. Previous studies have shown people who were bullied as children were more likely to suffer from depression and low-self esteem as adults.
SOURCE: Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine, 2003;157:348-353
This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to: http://www.ivanhoe.com/newsalert/.