How bullies suffer in other ways

March 25th, 2008 - 12:03 pm ICT by admin  

New York, March 25 (IANS) Bullies too will suffer - in ways they least expect. And fractured relationships with friends and parents is one of them, according to a study. Bullying is a behaviour that most children engage in at some point during their school years, the study found, with almost 10 percent engaging in consistently high levels of bullying from elementary through high school.

Findings of the study have appeared in the latest issue of the journal Child Development.

Researchers surveyed 871 students (466 girls and 405 boys) for seven years from ages 10 to 18. Each year, they asked the children questions about their involvement in bullying or victimising behaviour, their relationships, and other positive and negative behaviours.

Some 13.4 percent said they bullied at relatively high levels in elementary school but practically gave it up by the end of high school. Some 35.1 percent of the children said they bullied peers at moderate levels. And 41.6 percent almost never reported bullying across the adolescent years.

The study also found that bullies tended to be aggressive, lacking in a moral compass and experienced a lot of conflict in their relationships with parents. Besides, their relationships with friends also were marked by conflict and they tended to associate with others who bullied.

The findings provide clear direction for prevention of persistent bullying problems, according to Debra Pepler of York University. Pepler is a co-author of the study.

“By providing intensive and ongoing support starting in the elementary school years to this small group of youth who persistently bully, it may be possible to promote healthy relationships and prevent their ‘career path’ of bullying,” she said.

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