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Nancy Schimelpfening

Bullying Linked to Family Violence

By May 13, 2011

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Bullying appears to be connected to several factors, including family violence, alcohol and drug use and increased suicidal tendencies, according to the results obtained from the 2009 Massachusetts Youth Health Survey, which was released on April 22, 2011.

During a single class period, students at 138 middle schools and high schools were surveyed about their experiences with bullying, either as victims, bullies or both (classified as bully-victims).

The most outstanding finding, according Dr. Robert Sege, chief of ambulatory pediatrics at Boston Medical Center, was how often bullies and bully-victims had been exposed to domestic violence. In the survey, 23% of bully-victims in middle school and 20% of high school bully-victims reported having been physically hurt by a family member during the past year. In addition, 19% of middle school bullies and 14% of high school bullies had been subjected to familial violence, compared to 14% of middle school victims and 13% of high school victims.

The researchers also found that 25% of middle school bully-victims reported having seriously considered suicide within the past year, compared to 16% of bullies and 12% of victims. For high school students, the numbers were 23%, 13% and 20% respectively. Among middle school students, 5% of victims,11% of bullies and 17% of bully-victims actually attempted suicide. On the high school levels, 10% of victims, 6% of bullies and 11% of bully-victims attempted suicide.

In addition, 41% of middle school bully-victims and 29% of high school bully-victims reported self-harming without an intent to commit suicide.

According Dr. Carl Bell, president and CEO of the Community Mental Health Council and Foundation of Chicago, any effective program against bullying must have actively involved adults. "Children [and] teenagers are all gasoline, no brakes, and no steering wheel," he said. "They need adults around to be the brakes and the steering wheel."

While parents and teachers are often the first to become aware of bullying, Dr. Sege noted that pediatricians can also play a role in recognizing bullying. Physical injuries and symptoms of ADHD where none previously existed could be signs of bullying, he said.


Comments
May 25, 2011 at 10:40 pm
(1) Cindy F. says:

Learning to be a bully starts so very early in life.

Children Learn What They Live
By Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.
Copyright 1972 by Dorothy Law Nolte

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