Researchers at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and the Standford University School of Medicine have recently finished a study on bullying that has alarming statistics. In the study, it concluded that 9 out of 10 elementary students on average have been bullied by their peers.
Wow! That is a scary statistic. The article also discusses the studies other conclusions, which are even more alarming, about the damage that bullying and being a bully can do to the children.
“We know that both bullies and victims tend to suffer higher levels of depression and other mental health problems throughout their lives,” says child psychiatrist Tom Tarshis, lead author of the study and director of the Bay Area Children’s Association. “We need to change the perception that bullying at school is a part of life and that victims just need to toughen up.”
. . .The stakes are high. Previous research has shown that, without intervention, bullying behavior persists over time: a child who is a bully in kindergarten is often a bully in elementary school, high school and beyond. Such behaviors are not without consequence, though. These career bullies are not only slightly more likely than their peers to serve prison time as adults, they also tend to suffer from depression.
The survey is published in the April 2007 issue of the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. These questions were answered by 270 children in grades three through six in California and Arizona. It would be good to see a wider spread survey in more areas, but certainly, the statistics continue to tell a disturbing story.