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Childhood Bullying Often Leads to Violent Life: Report

Boys more likely than girls to be involved in bullying


"Findings from this study suggest that programs designed to reduce violent behaviors should address less severe forms of aggressive behavior, particularly bullying," the study authors wrote. "Bullying, as a behavior that is inflicted with the desire to harm another, seems to be an important marker for violence-related behaviors."

The authors believe their study is the first to examine how bullying relates to other forms of violence. Previous studies, Dr. Nansel explained, have included youth from a small geographic area and looked only at how bullying relates to a single violence-related behavior.

In 2001, Dr. Nansel and colleagues at NICHD and HRSA conducted a survey that determined the extent of bullying in U.S. Schools. A release describing this earlier study has been posted at http://www.nichd.nih.gov/new/releases/bullying.cfm.

Dr. Nansel said earlier studies have concluded that the effects of bullying behavior carry into adulthood. People who were bullied as children are more likely to suffer from depression and low self esteem as adults, and the people who bullied others when they were children are more likely to engage in criminal behavior later in life.

"In this study, a strong and consistent relationship between bullying and violent behaviors was observed,” the authors wrote. “This suggests that bullying is likely to occur concurrently with more serious aggressive behavior, and while prevalent, should not be considered a normative aspect of youth development."

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