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Bullies and bully-victims have something in common

kid who could be either

It seems the CDC has discovered that the bully and the bullied have something in common: violence at home. On the outside they are very different kids: one group taunts, humiliates and torments the weak while the other group defers, surrenders and accommodates to the point of self-injury. Nevertheless, there exists a dismal commonality between the two.

The association was among several findings from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention in concert with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. They analyzed students from middle and high school grades in that state.

As you may recall, Massachusetts got in the headlines for the widely reported suicides of two teens, 15 year old Phoebe Prince of South Hadley in 2010 and 11 year old Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover in 2009. The state was quick to move on anti-bullying legislation in 2010. The new rules prohibit bullying in school and online and mandates prevention programs at schools.

The new study confirmed some suspected associations: an increased likelihood of suicide, substance abuse and failing grades. But they also found that the bully and his victim were significantly more likely to have been hurt by a family member or to have witnessed violence at home.

“A comprehensive approach that encompasses school officials, students and their families is needed to prevent bullying among middle school and high school students,” the CDC researchers wrote.

Another commonality: bullies and bully-victims use drugs and alcohol.

Source: Massachusetts Department of Public Health, CDC, Reuters


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