Who are the bullies? The answer might surprise.


Often, kids with mental health disorders are targeted by bullies and treated unfairly by their peers. A new study more clearly identifies the bullies as also suffering from mental health issues: children diagnosed with mental health disorders were three times more likely to be identified as bullies. The new research comes from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition.

As many as 20% of all kids get bullied

Bullying is described as a form of youth violence which is repetitive, intentionally aggressive and involves a disparity of power between perpetrator and victim. A 2011 study showed that as many as 20% of high school youth had been bullied in the preceding twelve months.

Can the bullies be identified before they act out?

While it is well-established that victims of bullying are at increased risk for developing mental health issues as a result of the bullying, few studies have taken a look at the mental state of the perpetrators. In a 2007 study, over 15% of children were identified as having bullying characteristics. It has now been revealed that children with mental health disorders were three times more likely to bully other children. The kids most likely to bully suffered from depression and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD).

Successful treatment can be pre-emptive intervention

“These findings highlight the importance of providing psychological support not only to victims of bullying, but to bullies ad well,” said Frances G. Turcotte-Benedict, MD, a Brown University Master’s of Public Health student and a fellow at Hasbro Children’s Hospital. “In order to create successful anti-bullying prevention and intervention programs, there certainly is a need for more research to understand the relationship more thoroughly, and especially, the risk profile of childhood bullies.”

Source: MedicalNewsToday, AAP


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