Bullying Fuels and Perpetuates Youth Aggression

Students with social problems run a 2.3 times higher risk of being bullied

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Students with social problems run a higher risk of becoming victims and perpetrators of bullying than students without social problems, researchers report in the September issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Young Shin Kim, M.D., Ph.D., of the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues studied psychopathologic behavior and school bullying in 1,655 seventh and eighth-graders attending two Korean middle schools between 2000 and 2001.

The researchers found that students with social problems ran 2.3 times the risk of becoming victims, and 2.7 times the risk of becoming victim-perpetrators as students without social problems. After 10 months, those who were victims at the study's outset ran a 3.9 times greater risk of developing social problems than non-victims, perpetrators ran 1.8 times the risk of becoming more aggressive than non-bullies, and victim-perpetrators ran 4.9 times the risk of being more aggressive and 4.6 times the risk of externalizing problems as non-victims.

"Our study results support the conclusion that psychopathologic behavior, including social problems, aggression and externalizing behavioral problems, is a consequence rather than a cause of bullying experiences," the authors conclude.

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