Nearly half of elementary school teachers admit to bullying

June 28, 2006

HOUSTON--Nearly half of elementary school teachers surveyed about bullying in schools, admitted to bullying students, according to a study in the May issue of The International Journal of Social Psychiatry.

The study surveyed 116 teachers from seven elementary schools. While more than 70 percent of teachers believed that bullying was isolated, an estimated 45 percent of teachers admitted to bullying a student themselves.

"It didn't surprise me that nearly half of teachers admitted to bullying, because they are aware it is a problem," says former teacher Stuart Twemlow, M.D., lead author of the study and director of the Peaceful Schools and Communities Project of the Child and Family Program at The Menninger Clinic. "Teachers need methods and help with disciplining children. The tragedy is that school districts rarely give teachers any help with discipline. They learn it by the seat of their pants."

Dr. Twemlow is professor of psychiatry of the Menninger Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences. Peter Fonagy, Ph.D., collaborated with him on the study. Dr. Fonagy directs the Menninger Child and Family Program and is the Freud Memorial Professor of Psychoanalysis and director of Clinical Health Psychology at University College London.

Drs. Twemlow and Fonagy surveyed teachers who taught kindergarten through fifth grade. They asked teachers about their job satisfaction, experience with bullying teachers, personal experience bullying students and being bullied by students and whether or not schools had a written procedure for handling problem teachers.

The authors found a strong correlation between teachers who were bullied in their past and teachers who bully students. The findings suggest that teachers, who were bullied while they were children, are more likely to be trapped in bully-victim relationships as adults and are more alert to the bullying of others around them.

"If your early experiences lead you to expect that people will not reason, but respond to force, then you are at risk of recreating this situation in your classroom," says Dr. Fonagy. "The climate you remember from your childhood may even make you feel safe because it is familiar and consistent with your expectations."
-end-
Additional study authors include Frank C. Sacco, Ph.D., president of the Community Services Institute and adjunct professor at Western New England College, and John R. Brethour Jr., formerly with the statistical laboratory of The Menninger Clinic's Child and Family Program. Research was supported by Menninger's Child & Family Program and Baylor College of Medicine.

For more information on The Menninger Clinic's Child and Family Program, visit http://www.menningerclinic.com/research/child-program.htm.

For a full text copy of the article contact Anissa Orr, media relations specialist for The Menninger Clinic, phone: 713-275-5038, e-mail: aorr@menninger.edu.

Menninger Clinic

Related Bullying Articles from Brightsurf:

Gender, age divide in new bullying study
Students' emotional resilience is linked to their chances of being victimised, with less resilient students more likely to suffer from harassment, new research shows.

Anti-bullying PEACE program packs a punch
Italian high schools have reported success with a South Australian program to help victims of bullying and aggression.

Arts-based method to detect school bullying
Co-authors Daria Hanolainen and Elena Semenova created and tested an experimental method of graphical vignettes - a set of incomplete comic strips which kids are asked to complete using their own creative vision.

Bullying gets worse as children with autism get older
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are more likely to experience bullying than children without ASD and this bullying gets worse with age, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Does obesity increase risk of being a bullying victim, perpetrator, or both?
A new study has shown that obese adolescents are not only significantly more likely to experience bullying, but they are also more likely to be both victims and perpetrators of bullying compared to their healthy weight peers.

Study examines consequences of workplace bullying
New research reveals how frequently being the target of workplace bullying not only leads to health-related problems but can also cause victims to behave badly themselves.

Bullying linked to student's pain medication use
In a school-based survey study of all students in grades 6, 8, and 10 in Iceland, the use of pain medications was significantly higher among bullied students even when controlling for the amount of pain they felt, as well as age, gender, and socioeconomic status.

Teen girls more vulnerable to bullying than boys
Girls are more often bullied than boys and are more likely to consider, plan, or attempt suicide, according to research led by a Rutgers University-Camden nursing scholar.

Bullying among adolescents hurts both the victims and the perpetrators
About a tenth of adolescents across the globe have been the victim of psychological or physical violence from their classmates.

Bullying evolves with age and proves difficult to escape from
An international team from the Universities of Cordoba, Cambridge and Zurich conducted a study on bullying roles among peers.

Read More: Bullying News and Bullying Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.