Playground bullies healthier than their victims

August 21, 2001

Primary school bullies are healthier and mentally stronger than their victims, finds a study in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

The research team studied more than 1600 children aged between 6 and 9, from 31 primary schools across Hertfordshire in the UK. Structured interviews with the children were used to assess whether the children were the victims of bullying, bullied themselves, or were both bully and victim. Parents completed questionnaires on the physical health and amount of psychosomatic illness their children had had in the preceding six months. And they were also asked if they felt their child had ever made up illnesses to avoid going to school.

The results showed that bullying was widespread: almost 40 per cent of the children said that they were repeatedly bullied. A further one in ten children said that they were both bully and victim. And just over 4 per cent said that they bullied but were never victims.

Victims and those who were both bully and victim, and girls had significantly more health problems, such as coughs, colds, aches and pains and nausea than either pure bullies or children not involved in bullying. They were also more worried about going to school and were more likely to make up illnesses during term time.

Psychosomatic health problems, such as bedwetting, nightmares, and poor appetite were more common in those who were victimised, those who were both bully and victim and children in year 2.

Pure bullies had the least physical and psychosomatic health problems of any of the children, which, the authors suggest, points to a constitution that allows these children to be "dominant in inappropriate ways. " The authors conclude that it is important to break the cycle of victimisation during the early primary school years, not only to harness the strengths of the bullies more appropriately, but also to prevent persistent health problems and potential truancy later on.
-end-


BMJ Specialty Journals

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.