Bullying kids also have problems with parents, friends

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Washington, Mar 27 (UNI) Kids who bully others tend to have difficulties with other relationships, such as with friends and parents, a new study says.

The study by York University and Queens University found that children who bullied tended to be aggressive and lacking in a moral compass and experienced a lot of conflict in their relationships with their parents.

In addition, their relationships with friends also were marked by a lot of conflict, and they tended to associate with others who bullied.

The scientists looked at 871 students (466 girls and 405 boys) for seven years from ages 10 to 18. Each year, they asked the children questions about their involvement in bullying or victimising behavior, their relationships, and other positive and negative behaviors.

Bullying is a behavior that most children engage in at some point during their school years, according to the research.

Almost a tenth (9.9 per cent) of the students said they engaged in consistently high levels of bullying from elementary through high school, it said.

Some 13.4 per cent said they bullied at relatively high levels in elementary school but dropped to almost no bullying by the end of high school. Around 35.1 per cent of the children said they bullied peers at moderate levels. And 41.6 per cent almost never reported bullying across the adolescent years, it added.

''Bullying is a relationship problem that requires relationship solutions by focusing on the bullying children's strained relationships with parents and risky relationships with peers,'' said Debra Pepler, Research Professor of Psychology at York University and senior associate scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children.

The lead author of the study, Ms Pepler called bullying ''a relationship problem''.

''By providing intensive and ongoing support starting in the elementary school years to this small group of youth who persistently bully, it may be possible to promote healthy relationships and prevent their 'career path' of bullying that leads to numerous social-emotional and relationship problems in adolescence and adulthood,'' Sciencedaily quoted her as saying.

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