Children and adolescents who lack social problem-solving skills are more at risk of becoming bullies, victims or both than those who don’t have these difficulties, while those who are also having academic troubles being even likelier to become bullies, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.
- A typical bully has trouble resolving problems with others and also has trouble academically, has negative attitudes and beliefs about others, feels negatively toward himself/herself, comes from a family environment characterized by conflict and poor parenting, perceives school as negative and is negatively influenced by peers.
- A typical victim is likely to be aggressive, lack social skills, think negative thoughts, experience difficulties in solving social problems, come from negative family, school and community environments and be noticeably rejected and isolated by peers.
- The typical bully-victim also has negative attitudes and beliefs about himself or herself and others, has trouble with social interaction, does not have good social problem-solving skills, performs poorly academically and is not only rejected and isolated by peers but is also negatively influenced by the peers with whom he or she interacts.
- Age played a role in how much bullies and victims acted out their aggressions or internalized their feelings – younger bullies were more defiant, aggressive and disruptive, and were not as bothered by rejection and being unpopular as were older bullies. Meanwhile, older bullies were more withdrawn, depressed and anxious.
See the full study here: “Predictors of Bullying and Victimization in Childhood and Adolescence: A Meta-analytic Investigation,” Clayton R. Cook, PhD, Louisiana State University; Kirk R. William, PhD, Nancy G. Guerra, EdD, Tia E. Kim, PhD, and Shelly Sadek, MA, University of California, Riverside; School Psychology Quarterly, Vol. 25, No.2.