Bullying is a big problem in schools but what makes children become either a bully or a victim? Researchers from Louisiana State University and the University of California at Riverside reviewed 153 studies into this issue carried out over the last 30 years. They found that boys were more likely to bully than girls and that both bullies and victims have poor social problem-solving skills. But the strongest predictor of bullying was poor academic performance. The typical bully was found to have negative attitudes and beliefs about others, to feel negatively about themselves, to come from a family environment characterized by conflict and poor parenting, to perceive school as negative and to be negatively influenced by their peers. Typical victims are likely to be aggressive, lack social skills, come from troubled family, school and community environments and be noticeably rejected and isolated by their peers. Other children were both bullies and victims. These children had trouble with social interaction, do not have good social problem-solving skills, perform poorly academically and are often rejected and isolated by their peers.
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