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A team of researchers recently concluded the first nationwide study to address the prevalence of bullying in the U.S. Led by researcher Tonja R. Nansel, Ph.D., of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the research team found that nearly one-third of U.S. schoolchildren are targets or perpetrators of bullying.
The study suggests that bullying is a serious problem and should not be treated as normal youth behavior. Students involved in bullying had poorer psychosocial adjustment scores than other youth. The study also suggested that students who both bully others and are targets of bullying might be at particularly high risk for long-term negative outcomes.
According to Nansel, the most important findings of the study are that bullying is widespread and that it is not limited to certain groups. "It was found with similar prevalence in rural, urban, suburban, and town areas, and across races. It was more common in boys, but occurred in both genders," Nansel told CABL.
Moreover, Nansel concluded "the relationships found between bullying, being bullied and social, emotional and behavior problems suggests that bullying is not a `normal' part of growing up, but rather a problem meriting serious …