A new study reveals that bullying not only takes a toll on kids emotionally, but it can also affect a child’s education achievements as well. The research revealed children that are bullied throughout their time in school tend to have lower test scores, develop a dislike for school, and decline in confidence around abilities around school.
CNN advised that the team followed several hundred U.S. students from kindergarten all the way to grade 12, and the study revealed that almost a quarter of these kids had dealt with chronic bullying throughout their time in school.
Lead author Gary W. Ladd, Arizona State University does chime in the research stating that the silver lining is that bully does decrease over time and the longer students are in school, the less likely they will be victims to bullying; with aggression usually tapering off in high school.
The team engaged over 380 kindergarteners, a fairly equal number in girls versus boys, with the students reflecting a variety of public schools; the majority being in the state of Illinois. The study assessed each student’s feelings around being victims, enthusiasm for school, esteem around academics, and performance (as per testing scores and teacher evaluations).
One of the assessments done were yearly surveys where the participants explained bullying experience; including whether or not they had been picked on, verbally abused, or hit. Respondents were asked to measure these experiences on a scale of one to five, with one being ‘almost never’ and five being ‘almost always’.
Close to a quarter of the kids stemmed from low annual income families (earning $20,000 or lower); 39 percent came from middle-to-high income families (over $50,000); with the rest of the students (equaling one-third) stemming from a middle-ground between the two previous annual household incomes listed. About 77 percent of the students were Caucasian, with 18 percent African-American, and the remainder of the group were either biracial, Hispanic, or came from other ethnic roots.
Close to one-third of the students dealt with little to zero bullies. Just over 25 percent of the children dealt with a decrease in bullying as their school career progressed; the scores around academics for this group were close to the little to zero bullying participants, which adds some insight that students can recover when bullying decreases over time.
Twenty-four percent of the students dealt with chronic bullying in school. These children experienced lower academic scores and had an increased level of dislike when it came to school and lowered confidence around their abilities at school.
Meanwhile 18 percent of the children dealt with moderate bullying, which seemed to heighten for this group as their school years went on. Their academic results looked very much the same as those who had experienced chronic bullying.
In general, boys were likelier to suffer chronic or enhanced bullying, versus girls. Additionally, as time wore on in every age group, despite the fact that bullying declines overtime for the majority, an increased number of boys were bullied, versus the girls.