Tag Archives: Characteristics of Bullies

Ohio State University study: Characteristics of kids who are bullies

13 Mar

A Rotary Club in London has a statement about the Ripple Effect

Ripple Effect – Sending Waves of Goodness into the World

Like a drop of water falling into a pond, our every action ripples outward, affecting other lives in ways both obvious and unseen.

We touch the lives of those with whom we come into contact and, by extension, those with whom they come into contact.

When our actions spring from a spirit of kindness or compassion or generosity, we set into motion a “virtuous cycle” that radiates far beyond our ability to see, or perhaps even fully comprehend.

Just as a smile is infectious, so are more overt forms of service. Our objective — whether in something as formal as a highly-structured website development project or as casual as the spontaneous small kindnesses we share with strangers in hopes of brightening their day — is to send waves of positive change in the world, one act of service at a time.

Unfortunately, some children due to a variety of behaviors in their lives miss the message of the “Ripple Effect.”

Ohio State University is reporting in the press release, SCHOOL BULLIES MORE LIKELY TO BE SUBSTANCE USERS, STUDY FINDS:

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Middle- and high-school students who bully their classmates are more likely than others to use substances such as cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana, a new study found.

Researchers found that bullies and bully-victims – youth who are both perpetrators and victims – were more likely to use substances than were victims and non-involved youth.

Our findings suggest that one deviant behavior may be related to another,” said Kisha Radliff, lead author of the study and assistant professor of school psychology at Ohio State University.

For example, youth who bully others might be more likely to also try substance use.  The reverse could also be true in that youth who use substances might be more likely to bully others.”

The researchers didn’t find as strong a link between victims of bullying and substance use.

Radliff conducted the study with Joe Wheaton, associate professor in Special Education, and Kelly Robinson and Julie Morris, both former graduate students, all at Ohio State.

Their study appears in the April 2012 issue of the journal Addictive Behaviors.

Data for the study came from a survey of 74,247 students enrolled in all public, private and Catholic middle and high schools in Franklin County, Ohio (which includes Columbus).

Among the 152 questions on the survey were eight that involved bullying, either as a victim or perpetrator.  Students were asked about how often they told lies or spread false rumors about others, pushed people around to make them afraid, or left someone out of a group to hurt them.  They were also asked how often they were the victims of such actions.

In addition, the questionnaire asked how often they used cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana.  For this study, users were defined as those who reported use at least once a month.

Results showed that bullying was more common among middle-school students than those in high school, while substance use was more prevalent among high-school students.

About 30 percent of middle-school students were bullies, victims or bully-victims, compared to 23 percent of those in high school.

Fewer than 5 percent of middle-school youth used cigarettes, alcohol, or marijuana.  But among high-school students, about 32 percent reported alcohol use, 14 percent used cigarettes and 16 percent used marijuana.

But substance use varied depending on involvement in bullying, the researchers found.

For example, among middle-school students, only 1.6 percent of those not involved in bullying reported marijuana use.  But 11.4 percent of bullies and 6.1 percent of bully-victims used the drug.  Findings showed that 2.4 percent of victims were marijuana users.

Among high school students, 13.3 percent of those not involved in bullying were marijuana users – compared to 31.7 percent of bullies, 29.2 percent of bully-victims, and 16.6 percent of victims.

Similar results were found for alcohol and cigarette use.

But the percentages tell only part of the story, Radliff said.  The researchers also used a statistical analysis that showed that bullies and bully-victims had much higher than expected levels of substance use.

That suggests there is a relationship between experimenting with substances and engaging in bullying behavior,” she said.

Statistically, however, there was no connection between being a victim and substance use among middle-school students, according to Radliff.  The use of cigarettes and alcohol was statistically greater for victims in high school, but there was no statistically significant effect on marijuana use.

Nevertheless, it was the bullies and bully-victims who were the most likely to be substance users.

Radliff said these results may lead to ways anti-bullying initiatives can be improved.

Many schools are mandating anti-bullying programs and policies, and we think they need to take this opportunity to address other forms of deviant behavior, such as substance use,” she said.

This might be especially important in middle school, where bullying is more prevalent, but substance use is still relatively rare.

If we can intervene with bullies while they’re in middle school, we may be able to help them before they start experimenting with substance use,” she said.

Contact: Kisha Radliff, (614) 292-6485; KRadliff@ehe.osu.edu
Written by Jeff Grabmeier, (614) 292-8457; Grabmeier.1@osu.edu

http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/bullyuse.htm

See, Kids Who Bully May Be More Likely to Smoke, Drink http://news.yahoo.com/kids-bully-may-more-likely-smoke-drink-170405321.html

Teri Christensen , Senior Vice President & Director of Field Operations at The Partnership at Drugfree.org has written some excellent rules for helping kids develop healthy friendships.

Christensen suggests the following rules:

Here are 8 ways to encourage healthy friendships:

1. Regularly talk about what true friendship means – and the qualities that are important in a friend.

2. Help your child recognize behaviors that do not make a good friend.

3. Let your child know if you disapprove of one of his or her friends (or a group of friends) and explain why.

4. Try to be a good role model and use your own relationships to show how healthy friendships look and feel.

5. Get to know the parents of your children’s friends.

6. Talk to your child frequently — about everything from events of the day to his hope and dreams to dealing with peer pressure.

7. Know who your kids are hanging out with. (I don’t make my girls feel like I am being nosy but I do let them know that I have the right to check their phones, email and text messages should I feel the need to.)

8. Remind your child that that you are always there to lend an ear.

To me, a good friend is someone you can always count on. Someone who is there in the good times and bad. A true friend loves you for who you are and does not change how she feels based on what other people think.

Related Links:
When You Don’t Like Your Teenager’s Friends
5 Things Parents Should Explain to Teens About Sexting
Teenage Girls and Cyber-Bullying
Obsessed with Being Connected: The Downside of Social Networking for Teens
How to Get Your Teen to Open Up and Talk to You More (and Text A Little Less)

The Partnership for A Drug Free America has many resources for parents.

Here are some additional resources Christensen suggests from The Partnership for A Drug Free America:

Download our Healthy Friendships Tipsheet-PDF)

Since starting middle school, my girls seem to have a “best friend” of the week.  While I think it’s terrific to make new friends, I want to make sure they aren’t ditching their old pals. “How would you feel if you were her?” I asked when they suddenly stopped being friends with a girl they’d been close with for years. I cannot tell them who to be friends with, but I can teach them to be sensitive to the feelings of others.

And then there’s the flip side – comforting your child when a friend turns on her.

(Blogger and friendship expert Dr. Irene S. Levine offers tips on cheering your child up when a friend lets her down.)

I remember when Kendall told me how two of her “friends” suddenly cast her out at the lunch table. “Who invited you to sit here?” they asked before telling her to leave. It was heartbreaking to hear.

(Don’t like your child’s friends? Mommy blogger Jenny Runkel offers 3 things you can do.)

I had to remind Kendall that girls in their teenage years can be mean and say hurtful things just to make themselves feel better.

(Ask these 20 questions to find out if your teen has a toxic friend.)

I try to encourage my girls to be kind to everyone, even if they don’t like the person. As cliché as it might sound, what comes around goes around.

(Mommy blogger Lisa Frederiksen shares this important parenting reminder: Teens Learn Best When the Going Gets Tough.)

Parents have a huge influence on their children, particularly in the example they set in the use of alcohol, drugs, substances, and behavior.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©