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Study Finds Bullying Behavior Changes As Students Age

Study Finds Bullying Behavior Transforms from Verbal to Cyber Bullying With Student Age

Bullying may be one of the biggest issues in schools across the nation. From verbal and physical to behind a computer or phone screen, students have suffered from bullying or harrassment in some way. 

A recent study conducted by the University of California, Riverside, however, found that bullying behaviors change and progress as students transition from elementary to middle school, according to a recent article in Medical Daily. The research team studied the behavior of 1,180 students from fifth to eighth grade over the course of three semesters in Midwestern schools, and compared them between English and non-English speakers.

"School-based interventions need to address the differences in perpetrator and victim experiences," said coauthor Cixin Wang, an assistant professor at the university's Graduate School of Education in Medical Daily. "The key is to use individualized specific interventions for bullying, not a one-size fits all approach."

The study found that cyber bulling increases as students age, especially in girls. Overall, regardless of age group, results hinted that girls were more likely to experience verbal and cyber bullying than boys, while boys were more likely to be physically bullied. The study also found there was no difference between a student's main language and bullying occurance. 

According to the article, the researchers suggest that parents should intervene and monitor their child's online activity and make sure they aren't victims of bullying. 

As more children are carrying smartphones in class, on the bus and at home, the potential for cyberbulling is increased. Teachers are often unaware of cyberbullying incidents but strive to educate their students about bullying's harmful effects.

Read the full story. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

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