Bullying: Warnings and Prevention
A new article, Bullied Children and Psychosomatic Problems: A Meta-analysis was recently published in Pediatrics by Gianluca Gini, PhD and Tiziana Pozzoli, PhD, online Sept. 2013 and in print Oct. 2013. The authors looked at 30 research studies from 14 countries and compared data collected on bullying. Well over 200,000 school-aged children were represented in the studies under review. The article findings seem to be another reminder that children who are bullied suffer from real, physical symptoms as a result. These can include headaches, trouble breathing, nausea, bedwetting, and more. While all of these can be associated with normal childhood anxiety, parents and educators need to note that these can be associated with being bullied, too.
There’s plenty of good information at stopbullying.gov, including what bullying is, how to prevent and respond to it, and information on cyberbullying. A noteworthy page is Warning Signs in the Who is at Risk category. It lists not only signs of what to look out for if a child is being bullied, but also what to look for if a child is a bully. It’s a great page for parents to share, and for educators to discuss at a faculty meeting. About 80% of students may have experienced some form of bullying, and over 40% the sting of bullying meanness online. Recognizing and preventing bullying requires everybody to become knowledgeable, vigilant, and immediately responsive.