According to research published in the American Psychological Association journal School Psychology Quarterly, children who have poor problem-solving skills are more likely to become bullies, victims of bullies or both. When academic problems are also present, children become even more likely to bully.
Study links poor problem-solving skills to bullying.
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The researchers looked at 153 studies conducted over the last 30 years and found that both bullies and their victims both poor problem-solving skills. Researchers also discovered that poor academic performance was the greatest predictor of bullying.
"A typical bully has trouble resolving problems with others and also has trouble academically," explained lead author Clayton R. Cook, PhD, of Louisiana State University. "He or she usually has negative attitudes and beliefs about others, feels negatively toward himself/herself, comes from a family environment characterized by conflict and poor parenting, perceives school as negative and is negatively influenced by peers."
The authors of the study recommend interventions that focus on the behaviors and environment that place children at risk of becoming bullies or victims. "Intervene with the parents, peers and schools simultaneously," Cook suggests. "Behavioral parent training could be used in the home while building good peer relationship and problem-solving skills could be offered in the schools, along with academic help for those having troubling in this area."
Learn more about this study: Who Is Likely to Become a Bully, Victim or Both? New Research Shows Poor Problem-Solving Increases Risk for All - Science Daily
Clayton R. Cook, Kirk R. William, Nancy G. Guerra, Tia E. Kim, Shelly Sadek. (2010). Predictors of Bullying and Victimization in Childhood and Adolescence: A Meta-analytic Investigation. School Psychology Quarterly.