Effects of Chronic Bullying on Academic Performance

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Some students who were bullied in elementary school recovered.
Some students who were bullied in elementary school recovered.

HealthDay News — Chronic bullying can have a negative impact on children's grades, according to a study published online Jan. 30 in the Journal of Educational Psychology.

Gary Ladd, PhD, a psychology professor at Arizona State University in Tempe, and colleagues followed 383 boys and girls from kindergarten until high school. The team based its analysis on annual surveys completed by the students about their experiences, evaluations provided by the children's teachers, and student scores on standardized reading and math tests. The study began in public school districts in Illinois, but after 5 years the children were spread out across 24 different states.

The researchers found that 24% of the students faced chronic bullying. And 18% of the students faced some bullying early in grade school, but it got worse in high school. In both of these groups, boys were more likely than girls to have been bullied. All of these bullied children performed worse in school and had more doubts about their abilities. The researchers found that 26% of the students were bullied early on but it eventually stopped. Their academics were not as affected, and their performance results were similar to the 32% of students who faced little or no bullying.

"Some kids are able to escape victimization, and it looks like their school engagement and achievement does tend to recover," Ladd said in a news release from the American Psychological Association. "That's a very hopeful message."

Reference

Ladd GW, Ettekal I, Kochenderfer-Ladd B. Peer victimization trajectories from kindergarten through high school: differential pathways for children's school engagement and achievement? J Educ Psychol. 2017; doi:10.1037/edu0000177

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