According to a recent study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology, children who are bullied in school no only suffer emotionally and physically, but the bullying also can take its toll on a child’s academic achievements. The study showed that children who are bullied often suffer from lower test scores and a dislike of school. Their self-confidence in their abilities often suffers, as well.
The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Arizona and begin in 1992. Researchers tracked 193 girls and 190 boys from kindergarten through 12th grade. An alarming 25 percent said they were chronically bullied throughout their school years.
The majority of students attended schools throughout Illinois, however, by the time the study was into its fifth year, there were students in the study who were now attending schools in almost every state of the country, due to the relocation of study participants.
Approximately 25 percent of the students came from low-income families ($20,000 or less per year), 40 percent from middle- to high-income families (more than $50,000 per year), and the rest of the students from middle level between those two income groups. The racial make-up of the study group was 77 percent white, 18 percent black, and the remainder were Hispanic, bi-racial, or from some other ethnic background.
The students were given annual surveys, as well as other evaluations. In the annual surveys, the students were asked about their experiences with bullying, including the types of bullying – verbal abuse, physical abuse, etc. – they may have experienced and what the frequency was. Frequency was measured on a scale of one to five, with one signifying “almost never” and five signifying “almost always.”
There were 32 percent of students who experienced little to no bullying and 26 percent who were subjected to bullying that did decrease. Those students had similar grades to the students who had faced little or no bullying.
Almost 25 percent of students did deal with chronic bullying which increased throughout their school years. Those children had lower grades, less confidence in their academic abilities, and disliked school. These results were the same for the approximately 20 percent of students who said they experienced moderate bullying which increased over the years.
Not only does the study point out the effects on academics that bullying has on students, but also shows just how prevalent the problem is, with approximately 45 percent of children reporting that they dealt with moderate and chronic bullying that increased throughout their school years, revealing just how many children are suffering.
After reading about the study, Attorney Neal Goldstein commented, “These statistics are astonishing and just emphasize the need for schools and school districts to implement programs and protections for students who are victimized this way. Studies like these, coupled with the high number of tragic suicides by children who just cannot take the relentless bullying and abuse they are pummeled with every day, are evidence that enough is not being done to protect your children.”