The Boston Globe reported that one in four students in Massachusetts schools are victims of bullying. A recent study conducted in middle schools and high schools across Massachusetts found a link between bullying and violence in the home. The study found that students who had been physically hurt by a family member were five times more likely to report they had been involved in bullying in schools, either as the perpetrator or as a victim.
This link is important in determining why students act violently or aggressively in school. “These children are learning [violent behavior] in their families and behaving the same way in their social relationships with their peers,’’ said Elizabeth Englander, director of the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center, which conducts research and runs anti-bullying programs in many public schools across the state.
The study also showed that students who were involved in bullying in schools, either as the perpetrator or the victim, were significantly more likely to report they had attempted or thought about attempting suicide. These students were also significantly more likely to report using drugs and drinking alcohol.
The findings are important because it allows school personnel, guidance counselors, and administrators to better help students who are involved in bullying by recognizing that the issues in school could be occurring because of something in the home.