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Caring Parents Less Likely to Raise a Bully, Study Finds

Last Updated: October 18, 2012.

Encouraging academics, positive communication are key.

THURSDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Children whose parents know their friends, support them academically and talk to them are less likely than others to become bullies, according to a new study.

Bullying is a significant problem among America's youth, the researchers found. Data on nearly 45,000 adolescents aged 10 to 17 from the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health revealed the prevalence of bullying was about 15 percent among these young people.

The study, published online Oct. 18 in the American Journal of Public Health, also revealed that black, Latino and impoverished children with emotional, developmental or behavioral problems were more likely to bully.

Children whose parents were angry with them or felt they were difficult to supervise also were associated with higher odds of being a bully. The children of mothers with mental health issues also were linked to greater odds of bullying.

Compared to bullies, kids who were not bullies typically completed their homework and also had parents who communicated with them and met their friends.

"High parental involvement and communication with children are associated with lower odds of bullying perpetration," the study's authors said in a journal news release.

"Evaluations of school-based programs that engage parents have suggested that parental involvement may be an essential component of effective interventions but that it is often difficult to implement," the researchers concluded.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides some positive parenting tips.

SOURCE: American Journal of Public Health, news release, Oct. 18, 2012

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