HealthDay News — Special-needs youth with chronic medical conditions or developmental disabilities are at risk for anxiety and depression if they’re excluded, ignored or bullied by other young people, a new small study says.It included 109 youngsters, ages 8 to 17, who were recruited during routine visits to a U.S. children’s hospital. The patients and their parents completed questionnaires that screen for symptoms of anxiety and depression, and the youngsters also completed a questionnaire that asked them about bullying or exclusion by their peers.
HealthDay News — Kids exposure to online attacks and deviant behavior appears to have leveled off, but as more kids socialize by cellphone, sexual and other bothersome text messages are on the rise, a new study finds.Young people use technology to converse and connect with one another and, as with face-to-face methods, “there are positives and negatives,” said lead study author Michele Ybarra, president and research director of Internet Solutions for Kids, a nonprofit research organization in San Clemente, Calif.The good news is “our data dont support that things are getting worse online in frequency or intensity” in terms of harassment, bullying and unwanted sexual experiences, she said.
(HealthDay News) — Bullying may contribute to a drop in high school students’ grades, especially if they’re black and Hispanic teens who are high achievers, a new study has found.
Researchers compared the grade point averages (GPAs) of 9,590 students from 580 U.S. high schools. The students were asked if they experienced bullying in grade 10.
Compared to kids who were not bullied, kids who were bullied experienced a 0.049 drop in their GPA between grades 9 and 12, according to the study to be presented Tuesday at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, held in Las Vegas.
(HealthDay News) — Elementary school children who were victims of peer bullying — along with the bullies themselves — made more frequent visits to a school nurse’s office with complaints of physical illnesses and injuries than their other classmates, according to new research out of Kansas.
“The message is, a child might be getting frequent stomachaches from being picked on,” said Eric Vernberg, lead author of the study and director of the Child and Family Services Clinic at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.
The research, published in the May issue of Pediatrics, revealed a useful strategy for detecting aggressive interactions among children that may otherwise go recognized, added Vernberg.
“If a child is frequently showing up at the nurse’s office with a fever or vomiting and no obvious illness, it might reflect the visit is related to victimization and to some extent aggression,” Vernberg said. He added that when a student often visits a school nurse and parents get calls about their child complaining of stomachaches, “it’s certainly worth examining the child’s relationship with [his] peers.”
When a child becomes entangled in an online conflict, parents understandably feel stricken. But they do not need to panic, experts say. Increasingly, parents have options, ranging from giving their child emotional support to contacting schools and the police, as well as Web sites and service providers, most of whom are tightening their processes to handle complaints.
The first rule is “Do no harm,” said Parry Aftab, a cyberbully prevention expert. “Give them a hug and make sure they feel comfortable and safe. Their greatest concern is that you’re going to make a ‘mama drama,’ call homeland security, make it worse.”
Rather than becoming distracted by the technology, parents should remember they are dealing with adolescents, said Anne Collier, a director of ConnectSafely.org. “There’s always another side of the story,” she said, “and maybe many, because of the number of kids involved. This is about getting the emotions settled down so you can get to the facts. The ‘sleep on it’ rule was never more important.”