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Bullying Kids

Bullying KidsTufts expert says bullying by schoolchildren may be a signal for youth violence.

Boston [04.25.01] A survey of America's schoolyards may shed some light onto the growing trend of youth violence around the country, according to a Tufts expert. Citing a new study published today on the frequency of bullying, Howard Spivak told the nation's largest newspapers that the schoolyard behavior may be an important signal of violent tendencies among young people.

"Bullying, [Spivak] said, is a sign that a child is troubled. It may be linked to a pattern of latter violence," the Los Angeles Times reported.

While Spivak said the frequency of bullying is "mid-range" -- a third of school children in sixth through tenth grades are involved, according to the newest findings -- the Tufts expert said America's situation is unique.

"What's different... about the situation in this country is that we have a much bigger problem than almost all of these other countries with respect to youth violence," Spivak said in a Washington Post article.

Though the professor of pediatrics and community health said today's study "was long overdue," he warned that it can not be examined alone.

"We have this thing about finding some simple explanation which gives us the illusion that there are simple solutions," Spivak told the New York Times.

"When you look at school violence, what elevates risk is a whole bunch of things -- violence in the family, violent television, bullying and being bullied, a culture that promotes violence as a successful way of getting what you want," he told the Times. "It's most likely that the situation we're in now is an accumulation of all these factors as opposed to any one of them."

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