Bullying is a terrible thing. It's awful for victims, and it's awful for those kids that end up doing it. No parent wants their children in either situation. A new study published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence has found links between how a child is treated at home and the likelihood of kids being involved in some sort of difficulties with their peers.
Researchers looked at 1,049 children from the age of 13 to 15. They soon noticed that kids who were subjected to some sort of verbal abuse at home typically exhibited negative emotions. Verbal and physical aggression were paramount. They also discovered that kids were more likely to become bully-victims, meaning they bullied and were also victimized by other bullies, too. This study further elaborates on what work has been done previously.
Past studies have shown that bully-victims are more likely to develop mental health issues, as opposed to "pure" bullies. According to the experts, parents who talk down to their children or treat them in a way that is deemed aggressive are more likely to pass down those behaviors to their children. Belittling, criticism, and lack of praise all contribute to the problem. Scientists hope that this research will be a wake-up call for parents to recognize that children are highly likely to pick up traits that we exhibit around them, whether we're aware of it or not.
If kids don't get ridiculed as part of their daily norm, then they're less likely to feel like it's appropriate social behavior. What's more, they won't feel as agitated and pressurized, making it less likely they will lash out. According to Psychology Today, humans are hardwired into paying more attention to the good than the bad. When humans were evolving, it was essential to take notice of potential threats. While a lot of things have changed since then, that behavior remains installed in our makeup.
Even if one parent doesn't talk negatively to a child, the good won't outweigh the bad. As the bad is still there, it will have a profound effect on the future of the adolescent, says psychologist Roy Baumeister.