Bullies Often Victims of Bullying Themselves, SIU Research Shows -BYLN- by Hannah Erickson, SIU University Communications

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), September 7, 2018 | Go to article overview

Bullies Often Victims of Bullying Themselves, SIU Research Shows -BYLN- by Hannah Erickson, SIU University Communications


Nobody likes a bully; especially not the victim. But research shows that those bullies are likely to be victims of bullying themselves.

Sujung Cho, Southern Illinois University Carbondale assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice, found further proof of an overlap between those who were once victims of bullying, and those who are perpetrators.

With an estimated 25 to 33 percent of U.S. schoolchildren facing some form of bullying, many reports suggest that the prevalence of bullying not only impacts children during their school years, but may lead to criminal behaviors later in life.

Bullies as victims

Research found some time ago that there is a connection between the victims of bullying and those who are perpetrators. Cho, however, is using statistics to better understand the time-order and reason for this overlap.

"Normally, bullies and the victims of bullies are totally different people," Cho said. "But I have found that some who bully others, are being bullied by others. There is an overlap and a link."

Not all forms of bullying are the same, but according to Cho's findings, when youth spent time with bullies in the previous year, they were generally more at risk for being collectively teased and bantered. However, her findings suggest that the bullies themselves are also more likely to be a victim at the same time.

"If I were to perpetrate the bullying, I am more likely to be bullied by another person," Cho said. This is because I am exposed to potential offenders via the association with the bullies."

Cho's research also found several characteristics that increase the risk of both becoming a bully and a victim.

Several aspects, such as proximity to crime, exposure to potential offenders, connection with crime-prone environments and the absence of a guardian, are all found to increase the risk for victimization. …

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