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Better Parenting Means Less Bullying

By Deborah Williams

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One might assume that children who are the recipients of negative parenting—abuse, neglect, and overprotection—would be more likely to become bullies, but Science Daily reports in the article, “Poor parenting—Including Overprotection—Increases Bullying Risk,” that children exposed to negative parenting are more likely to experience childhood bullying by their peers.  Research led by the University of Warwick “found the effects of poor parenting were stronger for children who are both a victim and perpetrator of bulling (bully-victims) than children who were solely victims.”

Theauthors of the study, Professor Dieter Wolke, Dr. Suzet Lereya, and Dr. Muthanna Samara—call “for anti-bullying intervention programs to go beyond schools to focus on positive parenting within families and to start before children enter school.”

Addressing the bullying crisis has tremendous benefits.  Professor Wolke reminds us that, “We know that victims and bully-victims are more likely to develop physical health problems, suffer from anxiety and depression and are also at increased risk of self-harm and suicide.”  Understanding the parent’s role in our anti-bullying programs is crucial to decreasing bullying.

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