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Tuesday
Jun072011

Study: Schoolyard Bullies More Likely to Abuse Spouses as Adults

Jupiterimages/LiquidLibrary(BOSTON) -- Schoolyard bullies are likely to grow up to be adults who abuse their wives and girlfriends, according to a new study.

The study, published this week in the journal Pediatrics, surveyed more than 1,400 men between the ages of 18 and 35 at an urban community center in Boston. It found that men who recalled being frequent bullies in school were four times more likely to physically abuse their partner than those who reported never bullying in school.

"Individuals who are likely to perpetrate abusive behaviors against others may do so across childhood into adulthood," concluded the report, which was led by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health.

The study also found a link between "bullying others at school and perpetration of IPV (intimate partner violence]."

It was the latest study to indicate that many bullies do not outgrow their aggression. Past research has shown that bullies are at a higher risk of bullying their own kids, losing a job, and getting involved in the criminal justice system.

Adults with a history of bullying are 10 times more likely to lie than those with no bullying history, according to a study published in the September 2010 Psychiatric Quarterly. They also have a higher likelihood of stealing and cheating, the study found.

Mounting research suggests that for both men and women bullies tend to remain bullies. Women, however, are less likely to be the aggressor in an intimate partner relationship, according to developmental and behavioral psychologist Lori Warner in Royal Oak, Mich., who was not involved with the Harvard-led study.

"Girls who are engaging in actual bullying in school, it's typically a social, emotional type of bullying," said Warner. "Boys are more likely to be physically aggressive."

The new study indicates that identifying bullies when they are young and changing their behavior can have significant consequences, particularly for women who might otherwise be abused. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio