Childhood Bullying : A Serious Public Health Problem

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Childhood bullying has recently been considered a serious public health problem. Little research has been conducted regarding the predisposing factors involved in childhood bullies. Existing literature suggests that the child’s early home environment is strongly correlated with the development of anti-social behaviour. The research paper “Early Cognitive Stimulation, Emotional Support, and Television Watching as Predictors of Subsequent Bullying Among Grade-School Children” (2005), hypothesizes that (1) early cognitive stimulation, (2) early parental emotional support, and (3) early viewing of television within the household are predictors of bullying behavior, while controlling for baseline bullying (Zimmerman et al.,
384).
Data was
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Cognitive stimulation and emotional support were measured based on the subscales of the “Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment” section of the survey and television viewing was measured by the weekly average number of hours of television watched per day (385).
A multivariate logistic regression model was conducted to evaluate the predisposing factors involved in children becoming bullies. The predictors were early cognitive stimulation, early parental emotional support and early viewing of television. All three predictors were each independently associated with the child being reported as a bully. Cognitive stimulation and emotional support scores reported for children at 4 years was approximately 0.5 SDs higher among those who were subsequently identified between the ages of 6 to 11 years as non-bullies than those who were identified as bullies; odds ratios were each 0.67 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.54-0.82, and 95% CI, 0.54-0.84, respectively). Additionally, children identified as bullies had watched more hours of television per day than non-bullies at age 4 years; odds ratio was 1.06 (95% CI, 1.02-1.11). All of these differences were significant at P<.01. The comparative anti-social score was about 1.3 SDs higher among children identified as bullies than non-bullies, and the difference was significant at P<.001. In the regression analysis of the early bullying baseline control group,
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