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Bullies enjoy risk taking

Posted - Sep. 5, 2004 at 9:40 a.m.



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LONDON, Sep 05, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A British psychologist says anti-bullying strategies should be tailored to the individual needs of children, rather than being an overall plan.

Sarah Woods of Hertfordshire University said schools should do more to differentiate between physical and mental bullying, the BBC reported.

Woods, who presented her findings Sunday to the British Psychological Society conference in Leeds, England, said her questionnaire found about one in 10 children ages 11 to 16 at a London school were bullies, about one-third were victims and one in seven were described as being both.

"A lot of the bullies enjoyed risk-taking in all ways, like taking drugs, smoking, risky sports and drinking," Woods told the BBC. "Bullying had many of the same characteristics. It raised the heart rate, was exhilarating and provided an audience."

Victims were less stimulated and had less self-esteem, Woods said.

Offering bullies extra school activities, which stimulates their behavior even more and makes them the center of attention, does no good, said Woods.

Another study published earlier this year by the University of Central Lancashire found nearly half of all public school students had been bullied, the BBC reported. That study of 1,972 children also discovered there was little risk of the bullies being caught by teachers.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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