Expert Advice on Bullying

An expert answers moms' questions about school bullies.

The Root of Bullying

Allan L. Beane, PhD, author of The Bully Free Classroom (Free Spirit Publishing, 1999) and a nationally recognized speaker on bullying, offers his insight into the topic.

Question

At what age does bullying behavior generally start, and what is at the root of the problem?

Answer

Research indicates that bullying behavior can start as early as age 3. While it's hard to know exactly why some children become bullies and others don't, there is evidence to suggest that some children are genetically "hardwired" or predisposed toward being aggressive; it's inherent in their nature. Research also shows that children who are exposed to aggression on a consistent basis may imitate the behavior they observe. Such children, for instance, may live in an abusive household, witness their parents' uncontrolled anger, or feel neglected and unloved.

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