-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Bullying may contribute to
a drop in high school students' grades, especially if they're black
and Hispanic teens who are high achievers, a new study has
Researchers compared the grade point averages (GPAs) of 9,590
students from 580 U.S. high schools. The students were asked if
they experienced bullying in grade 10.
Compared to kids who were not bullied, kids who were bullied
experienced a 0.049 drop in their GPA between grades 9 and 12,
according to the study to be presented Tuesday at the annual
meeting of the American Sociological Association, held in Las
"This effect, though small, is highly significant and suggests that bullying negatively affects GPA even after factoring in previous grades, family background and school characteristics often associated with achievement, which are all variables the study controls for," lead author Lisa M. Williams, a doctoral student in sociology at Ohio State University, said in an association news release.
The effect of bullying was especially strong among
high-achieving black and Hispanic students. For example, black
students who had a 3.5 GPA in grade 9 and were bullied in grade 10
had a GPA decrease of 0.3 points by grade 12. The decrease was 0.5
points for Hispanic students who had a 3.5 GPA in grade 9 and were
bullied in grade 10, the investigators found.
In comparison, the decrease was 0.03 points for white students
who had a 3.5 GPA in grade 9 and were bullied in grade 10.
"Stereotypes about black and Latino youth suggest that they perform poorly in school," Williams said. "High-achieving blacks and Latinos who do not conform to these stereotypes may be especially vulnerable to the effect bullying has on grades."
Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data
and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in
a peer-reviewed journal.
The Nemours Foundation suggests how teens can
deal with bullying.
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