-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- Teen bullies are more likely
to be criminals when they're adults, a new study finds.
UT Dallas researchers analyzed several decades of data collected
from more than 400 men in Britain. All of them had similar
working-class backgrounds and most came from two-parent families.
They were followed until they were in their mid-50s.
Nearly half of the men who said they were bullies during their
teen years engaged in some form of criminal activity -- such as
theft, burglary and assault -- when they were adults, according to
the study in a recent issue of the
Journal of Youth and Adolescence.
"We also found that these men were more likely to be repeat offenders and at a much higher rate," study co-author Alex Piquero, a professor of criminology, said in a UT Dallas news release.
Risk factors for being a teen bully also predicted criminal
activity as an adult. These factors included poor school
performance, impulsivity, poor parental supervision, family
disruption and poor living conditions.
The findings suggest that early action to help children at risk
of becoming bullies may lower rates of criminal behavior among
adults, the researchers said.
"From a policy perspective, if we can address some of these risk factors early and identify children who are at risk of bullying, we can ameliorate adverse outcomes that may occur much later in life," Piquero said.
The Nemours Foundation explains how parents can
teach children not to bully.
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