By Paul Morgan, Professor of Education and Demography, and Director of the Center for Educational Disparities Research, for The Conversation
Kindergartners who act out, disrupt classrooms, get angry and argue with their teachers are especially likely to be bullied once they reach third, fourth and fifth grade, our research group has found.
We continue to investigate bullying in U.S. elementary schools, but our initial findings indicate that the odds that disruptive kindergartners will be shoved, pushed or hit, teased or called names, left out, and have lies told about them are roughly twice as high as for kindergartners who do not act out in classrooms. We observed this in analyses accounting for many other risk factors.
Our findings are consistent with, but also extend, prior research documenting that children who are from poor families or who are struggling academically are more likely to be bullied than their peers who are from wealthier families or who are more academically skilled.
As with older children, we find that young boys are more likely to be shoved, pushed or hit, while young girls are more likely to be teased or called names, left out, and told lies about. Children with disabilities, particularly boys, are more likely to be frequently bullied. Black boys more frequently experienced other children telling lies about them than white boys, consistent with prior work finding that Black children are at greater risk of being bullied in adolescence.
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