Bullying could be caused by parenting style

Filed under: In The News, Going Green

no bully signA University of Cincinnati research student recent reviewed studies on bullying from several different countries. What she found (and what she reported to the American Sociological Association) is that certain parenting styles may predict bullying behavior.

Elizabeth Sweeney found that children of parents who use an authoritarian parenting style -- demanding yet unresponsive -- are more likely exhibit bullying behavior. Her theory is an obvious one; kids who learn to be aggressive or dominating at home are more likely to repeat that behavior in the schoolyard. Interestingly, she found that kids from middle incomes are less likely to bully than those from low or high socioeconomic groups.


Psychologists divide parenting styles into four different categories -- permissive, authoritative, authoritarian, and uninvolved. Research has shown that kids thrive in an authoritative environment, though I think we all might fall in and out of those four different parenting methods, depending on our own emotional well-being at the moment.

If your child finds himself or herself being bullied, either physically, emotionally, or even though email or the internet, Mayo Clinic has some tips for stopping the problem before it gets out of hand.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.