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Study: Nearly 1 in 4 children experience chronic bullying

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PHOENIX — Nearly a quarter of children from kindergarten through high school have experienced an intense form of bullying called chronic bullying, a new study found.

The American Psychological Association study found 24 percent of students face chronic bullying, which can lead to declining performance and a lack of engagement in school.

“Those kids had the biggest problems with school maladjustment, or not being as engaged with school,” Arizona State University professor Gary W. Ladd said. “And also having lower achievement, particularly [with] math scores.”

The study, which was conducted by Ladd and fellow Arizona State University professors Idean Ettekal and Becky Kochenderfer-Ladd, followed 383 children from kindergarten through high school.

Researchers found that students who were chronically bullied had a greater dislike for school due to their “painful peer experiences” that “can take a lasting toll on children’s emotional engagement.”

However, Ladd said the study also found that the “degree to which children are bullied decreases across the school years.”

Debbie Moak with the Arizona Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family said parents need to learn how to listen — rather than talk — to their children when it comes to bullying.

“Don’t minimize [the bullying], believe them,” Moak said. “It’s more traumatizing when a kid comes and asks an adult for help and then they don’t receive it.”

Moak said parents can also teach their children how to “stand up to a bully, when it’s appropriate.”

For more resources and tips on how to talk to children about bullying, go to StopBullying.gov.

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