Harassment at school interferes with the ability to learn, Nishina said.
"This pattern of being bullied is associated with increased rates of absenteeism from school, lower grades and feeling sick," Nishina said. "The more bullying they experience, the more they dislike school and want to avoid school."
Release URL, if available: The URL must point to the specific release, not a general page oThis second paper is part of a long-term study of more than 1,900 sixth graders, and their teachers, in 11 Los Angeles-area public middle schools with predominantly minority and low?income students. Each student provides confidential reports and their teachers rate students' behavior. This long-term study is funded federally by the National Science Foundation and privately by the William T. Grant Foundation. Sandra Graham, UCLA professor of education, and Juvonen are in the fifth year of this research.
"Now we have evidence that the school environment, psychological health, physical health and school achievement are all interrelated," Juvonen said.
Many children are reluctant to discuss bullying incidents, and may visit the school nurse instead, she said.
"They want to withdraw; they don't want to go back to class. Frequent headaches and stomachaches are potential signs of bullying," said Juvonen, who has served as a consultant to the effective "Cool Tools" safe school program at UCLA's Corinne A. Seeds University Elementary School, designed by Safe School Specialist Ava de la Sota.
Implications for school policy The good news, Juvonen and Nishina said, is that schools can take effective actions to reduce bullying, and can teach students strategies for coping with and responding to bullying.
School policies often distinguish among different types of harassment, punishing physical aggression and certain forms of nam
Contact: Stuart Wolpert
University of California - Los Angeles