PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A new study suggests there is a link between childhood bullying and domestic violence.
The Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine published the study online.
Dr. Judith Cohen, the medical director at Allegheny General Hospital Center For Traumatic Stress in Children and Adolescents, believes the authors of the study may have a valid point.
“School bullying is a pattern of using coercive, controlling behavior to intimidate other people, to control them, to use violence, either physical violence, sexual violence, verbal violence towards others and basically domestic violence is the same kind of behavior, just grown up,” Dr. Cohen said. “There is a significant correlation.”
The study surveyed men who say they were bullies in childhood and discovered a significant number developed into abusers.
Grace Coleman, the executive director of Crisis Center North, a women’s center, isn’t surprised by the study’s results.
“It wasn’t surprising to those of us who work in the field to see that those who are bullied as young individuals end up to have a greater probability to abusing in later years,” she said.
“Additional research will show you that if you want the violence to stop, you need to provide those prevention education programs early to students,” Coleman added.
Dr. Cohen says there is hope for males who are teenage bullies.
“Kids who get effective treatments such as trauma focus, cognitive behavioral therapy or other effective treatments in childhood are not doomed to go on to have these negative power and control focused relationships in adulthood,” she said. “They can go on to have positive equal relationships.”