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Growing up in areas with income inequality associated with being bullied: Study


Researchers have found that country-level income inequality during the first four years of a child's life can be associated with later bully

According to the study, which surveyed approximately 874,000 children in 40 medium and high-income countries in Europe, and Israel, growing up in areas with income inequality is associated with being bullied.

The study, published today in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, was conducted by an international team led by of Mcgill University, and other Canadian researchers together with scholars from Ireland, Poland, Romania, and

The researchers utilized 35 years of data from the World Organization's Behaviors in School-Aged Children (HBSC) study, a survey carried out every four years. The HBSC uses samples of 11, 13 and 15-year-olds in each country.

According to the study, country-level income inequality during the first four years of a child's life (rather than school age years) was associated with later bully victimization.

"One might think that children become aware of income inequality at school, but it seems that the impact of income inequality comes at a time before children would actually have awareness of it," said Sophie Walsh, of the study.

Walsh noted that these effects may be related to processes that occur within the family which connects to higher levels of income inequality.

The researchers also found that income inequality did not predict whether kids would become bullies rather than victims of bullying.

"It is possible that the relationship found between measures of and rates of bullying victimization is a reflection of differences in exposure to key protective factors such as coherent family culture, parental and support, positive school experience, healthy peer connectedness and access to organized extracurricular activities," said Yossi Harel-Fisch, on Adolescent Well-Being and

"Resiliency factors such as these have been demonstrated in many studies as predicting lower victimization rates. In societies suffering from significant socio-economic inequalities, these resiliency factors might be limited, thus effecting higher levels of bullying victimization," Harel-Fisch added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, May 14 2019. 11:06 IST