Can you guess what is truth and what is a myth?

Myth Busters

True or False?

Take the quiz below to see if you can pick out which statements are true, and which are common myths!

1. Bullying is an epidemic

2. Bullying is one of many predictors of suicide

3. Bullies are young criminals

4. Bullies come from dysfunctional families

5. Good kids get involved in bullying

6. Bullies need to be punished

7. Bullying is hard-wired in youth

Answers

1. Bullying is an epidemic - MYTH
Bully rates vary; (can depend on such factors as school climate. There are schools where bullying is less prevalent and their work needs to be noted.)

2. Bullying is one of many predictors of suicide - TRUE
We do know that being chronically bullied is one of a number of risk factors for adolescent suicide. If this is happening to a child – who is perhaps suffering in silence – then they may become depressed, anxious or withdrawn. It is that untreated depression or unknown depression or anxiety that then places them at risk for suicide. There is not a causation here. Bullying is one of a multitude of risk factors.

3. Bullies are young criminals - MYTH
There is a multitude of character profiles of young people who bully but two are prominent in the research literature. Those kids that are what we call ‘ineffective aggressors’—the Hollywood depiction of the thug bully. And those kids do go on and have risk for having anti-social personality traits across the lifespan. So certainly those that are ‘ineffective aggressors,’ and again, I put quotes around that because by the time kids enter middle school, say sixth grade, there's a group that emerges that's called the effective aggressor or what we also call ‘Machiavellian bully,’ if you will. These kids have high social capital, they're popular, they're over-represented in athletic groups, and they will never come to the attention of the administrator. And so when we think about those really socially skilled kids that engage in these behaviours, we don't have any evidence that they will go on and have adult kinds of criminal records.

4. Bullies come from dysfunctional families - MYTH
There's different types of kids that engage in these behaviours, that they have different motivations, and they're likely to come from a host of families. We do know that kids—that there is somewhat of an association between bullying and exposure to family conflicts. So if there's a lot of sibling aggression, you're more likely to enact that behaviour when you go to school. But there's certainly many kids that engage in these behaviours where the behaviour’s not modelled.

5. Good kids get involved in bullying - TRUE
Many different types of kids engage in bullying behaviours. They have different motivations, they come from a host of different families. There is somewhat of an association between bullying and exposure to family conflicts, so if there is a lot of sibling aggression, kids are more likely to enact that behaviour when they go to school.

6. Bullies need to be punished - MYTH
Sometimes consequences need to be applied, but equity in their application is essential, as is a preventative approach and the creation of a positive school climate.

Punitive approaches will unfairly target kids with disabilities, kids in special ed., ethnic minorities and under-represented groups. So it is important to take a much more preventative approach. Kids who engage in high rates of these behaviours do so in schools where there is a less positive school climate and where the adults are modelling this behaviour.

7. Bullying is hard-wired in youth - MYTH
There's different types of kids that engage in these behaviours, that they have different motivations, and they're likely to come from a host of families. We do know that kids—that there is somewhat of an association between bullying and exposure to family conflicts. So if there's a lot of sibling aggression, you're more likely to enact that behaviour when you go to school. But there's certainly many kids that engage in these behaviours where the behaviour’s not modelled.

The information displyed here is from research by Dorothy Espelage 
Dr Dorothy Espelage is a professor of educational psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.

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