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Study Confirms Disability as a Factor in Bullying Patterns

July 3, 2012

Special education students who struggle with “behavioral disorders and observable disabilities” are more likely than their peers to be singled out and bullied—or to do the bullying themselves, according to a new study set to be published in the August issue of the Journal of School Psychology. Perhaps unsurprisingly, children with certain learning disorders and similarly “non-observable” disabilities reported significantly lower rates of bullying and victimization than those with more obvious impairments, though researchers suggested that targeted “interventions” focused on “pro-social skills” could make a positive difference for all students. Findings were based on research that tracked a sample of over 800 special and general education students ages nine to 16 at nine different schools over an unspecified period of time.

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