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Bullying Increasing: First Boys, Now Girls

Bullying Can Lead to Bigger Problems Down the Road

Bullies More Likely to Carry Weapons

Previous studies have shown that children who were bullied at school and outside of school on a weekly basis were four times more likely to carry a weapon and 3.8 times more likely to bring a weapon to school, he says.

The chances of carrying a weapon were even higher in those children who bullied others weekly in school, he says. "Those who bullied children out of school were more than five times as likely to carry a weapon to school."

Direct bullying also is linked with depression and suicidal ideation in girls, he says. "This fact seems to say that boys fight and get it over with, but girls become depressed."

The American Academy of Pediatrics is attempting to attack the problem of bullying and other violent behavior through a program called Connected Kids: Safe, Strong, Secure. The program trains and provides the nation's pediatricians with tools to help stop violent behavior both in families and children.

The new program provides more than 21 pamphlets for doctors to give their patients as well as education and information to doctors on how to query their patients and families about violent behaviors.

"This is an important issue," Utah pediatrician R. Joe Jopling, MD, tells WebMD. "Kids have been bullying one another since back when I was a kid. But there is increasing awareness of the health and societal risks."

The new AAP program will help combat bullying and other forms of violence, he says. "It's a great tool to help both children and parents."

SOURCES: American Academy of Pediatrics. Joseph Wright, MD, associate professor of pediatrics, emergency medicine and prevention & community health, Children's National Medical Center, Washington. R. Joe Jopling, MD, pediatrician, Salt Lake City. HELP Network Fact Sheet, HELP Network web site. National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center web site.

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