It Doesn’t Pay to Be a Bully

Bullying and other forms of childhood violence have risen to staggering rates according to a CDC-funded study.

It Doesn’t Pay to Be a Bully

In the 1984 film The Karate Kid, Daniel (Ralph Macchio) gets bullied and beat-up repeatedly by a group of boys at school. Miyagi (Pat Morita), the elderly gardener and secret Karate master, steps in and helps Daniel master the martial art. At the end of the movie, Daniel and one of the bullies, Johnny (William Zabka), are battling it out in a Karate tournament. Guess who wins?

Bullying and other forms of childhood violence have risen to staggering rates according to a CDC-funded study by the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. The researchers looked at 4,300 children in fifth, seventh and tenth grades from Houston, Los Angeles and Birmingham, Alabama. They found 20 percent of fifth graders were victims of violent injuries—and the rate increased to 30 percent by high school. Most injuries were the result of guns or knives. The rest consisted of other assault-related injuries severe enough to require medical attention.

The researchers also found that it wasn’t bullying victims, like Daniel, who were the most likely to get hurt. It was the bullies who were 41 percent more likely to be violently injured than other children. Perhaps that’s because as a group, they’re more prone to violence.

For great info on how to spot and stop bullying, visit www.stopbullying.gov. And help your kids get involved, too, by talking about how to report and stand up to that aggression. By the way—at the end of The Karate Kid, Daniel is victorious over the bully, Johnny.

Medically reviewed in July 2018.

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