Anti-bullying study shows some laws more effective at keeping ki - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Anti-bullying study shows some laws more effective at keeping kids safe

(KFVS) -

High school students in states with certain types of anti-bullying laws are less likely to report being bullied, according to a new report out in the JAMA Pediatrics Journal.

Researchers analyzed data from surveys on bullying from almost 62,000 students in grades 9 through 12 to see how their experiences varied based on the type of law on the books in their home state.

Bullying is one of the most common forms of peer aggression in schools, and both bullies and victims may experience mental health problems linked to this behavior such as anxiety, depression or social isolation, according to the JAMA Pediatrics study.

The study found fewer bullying in states where laws followed at least one U.S. Department of Education (DoE) recommendation for anti-bullying policies. Some of those DoE police recommendations include that laws spell out clear reporting practices and specific consequences, or include explicit descriptions of prohibited behaviors.

States that use these specific recommendations, showed teens were 24 percent less likely to report being bullied and 20 percent less likely to report cyber-bullying. The elements most strongly tied to lower rates of bullying and cyber-bullying included defining behaviors and spelling out consequences.

States with less specific anti-bullying laws saw more reports of bullying.

Half of U.S. states have anti-bullying laws on the books.

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