Children with special health care needs are more likely to be bullied, according to a new study. In “Bullying and Peer Victimization Among Children With Special Health Care Needs,” researchers used National Survey of Children’s Health data of more than 102,000 households with children, ages 6 to 17, to measure associations between children with special health care needs (approximately 21 percent of children in the study) and the likelihood of them being bullied, bullying other children, and being both a bully and a victim of bullying.
The results showed that of the children with special health care needs, those with behavioral, emotional or developmental problems were more likely to bully and be bullied.
Specifically, 55 percent of these children were reportedly bullied, 51 percent bullied other children, and 28 percent reported being both a bully and victim.
The findings may help pediatricians, mental health care providers and school administrators to target screenings and interventions to address and prevent school bullying.