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February 25, 2011

Article: Dad's time with the kids may prevent bullying

Copyright © 2011, Chicago Tribune

Study from Vanderbilt University shows that kids who think their dads don't spend enough time with them exhibit bullying behavior.

Do your children think you work too much and don't spend enough time with them? If so, their perception could lead to bullying behavior, according to research by Vanderbilt University sociologist Andre Christie-Mizell.

"Our behavior is driven by our perception of our world, so if children feel they are not getting enough time and attention from parents, then those feelings have to go somewhere and it appears in interaction with their peers," said Christie-Mizell, an associate professor of sociology and licensed psychologist specializing in family therapy and the treatment of children with mood and behavior disorders.

His study, published in the journal Youth & Society, examined two questions: "What is the relationship between the number of hours parents work and adolescent bullying behavior?" and "What is the relationship between bullying behavior and youth's perceptions of the amount of time their parents spend with them?"

What he found is that it was children's perception of how much time they spent with their fathers that had the most impact on bullying behavior, such as being cruel to others, being disobedient at school, hanging around kids who get in trouble, having a very strong temper and not being sorry for misbehaving.

Read the rest here.