As compared to boys victimized by bullies in primary school, a recent study has proof that girls are two and a half times more likely to remain targets for a longer time.
The study led by the University of Warwick Professor of Developmental Psychology Dieter Wolke showed that girls victimized by bullies (being beaten and suffering physical or verbal threats) at the age of six were significantly more likely to still be a direct victim at age ten.
Moreover, the nature of bullying changes as children grow older, from direct victimization (physical bullying and threats) to relational victimization (spreading of malicious gossip or the withdrawal of friendships leading to social exclusion).
The researchers interviewed 663 children aged 6-9 about their bullying experiences.
They found that those who moved schools were actually 49pct more likely to have been victims of relational bullying.
Wolke noted that these children had significantly fewer friends and were in more hierarchically organized classes.
"These findings indicate that even at an early age some victims of bullying remain victims over a long period of time," said Wolke.
"The development and implementation of intervention programmes that help victims to escape further victimization in primary school are called for," he added.
The study is published online in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology.