Kindergarten Bullies Decoded

Not all mean boys and girls are created equal. It seems aggressive children lash out for different reasons. They can struggle with low verbal abilities or be more easily physiologically stimulated, according to Penn State University researchers, who based conclusions on a study of more than 400 kindergarten students in 10 Pa. school districts. Findings were published in the journal Development and Psychopathology.

The researchers found that some 90 percent of the children labeled aggressive or mean by their teachers could be divided into one of these two categories. Because the issues are so different, researchers say interventions with physically mean kids and social bullies can’t be one-size-fits-all and may require different strategies.