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Comment on National prevalence rates of bully victimization among students with disabilities in the United States

Posted Jan 10 2013 5:34pm

Bullying is a major issue. This is especially true among the disabled. A recent study focused on bullying within the school aged autistic population, and I discussed that at the Autism Science Foundation blog . Another study has just come out recently in School Psychology Quarterly, National prevalence rates of bully victimization among students with disabilities in the United States . I hope to obtain the full paper and review the methods, but for now here is the abstract:

This study examined the prevalence rates of bully victimization and risk for repeated victimization among students with disabilities using the Special Education Elementary Longitudinal Study and the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 longitudinal datasets. Results revealed that a prevalence rate ranging from 24.5% in elementary school to 34.1% in middle school. This is one to one and a half times the national average for students without disabilities. The rate of bully victimization was highest for students with emotional disturbance across school levels. Findings from this study also indicated that students with disabilities who were bullied once were at high risk of being bullied repeatedly. Elementary and middle school students with autism and high school students with orthopedic impairments were at the greatest risk of experiencing repeated victimization. Implications of the findings are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved)

Students with disabilities are victims of bullying as much as 1.5 times more often than their non-disabled peers. The authors also found Elementary and middle school students with autism and high school students with orthopedic impairments were at the greatest risk of experiencing repeated victimization.

The fact that the disabled are victims of bullying at a high rate is not surprising. The fact that this includes autistics is not surprising. It is valuable, though, to get this documented. It does beg the question of what will happen to change this?


By Matt Carey


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