Families affected by bullying too
A local researcher from the Mount Macedon Shire is calling on parents and siblings of children who have been victimised by bullying to take part in a study about how the problem affects families.
The study by La Trobe University PhD candidate, Ms Gayle Ford, will be one of only a handful that has been carried out in a rural area. Mount Macedon Shire was a logical place for Ms Ford to undertake her study because, as a local, she has seen the effects bullying has had on local children.
Ms Ford says that while negative impacts on the children and young people are well documented, the impact of bullying on the families of school-aged targets is not well understood or taken into consideration by educators, administrators or health and wellbeing practitioners.
‘It is important people do not ignore families of children who have been bullied’ Ms Ford said, ‘because family members have a great deal of influence on children and young people and offer them support and guidance, especially in times of difficulty.
‘Knowledge gained from this study has the potential to inform interventions that minimise the effects of bullying on the wider community and reduce the incidence of bullying in schools.’
Early findings suggest that parents feel that they have failed their child and are bad parents.
'I hope that this study will give a voice to those who are currently not being heard - the parents, carers and siblings,' Ms Ford said.
'They may have a lot to contribute to our knowledge about what helps families when they are coping with a child that is being bullied at school.’
Ms Ford is currently searching for families who are willing to take part in her study. Anyone interested in participating can contact Ms Ford on (03) 5444 7342 for more information.
Zerin Knight, Ph (03) 5444 7375 F (03) 5444 7526 M 0428 463 161 E firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom O’Callaghan, Ph (03) 5444 7415 F (03) 5444 7526 M 0408 900 469 E email@example.com