Can executive function (e.g. remembering details, shifting focus of attention, planning and organizing, etc.) and non-verbal intelligence predict bullying? Over 1300 4-year-olds were assessed for level of executive function and then for non-verbal intelligence at age 6. These children were then assessed in first and second grade for whether they participated in bullying at school.
A child’s ability to tune out unnecessary stimuli was predictive in determining that they would be a bully, a victim, or a bully-victim. Children with high non-verbal intelligence were less likely to be a victim or a bully-victim.
The research suggests that there may be benefit in training young children in areas of executive function as a means to improve their peer relationships.
Abstract: Executive Functioning and Non-Verbal Intelligence as Predictors of Bullying in Early Elementary School, Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology
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