Children who are ostracised by their classmates or "picked on" by their teachers may be more likely than their peers to start having sex by the age of 13, a new study suggests.
American Journal of Public Health.
Delinquency to blame?
The relationship between verbal abuse by teachers and early sex seemed to be partially explained by delinquent behaviour in seventh grade. That is, children who'd been "picked on" in earlier grades were more likely to get into fights, use drugs or alcohol, or steal by the time they were 13; these students, in turn, were more likely to start having sex.
Social skills are key
Parents can also help younger children develop the social skills to make new friends, she said. "Even having a single good friend can protect children from the feelings of loneliness and depression that result from rejection and victimisation."
American Journal of Public Health, November 2007. – (Reuters Health)