The study, funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, found that the percentage of children who reported being physically bullied over the past year had declined from nearly 22 percent in 2003 to under 15 percent in 2008. The percentage reporting they’d been assaulted by other youths, including their siblings, dropped from 45 percent to 38.4 percent.
Anti-bullying programs are working, says University of New Hampshire Professor David Finkelhor, the lead author. Bullying is down most for low-income children who are most likely to attend schools with anti-bullying programs.
Sexual assaults and emotional abuse by caregivers also declined, the study found. That jibes with a report by the National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect, which found that serious physical, sexual or emotional abuse dropped by 26 percent from 1993 to 2005-06.