Girl bullies ‘often bad mothers’

Girls tend to be more open and give bullies more ammunition.
Girls who bully others at school are more likely to make bad mothers, according to a leading psychiatrist.

Sue Bailey, of the University of Central Lancashire, said bullies were more likely to become teenage mothers, often in violent relationships.

She told a Royal College of Psychiatrists conference in Glasgow that as mothers they were often “prone to maternal irritability”.

She called for better psychiatric understanding of girls’ aggression.

They were just as much in need of understanding and help as their male “teenage hoodie” counterparts, she told the confernce.

She said: “How exactly does ‘girl talk’ ignite into hurtful, interpersonal aggression and how does that aggression lead to some girls becoming physically violent towards their peers, adults and romantic partners?”

‘Harsh parenting’

A professor of forensic child and adolescent psychiatriy, she said a relatively small number of girls offended but the impact on society was often high.

Disruptive girls were at risk of being rejected by their peers and struggling at school.

As mothers they were more likely to subject their chilldren to “harsh parenting, interpreting normal infant behaviour as being intentionally hostile”.

She added: “Children of young mothers with histories of girlhood aggression may be more prone to infection and injuries.”

She said intervention to change the lives of the next generation of potentially aggressive children should begin even before birth.

She recommended pre-natal programmes directed at high-risk expectant mothers, especially those who were young and had been disruptive as children, to improve parenting skills.

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