Parents only want the best for their children, but sometimes, this translates into overprotectiveness, which, according to, may lead to kids becoming targets of bullying.

Researchers from the University of Warwick conducted an analysis of 70 studies involving more than 200,000 kids. They found that while negative parenting such as abuse and neglect creates bully-victims, overprotection may also increase the children's risk of becoming victims of bullying.

"It could be that children with overprotective parents may not develop qualities such as autonomy and assertion and therefore may be easy targets for bullies," study author Professor Dieter Wolke explains.

How then should parents help their kids? "Parenting that includes clear rules about behaviour while being supportive and emotionally warm is most likely to prevent victimisation," he says. "We should therefore target intervention programmes not just in schools but also in families to encourage positive parenting practices such as warmth, affection, communication and support."

(Photo by jeeheon via Flickr Creative Commons)

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