Bullying and Childhood Cruelty Compels Violent Behavior

James W. Prescott, Ph.D.

Bullying begins before cognitive language skills are developed-- in the home and Kindergarten.

Vinca Lafleur reviews in The Washington Post:

‘Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy’ by Emily Bazelon.


By VINCA LAFLEUR, Published: March 15

In researching her book “Sticks and Stones,” Emily Bazelon was struck by how many of the adults she interviewed “could access, with riveting clarity, a memory of childhood bullying.” Whether they had been victims, bullies or bystanders didn’t seem to matter. “These early experiences of cruelty were transformative,” she writes, “no matter which role you played in the memory reel.”

Bullying isn’t new. But our attempts to respond to it are, as Bazelon explains in her richly detailed, thought-provoking book. Scholarship on bullying has its roots in the 1970s, when Swedish psychologist Dan Olweus developed what became the gold standard for prevention programs in schools. Yet it wasn’t until 1999, when Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris opened fire on their Columbine classmates, that the United States began tackling the issue in a serious way.

Responding to Bullying will not stop Bullying. Only PREVETION can stop Bullying This writer has proposed that the failure of affectional bonding in human relationships and in the maternal-infant/child relationship, in particular, are the real source of violence and bullying:

This writer wrote in

How Culture Shapes the Developing Brain and the Future of Humanity
And what we can do to change it.

A brief summary of the research which links brain abnormalities and violence to an absence of nurturing and bonding very early in childhood

The report of the NICHD (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) Study of Early Child Care (SECC) found that infants and very young children who spend more than 30 hours a -week in child care “are far more demanding, more noncompliant, and they are more aggressive” and “They scored higher on things like gets in lots of fights, cruelty, bullying, meanness as well as talking too much, demands must be met immediately”, according to Dr. Belsky, one of the principle investigators”(Stolberg, New York Times, April 19, 2001).

Dr. Sarah Friedman, NICHD Scientific Project Officer was reported as saying “We cannot and should not hide the findings but I don’t want to create a mass hysteria when I don’t know what explains these results” (Stolberg, 2001).

The National Institutes of Health publication in April 1994 Report of the Panel on NIH Research on Antisocial, Aggressive, and Violence-Related Behaviors and their Consequences" reported the findings of the Summary September 22-24, 1993 meeting: 2nd paragraph: "To date, investment across all Institutes and ICDs in violence-related research has been minuscule relative to the total NIH budget (i.e.0.5%)." View Page 138. http://www.violence.de/history/NIHR_1994.html

The paucity of research support for the origins of violence in human societies and the magnitude of child abuse and neglect throughout the world places all Nation States at risk according to Australian psychiatrist Dr. Peter Cook, published in 1996. http://www.violence.de/BOOKS_OF_THE_CENTURY.html #23.

Professor Urie Bronfenbrenner,. 1970 White House Conference on Children. Minority Report, Forum 15: Children and Parents, stated, some generation earlier:

America’s families, and their children, are in trouble, trouble so deep and pervasive as to threaten the future of our nation. The source of the trouble is nothing less than a national neglect of children and those primarily engaged in their care—America’s parents. The Editorial Committee objected to this statement on the grounds that it applied only to a minority of the nation’s children and that, therefore, no note of urgency was justified. I strongly disagree (p. 252) (Bronfenbrenner, 1970). http://www.violence.de/prescott/dvd/Nixon-1970-WHC.pdf

C. Everett Koop, M.D., PHS Surgeon General and Deputy Assistant Secretary For Health. addressed the American Academy of Pediatrics, New York October 26, 1982 On Violence and Public Health, stated some 12 years later:

I'm not limiting my remarks just to child abuse this morning, rather, this is a call to action on your part–individually and collectively–to address this issue of violence by discussion, study, and research.

We've got to do this because violence has grown to become one of the major public health problems in American society today. It is not new, of course.

...Let me propose as a starting-point the proposition that physicians need to become more familiar with the symptoms of violent personality in child and parent alike.

...A family environment that is cruel and uncaring will send cruel and uncaring children into the world as aggressive, violent adults.
There seems to be no other institutional focus for research into the causes of violence that takes into account the multiple biological, psychological, social, and societal dimensions of crime, its victims, and its prevention. The institutions closet to being able to provide a multidisciplinary approach to research in the prevention of family violence, for example, would be the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

...When that time arrives, then we may indeed be close to understanding and controlling violence, which is one of the most extensive and chronic epidemics in the Public Health of this country.

There is little to add to these excerpts from this excellent statement by Dr. Koop. They speak from the past and they speak to the future for those who care to listen and to act–"individually and collectively–to address this issue of violence by discussion, study, and research.” particularly, for the "National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Clearly, The National Institutes of Health has ignored the pleadings of C. Everett Koop, M.D. and the warnings that he gave this Nation in 1982 and that of Professor Bronfenbrenner in 1970, where we are now paying the price for our neglect of children and families with the massacre of 20 children and six adults at Newton, CT and the continuing massacres of school children since 1982. An “agonizing reappraisal” is needed of the National Institutes of Health, as an Agency that is too big to fail.
Masaru Ibuka (1977). Kindergarten Is Too Late!. Simon and Schuster, NY. A prescientbook written by the co-founder of SONY is a Book of the Century and is relevant today as it was in 1977. In his Introduction, Masaru Ibuka states: “In contrast, a newborn baby brought up in an environment essentially hostile to his or her needs has no chance later in life of developing fully”; and “It Is Environment That Counts, Not Genes” (p.47); and “Holding the Baby Should Be Encouraged” (p.68)

“An abnormal genius may be reared by a father; but a human being well balanced in both mind and body needs the nurturing that traditionally comes form the mother. That is why I keep insisting on mothering as essential to early development” (p.170). Note that the word “caretaker” nowhere appears in Masaru Ibuka’s book.

I am reminded of Ashley Montagu’s quote in the Natural Superiority of Women (1951):

Women are the mothers of humanity; do not let us ever forget that or underemphasize its importance. What mothers are to their children, so will man be to man" (pp. 247-248).


Masaru Ibuka sums up: “However convenient and affluent our lives may be, we cannot possibly live in peace and happiness in a society that is lacking in trust” (p.180). “That is why it is all the more important to implant a firm basis of trust n a child before kindergarten and school age, so that he may grow up to trust others” (P.181); and “Children below the age of three have no ideas of racial prejudice and hatred for other races” (p.182); and “True world peace no longer depends on us, the adults of the present, but on the generation who are at present infants” P.182). http://www.violence.de/prescott/dvd/Ibuka5.html

Liz Szabo, USA TODAY, (January.7., 2013) reports: His rages began at age 3½. By 4, her son was threatening to kill himself and his parents. When he was 7, he tried to stab his babysitter with a screwdriver, and he has been arrested for stabbing a teacher with a pencil. One day, he squeezed the family hamster to death, then played with its body. "He admitted that he wanted to see it die," says Tillmann, of Milwaukee.
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/01/07/newtown-shooting-mental-health reform/1781145/

Every educator of infants and children should read, “Kindergarten Is Too Late!” and The Natural Superiority of Women and create the Environment that produces Happy and Harmonious Children, which PREVENTS Bullying, Violence and Death.

It is unknown what the early childhood experiences of Adam Lanza was like-- the mass murderer of 20 children and six adults at Newtown, CT and who first killed his MOTHER with four bullets in the head. Why the death of MOTHER? What was the source of his hatred for MOTHER?

Alice Miller in For Your Own Good (1980) stated: "… the general public is still far from realizing that our earliest experiences unfailingly affect society as a whole; that psychoses, drug addiction, and criminality are encoded expression of these experiences.



George Santayana The Life of Reason (1905)



Belsky, J. (2003). The Dangers of Day Care. The Wall Street Journal. July 16

Bowlby, J. (1953). Child Care and The Growth of Love. Pelican Books. Baltimore, MD. Published by the World Health Organization (WHO) Report: Maternal Care and Mental Health (1951).

Bronfenbrenner, U. (1970). Minority Report of Forum 15: Children and Parents. 1970 White House Conference on Children. Washington, D,C,

Cook, Peter (1996) Early Child Care: Infants & Nations At Risk: New Weekly Books. Melbourne http://www.violence.de/BOOKS_OF_THE_CENTURY.html #23.

Koop, C. Everett (1982). Violence and Public Health. Address to the American Academy of Pediatrics, New York October 26, 1982.
Miller, A. (1980/2002). For Your Own Good. Farrar * Straus * Giroux New York http://www.violence.de/prescott/dvd/Miller.pdf
Montagu, A. (1952). The Natural Superiority of Women. Macmillan. NewYoek. http://www.violence.de/prescott/dvd/Natsup.pdf
Prescott, J.W. (1975) Body Pleasure and the Origins of Violence. The Futurist April. Reprinted: The Bulletin Of The Atomic Scientists (1975) November. http://www.violence.de/prescott/bulletin/article.html

Prescott, J.W. (2002). How Culture Shapes the Developing Brain & the Future of Humanity. Touch the Future. Spring. http://www.violence.de/prescott/ttf/cultbrain.pdf

Prescott, J.W.(2005): Prevention Or Therapy And The Politics of Trust: Inspiring a New Human Agenda. in: Psychotherapy and Politics International .(3(3):194-211, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. http://www.interscience.wiley.com; http://www.violence.de/prescott/politics-trust.pdf

Prescott, J.W. (2013). Perspective 6. Nurturant Versus Nonnurturant Environments and the Failure of the Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness (pp. 427-438).. In: Evolution, Early Experience and Human Development, (Darcia Narvaez, Jaak Panksepp, Allan N. Schore and Tracy R. Gleason, Eds). Oxford University Press. Oxford. New York

Stolberg, S.G (2001). Link Found Between Behavioral Problems and Time in Child Care. The New York Times. 18 April.

James W. Prescott, Ph.D.
BioBehavioral Systems
11 April 2013