Parents can play a significant role in minimising the chances of their son or daughter turning into a bully by sharing ideas and talking to them.
Parents who share ideas and talk with their child, and who have met most or all of their child's friends are less likely to have children who bully, said Rashmi Shetgiri, who led the study.
In fact, about one in five bullies has an emotional, developmental or behavioural problem, more than three times the rate in non-bullies, noted Shetgiri, assistant professor of paediatrics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre.
Children are more likely to be bullies if their parents frequently feel angry with them or feel their child bothers them a lot, according to a statement.
Besides, those whose mothers report less than very good mental health also are more likely to be bullies.
Researchers examined the prevalence of bullying reported by parents who took part in the National Survey of Children's Health from 2003-2007. They also looked at factors that were associated with an increased or decreased risk that a child bullied others.
The survey showed nearly one in six youths aged 10-17 years old bullied others frequently in 2007, said Shetgiri.
While the rates of parents who reported that their children harassed others frequently (defined as sometimes, usually or always) decreased from 2003 to 2007, these rates remain high, added.
Survey results also showed that 23 percent of children had bullied another youngster in 2003 compared to 35 percent in 2007. Some factors that increase the likelihood that a child will bully others have persisted from 2003 to 2007.
These findings were presented on Sunday at the Paediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Denver.