A new study has discovered that boys and girls who lack social problem solving skills are more likely to become both bullies and victims than those who don’t have such difficulties.

The Journal School Psychology Quarterly out today also mentions that those with academic problems are even more likely to become bullies.

"This is the first time we’ve overviewed the research to see what individual and environmental characteristics predict the likelihood of becoming a bully, victim or both," said lead author Clayton R. Cook from Louisiana State University.

Cook and co-authors from the University of California at Riverside examined 153 studies from the last 30 years and discovered boys bully more than girls, bullies and victims both have poor social problem-solving skills, and poor academic performance predicts those who will bully.

A typical victim sounds astonishingly alike: he or she is likely to be aggressive, lack social skills, think negative thoughts, have difficulty in problem-solving and come from an environment of negativity. These youths are rejected and isolated, the research found.

"We hope this knowledge will help us better understand the conditions under which bullying occurs and the consequences it may have for individuals and the other people in the same settings," Cook says. "Ultimately, we want to develop better prevention and intervention strategies to stop the cycle before it begins."