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See attached news article (HealthDay) re study just published in Journal of Educational Research on link between bullying and academic performance. The study simply reinforces what an already existing line of research - and advocacy understanding - supports: that addressing bullying is critical to improving academics. I'll post a copy of the study itself shortly ...

bullying and academics 1-17

3/28/14: Notes:

-We are overdue (by a month) for an updated listing of research on bullying published from 2/13 through the present. This is pending.

-Meanwhile, here is one important study, recently (3/14) published in JAMA-Pediatrics. It is a meta-analysis of studies of links between bullying and suicide, and supports the idea that there is indeed such a relationship (increased suicide risk in those bullied). bullying and suicide - study


Items added 12/31/12: Bullying-related studies from the academic literature, from as far back as June 2011, through the present (actually includes some articles slated for publication in journals which come out Feb 2013). This compilation is fairly comprehensive, including all studies which come up in a government research database using the search terms "bullying." It should include important recent research indicating that children with food allergies, and children who are 'overweight' are targeted, and an important recent study showing changes in gene functions with impact on mental health in children who are targeted. - SG

(Courtesy of Jonathan Green)

BULLYING RESEARCH 06-11 to 02-13

Items added 5/12

Mary Gordon Roots of Empathy - Times - 5-12-12

Roots of Empathy Ch1

bullying studies 4-7-12

Items added 3/12 (some are older, but all are 'on the table' at present):

rigby slee 08


ttofi farrington 2011

Pepler 2006 binoc

smith 2004

smith 04 B

StepsToRespect Brown et al 2011

Farrington review

farrington 2011

Ttofi 2011

Ttofi editorial 2011

Earlier items:

School Bullying Perpetration and Other Childhood Risk Factors as Predictors of Adult Intimate Partner Violence Perpetration

Boys Who Bully May Grow Up to Be Abusive Men

Rejection May Hurt More Than Feelings 5-15-11


Bullying and School Nurses, 4-11

School Nurses See Both Bullies and Victims

New Research 6-3-11

Policies and Programming for Safer Schools: Are “Anti-bullying” Approaches Impeding Education for Peacebuilding?


Prevailing anti-violence practices in public schools, especially in the context of recently increased emphasis on bullying, often allocate more resources to surveillance and control than to facilitation of healthy relationships or conflict/ peace learning. This policy emphasis increases the risks of marginalization and reduces opportunities for diverse students to develop autonomy and mutual responsibility. This qualitative study examines educators’ contrasting interpretations of various school safety and conflict management initiatives in practice, in peaceful and less peaceful schools serving stressed urban populations, and points out spaces for potential policy shifts and clarifications that could enhance sustainable peacebuilding in schools.



Investigating teachers’ and students’ different definitions of school bullying is important for necessary prevention and effective intervention. This study compared definitions of bullying from the perspectives of bystanders, bullies, victims, and educators. A total of 1,558 secondary educators and students in Taiwan participated in this research, including 967 students (537 bystanders, 217 bullies, and 213 victims) and 591 educators. Participants wrote their answers to the open-ended question, ‘What is bullying in your opinion?’. The grounded theory method was employed to analyse the collected qualitative data. Results indicated that educators’ and students’ conceptions of bullying in Taiwan included features of intentionality, power imbalance, assaults, and negative results. Educators tended to refer to the characteristic of repetition, which was rarely mentioned by the students. The bullies were likely to regard bullying as unintended acts, while intentionality was more likely to be identified by the educators. This study categorized aggressive behaviour into three patterns: Playful teasing, bullying, and severe bullying. The bullies thought that they were merely joking, when actually their behaviour was considered bullying from the bystanders’ and the victims’ points of view. This study finally discussed characteristics and categories of school bullying and the implications for interventions.


Self-reported handling of bullying among junior high school teachers in Finland

  1. Leena Sairanen
    1. School of Psychology, University of Lincoln, UK
  1. Karen Pfeffer
    1. School of Psychology, University of Lincoln, UK, kpfeffer@lincoln.ac.uk


Teachers play an important role in bullying prevention. This study examines teachers' views on the extent and ways in which they would intervene in bullying situations. The sample comprised 136 teachers from junior high schools in Finland (107 females and 29 males). Years of service ranged from newly qualified to over 20 years of experience. Seventy teachers reported they had previously received training for school bullying situations. Participants completed the Handling Bullying Questionnaire which measures teachers' responses to five key aspects of intervention: working with bullies, working with victims, disciplining the bully, enlisting other adults and the extent of ignoring the incident. Results indicated that, overall, teachers were most inclined to discipline the bullies, followed by enlisting other adults, working with bullies, working with victims, and finally ignoring the incident. Anti-bullying training was found to be a significant factor in explaining teachers' handling of bullying. Teachers with over 20 years of experience were more likely to report that they would work with the bully than teachers with less than ten years service. Implications of the findings were discussed with regards to the provision of anti-bullying training.


School bullying by one or more ways: Does it matter and how do students cope?

  1. Grace Skrzypiec
    1. Centre for Student Wellbeing & Prevention of Violence, School of Education, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia, grace.skrzypiec@flinders.edu.au
  1. Phillip Slee
    1. Centre for Student Wellbeing & Prevention of Violence, School of Education, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia
  1. Rosalind Murray-Harvey
    1. Centre for Student Wellbeing & Prevention of Violence, School of Education, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia
  1. Beatriz Pereira
    1. Institute of Education, University of Minho, Portugal


Students (n = 452; ages 12—14 years) attending two South Australian metropolitan high schools completed the ‘Living & learning at school: Bullying at school’ survey in which they reported ways they were bullied and the strategies they would use to deal with bullying. Results showed that a small proportion of students were bullied in three or more ways, and that males and females differed in the coping strategies they would use if bullied. Significant differences were found between bullied and not bullied students in their use of ‘problem-focused’ in contrast to ‘emotion focused’, or ‘approach’ in contrast to ‘avoidance’ coping strategies, with bullied students more likely to use ‘avoidance’ strategies. Findings suggest that in terms of coping, it does matter whether or not a student is bullied in multiple ways.


Friends can hurt you: Examining the coexistence of friendship and bullying among early adolescents

  1. Hsi-Sheng Wei
    1. Department of Social Work, National Taipei University, Taiwan,hswei@mail.ntpu.edu.tw
  1. Melissa Jonson-Reid
    1. George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis, USA


Friendship is typically assumed to be a protective factor for victims of school bullying, so the possibility of victimization by friends is rarely explored. This study examines the prevalence of positive affiliation between the victims and aggressors in verbal and physical bullying. Peer nomination inventories were used to assess the friendship and dyadic bullying tendency among 237 Taiwanese middle school 7th graders. A total of 1,084 incidents of dyadic verbal bullying and 1,327 incidents of physical bullying were reported by the respondents. Friendship nominations among aggressors and victims could be unilateral (a peer nominates someone who does not in turn nominate them) or reciprocal (both the aggressor and the victim nominate each other as friends). Reciprocal nominations between victims and aggressors occurred in approximately 8% of cases of verbal bullying incidents and about 12% of physical bullying incidents. About 8% of victims of verbal or physical bullying unilaterally nominated the aggressor as a friend, with 9% and 12% of aggressors nominating victims as friends in the two cases. The self-reported strength of friendships was high among the reciprocal friends. Implications for the existence of bullying within friendship dyads for research and practice are discussed.


How South Korean teachers handle an incident of school bullying

  1. Jina Yoon
    1. Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA, jyoon@wayne.edu
  1. Sheri Bauman
    1. University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA, sherib@u.arizona.edu
  1. Taesan Choi
    1. Dong Shin University, Naju, S. Korea, chamgc@hanmail.net
  1. Alisa S. Hutchinson
    1. Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA, ahutchina@gmail.com


With school-level variables receiving increasing attention for their role in the maintenance of bullying behaviors, this study examined teacher responses to a hypothetical bullying situation among a sample of South Korean teachers. Using an online survey method, school-level variables (anti-bullying policy and anti-bullying program) and individual characteristics (anti-bullying training and years of teaching experience) were also collected. Factor analyses indicated a two-factor solution in teacher responses: Ignore and Action. The Action scores differed significantly by gender and by years of teaching experience, but not by school-level variables or anti-bullying training. The implications for teacher training are discussed.


Addressing cases of bullying through the Method of Shared Concern

  1. Ken Rigby
    1. University of South Australia, Underdale, Australia, ken.rigby@unisa.edu.au
  1. Coosje Griffiths
    1. Education Department of Western Australia, Perth, Australia,coosjewa@gmail.com


Reports from schoolchildren in a variety of countries suggest that school-based interventions tackling cases of bullying are often unsuccessful. Closer attention is needed to the adequacy and appropriateness of specific forms of intervention. This article examines the contribution that can be made through the use of a non-punitive approach known as the Method of Shared Concern. Its use was explored in depth in 17 cases of moderately severe peer victimization in which the Method was applied in schools by trained practitioners. Detailed reports of the meetings with students suspected of bullying and the target were obtained from the practitioners. The practitioners and each of the students were subsequently interviewed to ascertain the effectiveness of the Method. Despite some variations in the way the Method was implemented, positive outcomes were achieved in a large majority of cases for a range of age groups and educational settings. Appropriate and inappropriate applications of the Method in resolving bully/victim problems are examined and discussed.


Coping strategies and perceived effectiveness in fourth through eighth grade victims of bullying

  1. Laura S. Tenenbaum
    1. Georgia State University
  1. Kris Varjas
    1. Georgia State University, kvarjas@gsu.edu
  1. Joel Meyers
    1. Georgia State University
  1. Leandra Parris
    1. Georgia State University


Victimization resulting from bullying affects millions of school children worldwide each year (e.g. Nansel et al., 2001; Sapouna, 2008; Smokowski & Kopasz, 2005). These children face the fear and humiliation of verbal, physical, and relational aggression and as a result, often suffer psychological ill effects (e.g. Kochenderfer-Ladd, & Skinner, 2002). This study examined the coping strategies of victims of bullying using qualitative research methodology. One-hundred-and-two fourth through eighth grade students participated in group interviews discussing the topics of bullying and coping with victimization. A coping model emerged from this study that included the primary categories of problem-focused coping and emotion-focused coping, and eight subcategories, self-defense, stand up to the bully, seeking social support, distancing, internalizing, tension-reduction/externalizing, focus on the positive, and self-blame. Results revealed that problem-focused coping was the type of coping most often used by victims of bullying. Externalizing and seeking social support were the most commonly reported problem-focused coping strategies used by victims. Boys discussed using externalizing strategies with greater frequency than girls, whereas girls reported seeking social support more often than boys. Results also indicated that children generally found their implemented strategies to be ineffective in resolving their problem. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.


A Safe Education for All

Recognizing and Stemming Harassment in Music Classes and Ensembles

  1. Bruce Allen Carter
  1. Bruce Allen Carter is an assistant professor of music education at the University of Maryland, College Park. He can be contacted at bcart@umd.edu.


This article addresses the pervasiveness of harassment in schools in the United States and presents ways to recognize and stem bullying in music classrooms. Music educators are in a unique position to recognize atypical behaviors in their students. Music educators who teach middle and high school ensembles often retain the same students in their classrooms over the course of many years. Because of the unique nature of the ensemble experience, coupled with the opportunity for extended instruction, music teachers can closely monitor the well-being of their students. However, music teachers should understand how difficult it may be for students who have been harassed to come forward with information about harassment. Sometimes harassment is overt and easy to recognize (e.g., name-calling, inappropriate gestures, graffiti). However, harassment can also occur in contexts that are not readily recognized but are just as hurtful. When students observe teachers taking a stand against bullying and harassment, they recognize the intention for a safe classroom. When students feel safe, they are more likely to ask questions and engage in class in dynamic and meaningful ways—both musically and nonmusically. Only when students feel safe can they learn. Music teachers need to gain a further understanding of various forms of harassment and further consider their role in creating a welcoming and secure environment.

Autism. 2011 Mar 23. [Epub ahead of print]

Social vulnerability and bullying in children with Asperger syndrome.

Sofronoff KDark EStone V.

The University of Queensland, Australia.


Children with Asperger syndrome (AS) have IQ within the normal range but specific impairments in theory of mind, social interaction and communication skills. The majority receive education in mainstream schools and research suggests they are bullied more than typically developing peers. The current study aimed to evaluate factors that predict bullying for such children and also to examine a new measure, the Social Vulnerability Scale (SVS). One hundred and thirty three parents of children with AS completed the SVS and of these 92 parents completed both the SVS and questionnaires measuring anxiety, anger, behaviour problems, social skills and bullying. Regression analyses revealed that these variables together strongly predicted bullying, but that social vulnerability was the strongest predictor. Test-re-test and internal consistency analyses of the SVS demonstrated sound psychometric properties and factor analyses revealed two subscales: gullibility and credulity. Limitations of the study are acknowledged and suggestions for future research discussed.


Health Promot Pract. 2011 Mar 21. [Epub ahead of print]

The Implementation of a Statewide Bullying Prevention Program: Preliminary Findings From the Field and the Importance of Coalitions.

Schroeder BAMessina ASchroeder DGood KBarto SSaylor JMasiello M.


Bullying in schools has become recognized as a significant public health problem. The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP) has been identified as an effective means to reduce bullying behavior in schools. The goal of this large population-based initiative was to reduce bullying by producing a quantifiable change in school climate using an established program and standardized measurement tool. Program participants over a 2-year period included 56,137 students and more than 2,400 teachers from 107 schools in 49 counties across Pennsylvania. An age cohorts design was used, and data from two equivalent age cohorts of students were compared at two or more points in time. After 1 to 2 years of program implementation, across cohorts, there were reductions in student self-reports of bullying others, and improvements in student perceptions of adults' responsiveness, and students' attitudes about bullying. This study is the largest bullying prevention initiative to date in the United States. This initiative reaffirms the efficacy of the OBPP, emphasizes the importance of an identified coalition, and highlights several positive outcomes. It is recommended that the OBPP be implemented through the establishment of community partnerships and coalitions as consistent with the public health model.

Aggress Behav. 2011 May;37(3):234-47. doi: 10.1002/ab.20389. Epub 2011 Mar 14.

Getting precise and pragmatic about the assessment of bullying: The development of the California Bullying Victimization Scale.

Felix EDSharkey JDGreen JGFurlong MJTanigawa D.

University of California, Santa Barbara, California. efelix@education.ucsb.edu.


Accurate assessment of bullying is essential to intervention planning and evaluation. Limitations to many currently available self-report measures of bullying victimization include a lack of psychometric information, use of the emotionally laden term "bullying" in definition-first approaches to self-report surveys, and not assessing all components of the definition of bullying (chronicity, intentionality, and imbalance of power) in behavioral-based self-report methods. To address these limitations, we developed the California Bullying Victimization Scale (CBVS), which is a self-report scale that measures the three-part definition of bullying without the use of the term bully. We examined test-retest reliability and the concurrent and predictive validity of the CBVS across students in Grades 5-12 in four central California schools. Concurrent validity was assessed by comparing the CBVS with a common, definition-based bullying victimization measure. Predictive validity was examined through the co-administration of measures of psychological well-being. Analysis by grade and gender are included. Results support the test-retest reliability of the CBVS over a 2-week period. The CBVS was significantly, positively correlated with another bullying assessment and was related in expected directions to measures of well-being. Implications for differentiating peer victimization and bullying victimization via self-report measures are discussed. Aggr. Behav. 37:234-247, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

J Adolesc Health. 2011 Apr;48(4):415-7. Epub 2010 Sep 22.

Cyber and traditional bullying: differential association with depression.

Wang JNansel TRIannotti RJ.


PURPOSE: The study compared levels of depression among bullies, victims, and bully-victims of traditional (physical, verbal, and relational) and cyber bullying that is a relatively new form of bullying. The study also examined the association between depression and frequency of involvement in each form of bullying.

METHODS: A U.S. nationally representative sample of students in grades 6-10 (N = 7,313) completed the bullying and depression items in the Health Behavior in School-Aged Children 2005 Survey.

RESULTS: Depression was associated with each of the four forms of bullying. Cyber victims reported higher depression than bullies or bully-victims, a result not observed in other forms of bullying. For physical, verbal, and relational bullies, the frequently-involved group of victims and bully victims reported a significantly higher level of depression than the corresponding occasionally involved group. For cyber bullying, differences were found only between the occasional and frequent victims.

CONCLUSION: Results indicated the importance of further study of cyber bullying because its association with depression was distinct from traditional forms of bullying.

Obes Rev. 2011 Mar 15. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2010.00823.x. [Epub ahead of print]

Interpersonal violence in childhood as a risk factor for obesity: a systematic review of the literature and proposed pathways.

Midei AJMatthews KA.

Department of Psychology Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.


We examined the associations between exposure to interpersonal violence in childhood and risk for obesity and central adiposity. Interpersonal violence is defined as behaviour that threatens, attempts or causes physical harm. In addition, we evaluated the evidence for three mechanisms that may connect interpersonal violence to obesity: negative affect, disordered eating and physical inactivity. Based on a literature search of Medline and PsycInfo databases, 36 separate studies were evaluated and ranked based on quality. Approximately 81% of the studies reported a significant positive association between some type of childhood interpersonal violence and obesity, although 83% of the studies were cross-sectional. Associations were consistent for caregiver physical and sexual abuse and peer bullying, and there was mixed evidence for community violence. Although few studies explored mechanisms, early evidence suggests that negative affect and disordered eating may be involved. More prospective studies are needed, as well as studies that examine the mechanisms connecting early childhood victimization to obesity and central adiposity.

J Sch Health. 2011 Apr;81(4):167-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2010.00576.x.

Implementation and Evaluation of a Comprehensive, School-wide Bullying Prevention Program in an Urban/Suburban Middle School.

Bowllan NM.

Assistant Professor, (nbowllan@sjfc.edu), Wegmans School of Nursing, St. John Fisher College, 3690 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14618.


BACKGROUND: This intervention study examined the prevalence of bullying in an urban/suburban middle school and the impact of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP).

METHODS: A quasi-experimental design consisting of a time-lagged contrast between age-equivalent groups was utilized. Baseline data collected for 158 students prior to implementation of the OBPP were compared to 112 students who received the OBPP intervention for 1 year. Multiple perspectives on bullying were collected using the Revised-Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire. Similarly, a teacher questionnaire collected data for 17 teachers on prevalence of bullying and capacity to intervene pre- and post- OBPP intervention. Descriptive and inferential statistics were generated to analyze findings.

RESULTS: Statistically significant findings were found for 7th grade female students who received 1 year of the OBPP on reports of prevalence of bullying (p = .022) and exclusion by peers (p = .009). In contrast, variability in statistical findings was obtained for 8th grade females and no statistical findings were found for males. Following 1 year of the OBPP, teachers reported statistically significant improvements in their capacity to identify bullying (p = .016), talk to students who bully (p = .024), and talk with students who are bullied (p = .051). Other substantial percentile changes were also noted.

CONCLUSION: Findings suggest a significant positive impact of the OBPP on 7th grade females and teachers. Other grade and gender findings were inconsistent with previous literature. Recommendations for further research are provided along with implications for school health prevention programming.

Health Promot Int. 2011 Mar 7. [Epub ahead of print]

An evaluation of a drama program to enhance social relationships and anti-bullying at elementary school: a controlled study.

Joronen KKonu ARankin HSAstedt-Kurki P.

1School of Health Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland.


Drama, theater and role-playing methods are commonly used in health promotion programs, but evidence of their effectiveness is limited. This paper describes the development, implementation and evaluation of a school-based drama program to enhance social relationships and decrease bullying at school in children in grades 4-5 (mean age of 10.4 years). Students (n = 190) were recruited from two primary schools with similar demographics and socio-economics in the Southern Finland and purposively allocated either to an intervention group or a control group. The drama program included classroom drama sessions, follow-up activities at home and three parents' evenings concerning issues of social well being during the school year September 2007-May 2008. Data on social relationships in the class room and experiences of bullying were obtained before and after the program using self-completed questionnaire from the same students (n = 134). The response rate was 71%. No differences in socio-demographics existed between intervention group and control group at pretest. The positive effect on social relationships resulting from the intervention approached statistical significance (p = 0.065). Moreover, the positive effect was found to be statistically significant in the high-intensity intervention classes (p = 0.011). Bullying victimization decreased 20.7 percentage units from pretest (58.8%) to posttest (38.1%) in the intervention group (p < 0.05). The study indicates that using applied drama and theater methods in the classroom may improve children's social relationships at school.

Eur J Public Health. 2011 Mar 7. [Epub ahead of print]

Overweight, body image and bullying--an epidemiological study of 11- to 15-years olds.

Brixval CSRayce SLRasmussen MHolstein BEDue P.

National Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.


BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to examine the association between weight status and exposure to bullying among 11-, 13- and 15-year-old Danish school children. Furthermore, the purpose was to investigate the potentially mediating effect of body image.

METHODS: Data from the Danish contribution to the international cross-sectional research project Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) 2002 was used. Data were assessed from questionnaires and 4781 students aged 11-, 13- and 15-years old were included in the analyses. Logistic regression was used for the analyses.

RESULTS: The regression analyses showed that overweight and obese students were more exposed to bullying than their normal weight peers. Among boys, odds ratios (ORs) for exposure to bullying were 1.75 (1.18-2.61) in overweight and 1.98 (0.79-4.95) in obese boys compared with normal weight. Among girls, the corresponding ORs were 1.89 (1.25-2.85) in overweight and 2.74 (0.96-7.82) in obese girls. The mediation analyses showed that body image fully mediated the associations between weight status and exposure to bullying in both boys and girls.

CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that overweight and obese boys and girls are of higher odds of being exposed to bullying than their normal weight peers. Moreover, this study finds that body image may statistically explain this association between overweight and exposure to bullying. However, the study is cross-sectional, and hypotheses of possibilities for opposite causality are possible.

J Youth Adolesc. 2011 Mar 4. [Epub ahead of print]

Specifying Type and Location of Peer Victimization in a National Sample of Children and Youth.

Turner HAFinkelhor DHamby SLShattuck AOrmrod RK.

Crimes Against Children Research Center, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, USA, heather.turner@unh.edu.


Much of the existing research on the prevalence and consequences of peer victimization focuses on "bullying" at school, often omitting from consideration non-bullying types of peer victimization as well as events that occur outside of school. The purpose of this study was to examine past-year exposure to peer-perpetrated victimization, occurring both within and outside of school contexts, among school-aged children in the United States. The study is based on a representative sample of 2,999 youth ages 6-17 (50% female; 45% non-white) from the 2008 National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence (NatSCEV). Findings revealed age, gender, race, and family structure variations in many forms of peer victimization and demonstrated significant independent and cumulative effects of six different types of peer victimization (physical assault, physical intimidation, emotional victimization, sexual victimization, property crime, and internet harassment) on trauma symptoms. Findings also showed that, although victimization at school is substantial, a considerable proportion of peer victimizations occur away from school contexts. The findings highlight the importance of comprehensive measurement of multiple forms of peer victimization that occur both at school and elsewhere, rather than focusing exclusively on traditional measures of school-focused bullying.

Crim Behav Ment Health. 2011 Apr;21(2):151-6. doi: 10.1002/cbm.806.

Bullying at school and later criminality: Findings from three Swedish community samples of males.

Olweus D.

Research Professor of Psychology, University of Bergen. Olweus@psyhp.uib.no.


Aim To examine whether being a bully at school predicts later criminality. Method Longitudinal, prospective associations are reported between bullying and later criminality over the 8-year period from age 16 to 24. Results Bullying in early adolescence strongly predicted later criminality. The former school bullies were heavily overrepresented in the crime registers. Some 55% of them had been convicted of one or more crimes and as much as 36% had been convicted of at least three crimes in the studied period. Effect sizes in the form of Odds Ratios were substantial for both general crimes and violent crimes, varying between 3.47 and 7.79. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Crim Behav Ment Health. 2011 Apr;21(2):145-50. doi: 10.1002/cbm.800.

Bullying and (re)offending: Results from three samples in the Netherlands.

Bijleveld CVan der Geest VHendriks J.

Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. CBijleveld@nscr.nl.


Aim To investigate the relationship between bullying and (re)offending. Method Carrying out bivariate analyses and multivariate analyses (controlling for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), parental abuse and neglect and impulsivity) on three large high-risk groups (male and female juveniles with serious behaviour problems and a group of juvenile sex offenders). Results Only the relationship between bullying victimisation and re-offending in juvenile sex offenders is significant. Conclusions Addressing bullying as a risk factor for re-offending seems important in treatment of juvenile sex offenders. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Crim Behav Ment Health. 2011 Apr;21(2):136-44. doi: 10.1002/cbm.804.

Bullying at elementary school and problem behaviour in young adulthood: A study of bullying, violence and substance use from age 11 to age 21.

Kim MJCatalano RFHaggerty KPAbbott RD.

Social Development Research Group, School of Social Work, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA. minjk@uw.edu.


Aim The main aim of this paper is to investigate to what extent self-reported bullying at Grade 5 predicts later violence, heavy drinking and marijuana use at age 21. Method Univariate and multivariate associations between bullying and later outcomes were examined based on a longitudinal community sample of 957 young people from the Raising Healthy Children project. Results Childhood bullying was significantly associated with violence, heavy drinking and marijuana use at age 21. These associations held up after controlling for prior risk factors. Conclusions Childhood bullying had unique associations with risk of later violence and substance use among young adults. Early intervention to prevent childhood bullying may also reduce other adverse outcomes later in life. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Crim Behav Ment Health. 2011 Apr;21(2):128-35. doi: 10.1002/cbm.803.

The linkage between childhood bullying behaviour and future offending.

Jiang DWalsh MAugimeri LK.

Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada; The Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.


Aim To examine the linkage between bullying behaviour in early childhood and any subsequent contact with the criminal justice system. Methods A Canadian sample (570 boys and 379 girls) was derived from clients who participated in the evidenced-based programme, SNAP(®) (STOP NOW AND PLAN), between 2001 and 2009. A court order was obtained to access any criminal record data on participants. The Early Assessment Risk Lists (EARL-20B and EARL-21G) and the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) were used to identify level of risk and bullying behaviour. Outcome variables included age the child first came in contact with the criminal justice system and frequency. Results Logistic and Cox regression analyses indicate that the risk of onset of criminal offence for bullies was significantly higher than for non-bullies. The hazard of criminal offence for bullies is 1.9 times (95% CI: 1.1-3.2) than that of non-bullies. This holds true even when adjusted for age, gender and other risk factors. Conclusion We found a strong linkage between bullying behaviour during childhood and subsequent criminal offending after the age of 12. Criminal convictions for bullies were nearly twice as high for non-bullies up to the child's 18th birthday. EARLs were effective in differentiating risk associated with bullying. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Crim Behav Ment Health. 2011 Apr;21(2):117-27. doi: 10.1002/cbm.805.

Bullying in early adolescence and its association with anti-social behaviour, criminality and violence 6 and 10 years later.

Renda JVassallo SEdwards B.

Australian Institute of Family Studies, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.


Background Few longitudinal studies have examined the links between engagement in bullying and later anti-social behaviour for both males and females. Aims This study aimed to examine the association between adolescent bullying behaviour and subsequent anti-social behaviour, among a community sample of Australian males and females. Methods Regression analysis was used to examine the relationship between bullying perpetration at age 13-14 and anti-social behaviour, criminal violence and contact with police or courts 6 and 10 years later among approximately 800 young adults participating in a 27-year longitudinal study. The analyses controlled for known risk factors for anti-social behaviour at age 13-14 years. Results Moderate significant associations were found between bullying perpetration and subsequent anti-social behaviour. Associations were more powerful for males than females, and for short-term than long-term outcomes. Engagement in bullying remained a significant predictor of later anti-social behaviour and contact with police or courts even after other risk factors were accounted for. Conclusions These findings suggest that bullying in adolescence may be a marker of risk for a continuing pattern of anti-social behaviour, particularly among young males. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Crim Behav Ment Health. 2011 Apr;21(2):107-16. doi: 10.1002/cbm.802.

Longitudinal consequences of adolescent bullying perpetration and victimisation: A study of students in Victoria, Australia.

Hemphill SAKotevski AHerrenkohl TIBond LKim MJToumbourou JWCatalano RF.

Centre for Adolescent Health, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, VIC, Australia; Department of Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne, VIC, Australia; Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital, VIC, Australia; School of Psychology, Deakin University, Geelong Waterfront Campus, VIC, Australia. sheryl.hemphill@acu.edu.au.


Aims To examine the associations between self-reported bullying perpetration and victimisation in Years 7 and 10 and a range of psychosocial outcomes in Year 11. Method This analysis draws on data from the International Youth Development Study, a longitudinal study of 5769 students from Victoria, Australia and Washington State, United States who were recruited through schools in Years 5, 7 and 9 in 2002. Data for the current results are taken from participants in the youngest (Year 5) Victorian cohort of the study. Results Rates of bullying victimisation exceeded 30% and up to one in five students had engaged in bullying. Adjusted logistic regression analyses revealed that bullying perpetration, and bullying victimisation in Year 7 did not significantly predict psychosocial outcomes in Year 11. Bullying perpetration in Year 10 was associated with an increased likelihood of theft, violent behaviour and binge drinking. Year 10 bullying victimisation was associated with an increased likelihood of Year 11 depressive symptoms. Conclusions Prevention approaches that target bullying perpetration and victimisation are necessary. Programmes that lessen bullying may also have an impact on other proximally related behaviours, including binge drinking and depression. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Crim Behav Ment Health. 2011 Apr;21(2):99-106. doi: 10.1002/cbm.799.

Bullying at school as a predictor of delinquency, violence and other anti-social behaviour in adulthood.

Bender DLösel F.

Institute of Psychology, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany.


Background Although bullying at school is an important topic, its long-term relation to anti-social development is rarely investigated. Aim To study the relation between bullying in youth and anti-social outcomes in adulthood. Methods A group of 63 males (bullies and victims over-sampled) from the Erlangen-Nuremberg Bullying Study were investigated at ages 15 and 25. Bullying was assessed with the Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire. Outcome measures included self-reported delinquency, violence, aggressiveness, drug use, impulsivity and psychopathy. In addition to bivariate correlations, hierarchical regressions were used to control for family and individual risk factors. Results Bullying was a strong predictor of nearly all anti-social outcomes. Physical bullying was more predictive than verbal/indirect bullying. Controlling for family risks and externalising/internalising problems reduced effect sizes, but bullying remained a sound predictor. Victimisation was not related to anti-social outcomes. Conclusions Bullying seems to be a key risk marker for anti-social development. Therefore, studies on whole-school anti-bullying programmes and child-oriented or family-oriented strategies of crime prevention should be more integrated. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Crim Behav Ment Health. 2011 Apr;21(2):90-8. doi: 10.1002/cbm.801.

Bullying as a predictor of offending, violence and later life outcomes.

Farrington DPTtofi MM.

Institute of Criminology, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK. dpf1@cam.ac.uk.


Aim The main aim of this paper is to investigate to what extent self-reported bullying at age 14 predicts later offending, violence and other life outcomes. Method In the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development, 411 South London males were followed up from age 8-10 to age 48-50, using repeated face-to-face interviews and searches of criminal records. Results Bullying at age 14 predicted violent convictions between ages 15 and 20, self-reported violence at age 15-18, low job status at age 18, drug use at age 27-32, and an unsuccessful life at age 48. These results held up after controlling for explanatory and behavioural childhood risk factors at age 8-10. Conclusions Bullying might increase the likelihood of these later outcomes. Interventions that decrease bullying would most likely be followed by decreases in violent offending, drug use, and unsuccessful lives. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Crim Behav Ment Health. 2011 Apr;21(2):80-9. doi: 10.1002/cbm.808.

The predictive efficiency of school bullying versus later offending: A systematic/meta-analytic review of longitudinal studies.

Ttofi MMFarrington DPLösel FLoeber R.

Institute of Criminology, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK. mt394@cam.ac.uk.


Background Although bullying and delinquency share similar risk factors, no previous systematic review has ever been conducted to examine possible links between school bullying and criminal offending later in life. Aims To investigate the extent to which bullying perpetration at school predicts offending later in life, and whether this relation holds after controlling for other major childhood risk factors. Method Results are based on a thorough systematic review and meta-analysis of studies measuring school bullying and later offending. Effect sizes are based on both published and unpublished studies; longitudinal investigators of 28 studies have conducted specific analyses for our review. Results The probability of offending up to 11 years later was much higher for school bullies than for non-involved students [odds ratio (OR) = 2.50; 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.03-3.08]. Bullying perpetration was a significant risk factor for later offending, even after controlling for major childhood risk factors (OR = 1.82, 95% CI: 1.55-2.14). Effect sizes were smaller when the follow-up period was longer and larger when bullying was assessed in older children. The age of participants when outcome measures were taken was negatively related with effect sizes. Finally, the summary effect size did not decrease much as the number of controlled risk factors increased. Conclusions School bullying is a strong and specific risk factor for later offending. Effective anti-bullying programmes should be promoted, and could be viewed as a form of early crime prevention. Such programmes would have a high benefit : cost ratio. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

J Commun Disord. 2011 Feb 28. [Epub ahead of print]

The relationship between peer conflict resolution knowledge and peer victimization in school-age children across the language continuum.

Campbell WNSkarakis-Doyle E.

Doctoral Program in Rehabilitation Science, The University of Western Ontario, Canada.


Peer victimization, or bullying, has been identified as a significant child health priority and children with language impairment (LI) are among those who are vulnerable. Given the mandate of educators to provide support for all students who are bullied regardless of language status, research is needed that integrates the study of risk factors for peer victimization among children who are developing typically and children who have LI. Accordingly, this preliminary study explored the degree to which one potential risk factor, peer conflict resolution knowledge, was related to peer victimization in children across the language continuum, and considered whether or not individual differences in language ability influenced that relationship. Participants included 17 girls and 15 boys aged 9-12 years with a wide range of language abilities, six meeting criteria for LI. Participants completed a hypothetical peer conflict resolution task and a measure of peer victimization. Correlational analyses revealed very different patterns of relationships for boys and girls. Whereas boys' reports of peer victimization were meaningfully related to how they responded to hypothetical peer conflicts, girls' reports were most strongly associated with language ability. These preliminary findings suggest that it is important to consider gender when conceptualizing how factors such as peer conflict resolution knowledge might influence children's risk of being bullied. Learning outcomes: Readers will be able to: (1) provide a definition of peer victimization and give examples of different forms of peer victimization; (2) recognize that inadequate peer conflict resolution knowledge may be a risk factor for peer victimization; (3) describe the relationships between peer conflict resolution knowledge, language ability, and peer victimization in this study, and explain how these relationships differed for boys and girls; and (4) identify at least three opportunities for future research that would help to clarify risk factors for peer victimization in boys and girls.

Scand J Caring Sci. 2011 Mar 1. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6712.2011.00877.x. [Epub ahead of print]

Children's experiences of a drama programme in social and emotional learning.

Joronen KHäkämies AAstedt-Kurki P.

Department of Nursing Science, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland Research and Development, PIRAMK University of Applied Sciences, Tampere, Finland Department of Nursing Science, University of Tampere, Tampere and Science Center, Pirkanmaa Hospital District Science Center, Tampere, Finland.


Scand J Caring Sci; 2011 Children's experiences of a drama programme in social and emotional learning The aim of the school-based drama programme was to enhance child social and emotional learning. The programme was implemented by class teachers or teacher-school nurse dyads among fourth and fifth graders (10-12 years old) during the school year 2007-2008. Teachers and school nurses received training before the implementation. One hundred and four students participated. The purpose of the pilot study was to explore student experiences concerning the programme and the learning experiences. After the program, questionnaires with structured and open-ended questions were completed by 90 students (response rate 87%). Additionally, four focus group interviews were conducted. The research data were analysed statistically and by using qualitative data analysis. The quantitative results indicate that most students liked the programme and were enthusiastic about it. According to the qualitative data, students described, e.g. enhanced social and emotional learning and increased understanding of diversity and consequences of bullying. Additionally, drama transformed prosocial behaviour.

Nord J Psychiatry. 2011 Feb 25. [Epub ahead of print]

Exposure to teacher bullying in schools: A study of patients with personality disorders.

Monsvold TBendixen MHagen RHelvik AS.

Department of Public Health and General Practice, Faculty of Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway, and St. Olav's Hospital University, Trondheim, Norway.


Background: The aim of this study was to examine the level and affect of exposure to teacher bullying in primary and secondary schools on patients with personality disorders (PD). Method: The study group contained 116 people (18-60 years old); 49 patients diagnosed with PD undergoing psychiatric treatment in 10 different psychiatric outpatient clinics in the Southern and Middle part of Norway, and a control group consisting of 67 people who worked in an institution for somatic/elderly people and an institution for people with drug/alcohol dependency in the Middle part of Norway. All study participants filled out a self-report questionnaire, which included demographic data, one item about whether they have been bullied by one or several teachers, and 28 items regarding subjection to negative acts from teachers based on the Negative Acts Questionnaire -Revised (NAQ-R). Results: Patients diagnosed with PD reported significantly more bullying by teachers in both primary school (OR 7.3; 95% CI 1.9-27.7) and secondary school (OR 5.8; 95% CI 1.1-30.5) than healthy controls. Patients with PD also reported a higher prevalence of negative acts from teachers than healthy controls in both primary and secondary schools, such as differential treatment, ridicule, humiliation, and being ignored or neglected at least once weekly. Conclusion: Our findings indicate a correlation between bullying from teachers, as reported by PD patients, and the development of PD in adulthood. The problem of teacher bullying deserves more attention with regard to this possible correlation between student victimization and the development of PD.

J Adolesc. 2011 Feb 17. [Epub ahead of print]

Bullying and discrimination experiences among Korean-American adolescents.

Shin JYD'Antonio ESon HKim SAPark Y.

Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY, United States.


The bullying experiences of Korean-American adolescents (N = 295) were explored in relation to discrimination and mental health outcomes. Bullying experiences were assessed by the Bully Survey (Swearer, 2005), discrimination by the Perceived Ethnic and Racial Discrimination Scale (Way, 1997) and depression by the Center for Epidemiological Studies - Depression Scale (CES-D). Those who reported being bullied (31.5%) as well as those who reported both being bullied and bullying others (15.9%) experienced a higher level of depression, which was elevated beyond the clinically significant level of CES-D. The results of a LISREL model suggest that the experiences of bullying among Korean/Asian-American adolescents and their related mental health issues need to be addressed in a comprehensive context of their discrimination experiences, acculturation, family and school environments.

J Clin Nurs. 2011 Feb 15. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2010.03693.x. [Epub ahead of print]

Predictors of health-related quality of life in a sample of children and adolescents: a school survey.

Haraldstad KChristophersen KAEide HNativg GKHelseth S.

Authors: Kristin Haraldstad, MSc, RN, PhD Student, Oslo University College, Faculty of Nursing, Oslo and Department of Public Health and Primary Health Care, University of Bergen, Bergen; Knut-Andreas Christophersen, MSc, Statistician, Institute of Political Science, University of Oslo, Oslo; Hilde Eide, PhD, RN, Oslo University College, Faculty of Nursing, Oslo; Gerd K Nativg, PhD, RN, Professor, Department of Public Health and Primary Health Care, University of Bergen, Bergen; Sølvi Helseth, PhD, RN, Professor, Oslo University College, Faculty of Nursing, Oslo, Norway.


Aim.  The aim is to study the health-related quality of life in a school sample of children and adolescents aged 8-18 years and to examine the relationship between health-related quality of life and the following variables; age, gender, perceived pain, body image, body mass index and bullying. Background.  The study of health-related quality of life in children and adolescents have received little attention compared with adults in health care research and still little is known about the associations between health-related quality of life and other variables. Design.  A cross-sectional design was chosen. Method.  We measured the health-related quality of life using the generic questionnaire KIDSCREEN-10. We administered the KIDSCREEN 52-item, and the 10 items were selected from this according to the KIDSCREEN manual. Multilevel regression models were used to evaluate the associations between health-related quality of life and the independent variables. Results.  The sample included 1066 children and adolescents, 576 girls and 490 boys, with a response rate of 74%. The results show that body mass index was not significant associated with health-related quality of life in full model. However, in addition to age, being bullied, pain and body image were significant associated with health-related quality of life. Of these predictors, body image has the strongest impact in terms of explained variance in health-related quality of life. Conclusion.  The subjective sense of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with one's body, perceived body image, is a powerful predictor of health-related quality of life. Relevance to clinical practice.  Knowledge about predictors of health-related quality of life is especially important for public health nurses. Health promotion and intervention programmes that aim to strengthen psychosocial well-being, especially those that strengthen body image, should be developed for both genders.

Psychol Health. 2011 Feb;26(2):187-204.

Effects of the Positive Action programme on problem behaviours in elementary school students: a matched-pair randomised control trial in Chicago.

Li KKWashburn IDuBois DLVuchinich SJi PBrechling VDay JBeets MWAcock ACBerbaum MSnyder FFlay BR.

Department of Applied Social Studies, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong. ben.li@cityu.edu.hk


This study examined the effects of the Positive Action (PA) programme in Chicago Public Schools on problem behaviours among a cohort of elementary school students from grade three through grade five. Using a matched-pair, randomised control design with 14 elementary schools, approximately 510 fifth-graders self-reported lifetime substance use, serious violence-related behaviour, and current bullying and disruptive behaviours. Three-level (i.e. students nested within schools within school pairs) overdispersed Poisson models were used to examine programme effects on the number of items endorsed for each of the four outcomes. Findings indicated that students in the intervention endorsed 31% fewer substance use behaviours (incidence rate ratio [IRR] = 0.69), 37% fewer violence-related behaviours (IRR = 0.63) and 41% fewer bullying behaviours (IRR = 0.59), respectively, compared to students in the control schools. Reduction in reported disruptive behaviours was of a similar magnitude (27%, IRR = 0.73), but was not statistically significant. These results replicate findings of an earlier randomised trial of the PA programme and extend evidence of its effectiveness to youth attending large urban school systems.

Eur Psychiatry. 2011 Feb 8. [Epub ahead of print]

Victims of bullying in childhood and suicide attempts in adulthood.

Meltzer HVostanis PFord TBebbington PDennis MS.

Department of Health Sciences, College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology, University of Leicester, 22-28, Princess Road West, Leicester LE1 6TP, United Kingdom.


PURPOSE: To examine whether self-reported exposure to bullying during childhood is associated with suicide attempts over the life course, and if so, what mechanisms could account for this relationship.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A random probability sample comprising 7461 respondents was interviewed for the 2007 survey of psychiatric morbidity of adults in Great Britain. Survey respondents were asked about suicidal attempts and whether they were bullied in childhood.

RESULTS: Recall of being bullied in childhood decreased with age from 25% of 16-24-year-olds to 4% among those 75 or over with few differences in the proportions between men and women. Bullying co-occurred with several victimisation experiences including sexual abuse and severe beatings and with running away from home. Even after controlling for lifetime factors known to increase the risk of suicidal behaviour, adults who reported bullying in childhood were still more than twice as likely as other adults to attempt suicide later in life.

DISCUSSION: Being the victim of bullying involves the experience of suffering a defeat and humiliation that in turn could lead to entrapment, hopelessness, depression and suicidal behaviour.

CONCLUSIONS: Bullying is already known to be associated with substantial distress and other negative consequences and this further evidence of a strong correlation with the risk of suicide in later life should increase further the motivation of society, services and citizens to act decisively to reduce bullying in childhood.

BMC Psychiatry. 2011 Feb 8;11:22.

The association between bullying and early stages of suicidal ideation in late adolescents in Greece.

Skapinakis PBellos SGkatsa TMagklara KLewis GAraya RStylianidis SMavreas V.

Department of Psychiatry, University of Ioannina, School of Medicine, Ioannina, Greece. p.skapinakis@gmail.com.



BACKGROUND: Bullying in schools has been associated with suicidal ideation but the confounding effect of psychiatric morbidity has not always been taken into account. Our main aim was to test the association between bullying behavior and early stages of suicidal ideation in a sample of Greek adolescents and to examine whether this is independent of the presence of psychiatric morbidity, including sub-threshold symptoms.

METHODS: 5614 pupils 16-18 years old and attending 25 senior high schools were screened in the first phase and a stratified random sample of 2431 were selected for a detailed interview at the second phase. Psychiatric morbidity and suicidal ideation were assessed with the revised Clinical Interview Schedule (CIS-R) while bullying was assessed with the revised Olweus bully/victim questionnaire.

RESULTS: Victims of bullying behavior were more likely to express suicidal ideation. This association was particularly strong for those who were bullied on a weekly basis and it was independent of the presence of psychiatric morbidity (Odds Ratio: 7.78; 95% Confidence Interval: 3.05 - 19.90). In contrast, being a perpetrator ("bullying others") was not associated with this type of ideation after adjustment. These findings were similar in both boys and girls, although the population impact of victimization in the prevalence of suicidal ideation was potentially higher for boys.

CONCLUSIONS: The strong cross-sectional association between frequent victimization and suicidal ideation in late adolescence offers an opportunity for identifying pupils in the school setting that are in a higher risk for exhibiting suicidal ideation.

Child Dev. 2011 Jan;82(1):311-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2010.01557.x.

A large-scale evaluation of the KiVa antibullying program: grades 4-6.

Kärnä AVoeten MLittle TDPoskiparta EKaljonen ASalmivalli C.

Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Turun yliopisto, Finland. ankarna@utu.fi


This study demonstrates the effectiveness of the KiVa antibullying program using a large sample of 8,237 youth from Grades 4-6 (10-12 years). Altogether, 78 schools were randomly assigned to intervention (39 schools, 4,207 students) and control conditions (39 schools, 4,030 students). Multilevel regression analyses revealed that after 9 months of implementation, the intervention had consistent beneficial effects on 7 of the 11 dependent variables, including self- and peer-reported victimization and self-reported bullying. The results indicate that the KiVa program is effective in reducing school bullying and victimization in Grades 4-6. Despite some evidence against school-based interventions, the results suggest that well-conceived school-based programs can reduce victimization.

Child Dev. 2011 Jan;82(1):295-310. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2010.01556.x.

Understanding bullying and victimization during childhood and adolescence: a mixed methods study.

Guerra NGWilliams KRSadek S.

University of California at Riverside, CA, USA. nancy.guerra@ucr.edu


In the present study, quantitative and qualitative data are presented to examine individual and contextual predictors of bullying and victimization and how they vary by age and gender. Two waves of survey data were collected from 2,678 elementary, middle, and high school youth attending 59 schools. In addition, 14 focus groups were conducted with 115 youth who did not participate in the survey. Changes in both bullying and victimization were predicted across gender and age by low self-esteem and negative school climate, with normative beliefs supporting bullying predicting increases in bullying only. Focus group comments provided insights into the dynamics of bullying, highlighting its connection to emergent sexuality and social identity during adolescence. Findings are discussed in terms of their implications for preventive antibullying interventions in schools.

Aggress Behav. 2011 Mar-Apr;37(2):177-92. doi: 10.1002/ab.20379. Epub 2010 Nov 10.

The development of the Social Bullying Involvement Scales.

Fitzpatrick SBussey K.

Psychology Department, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. sally.fitzpatrick@mq.edu.au


This study reports findings of a newly developed measure of social bullying based on Underwood's [2003] framework of social aggression. The Social Bullying Involvement Scales (SBIS) consist of four scales measuring the extent to which children experience social victimization, engage in social bullying, witness social bullying, and intervene in social bullying. The sample consisted of 636 participants (311 females and 325 males, age range 11-16 years; 71% White). Confirmatory factor analysis supported a revised version of Underwood's framework for each of the four participant role scales. Internal consistencies for each scale ranged from .93 to .97. Results revealed that social victimization was related to an increase in anxiety, depressive, and externalizing behaviors. Social bullying was associated with an increase in general externalizing behaviors only. Social witnessing was moderately correlated with depression scores. Intervening in social bullying was not linked with psychological maladjustment or externalizing behaviors. The SBIS provides a comprehensive measure of social victimization, social bullying, social witnessing, and social intervening.

Aggress Behav. 2011 Mar-Apr;37(2):133-44. doi: 10.1002/ab.20378. Epub 2010 Nov 23.

Moral disengagement in self-reported and peer-nominated school bullying.

Obermann ML.

Department of Psychology, Aarhus University, Aarhus C, Denmark. mariloui@psy.au.dk


This study examined the relation between moral disengagement and different self-reported and peer-nominated positions in school bullying. The aims of this study were to (1) investigate moral disengagement among children for whom self-reported and peer-nominated bully status diverged and (2) compare levels of disengagement among self-reported and peer-nominated pure bullies, pure victims, bully-victims, and children not involved in bullying. A sample of 739 Danish sixth grade and seventh grade children (mean age 12.6) was included in the study. Moral disengagement was measured using a Danish version of the Moral Disengagement Scale and bullying was measured using both self-reports and peer nominations. Results revealed that both self-reported and peer-nominated bullying were related to moral disengagement, and that both pure bullies and bully-victims displayed higher moral disengagement than outsiders. Discrepancies between self-reported and peer-nominated bullying involvement indicates that a person's social reputation has a stronger association with moral disengagement than so far expected. Implications are discussed, highlighting the importance of further research and theory development.

Br J Psychol. 2011 Feb;102(1):71-96. doi: 10.1348/000712610X502826.

Ganging up or sticking together? Group processes and children's responses to text-message bullying.

Jones SEManstead ASLivingstone AG.

School of Psychology, Cardiff University, UK. jonesse21@cf.ac.uk


Drawing on social identity theory and intergroup emotion theory (IET), we examined group processes underlying bullying behaviour. Children were randomly assigned to one of three groups: a perpetrator's group, a target's group, or a third party group. They then read a gender-consistent scenario in which the norm of the perpetrator's group (to be kind or unkind towards others) was manipulated, and an instance of cyberbullying between the perpetrator's group and a member of the target's group was described. It was found that group membership, group norms, and the proposed antecedents of the group-based emotions of pride, shame, and anger (but not guilt) influenced group-based emotions and action tendencies in ways predicted by social identity and IET. The results underline the importance of understanding group-level emotional reactions when it comes to tackling bullying, and show that being part of a group can be helpful in overcoming the negative effects of bullying.

J Sch Health. 2011 Feb;81(2):107-13. doi: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2010.00567.x.

Low-level violence in schools: is there an association between school safety measures and peer victimization?

Blosnich JBossarte R.

Department of Community Medicine, West Virginia University, P.O. Box 9190, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA. jblosnich@hsc.wvu.edu


BACKGROUND: Low-level violent behavior, particularly school bullying, remains a critical public health issue that has been associated with negative mental and physical health outcomes. School-based prevention programs, while a valuable line of defense to stave off bullying, have shown inconsistent results in terms of decreasing bullying. This study explored whether school safety measures (eg, security guards, cameras, ID badges) were associated with student reports of different forms of peer victimization related to bullying.

METHODS: Data came from the 2007 School Crime Supplement of the National Crime Victimization Survey. Chi-square tests of independence were used to examine differences among categorical variables. Logistic regression models were constructed for the peer victimization outcomes. A count variable was constructed among the bullying outcomes (0-7) with which a Poisson regression model was constructed to analyze school safety measures' impacts on degree of victimization.

RESULTS: Of the various school safety measures, only having adults in hallways resulted in a significant reduction in odds of being physically bullied, having property vandalized, or having rumors spread. In terms of degree of victimization, having adults and/or staff supervising hallways was associated with an approximate 26% decrease in students experiencing an additional form of peer victimization.

CONCLUSIONS: Results indicated that school safety measures overall were not associated with decreased reports of low-level violent behaviors related to bullying. More research is needed to further explore what best promotes comprehensive safety in schools.

Indian J Pediatr. 2011 Jan 11. [Epub ahead of print]

Prevalence of Peer Bullying in High School Students in Turkey and the Roles of Socio-Cultural and Demographic Factors in the Bullying Cycle.

Arslan SSavaser SYazgan Y.

Department of Nursing, School of Health, Duzce University, Duzce, Turkey, sevdaarslan@duzce.edu.tr.


This research was conducted as a descriptive and relational study to determine the frequency of bullying among high school students and the relationships between some of their characteristics and their roles in the bullying cycle. The research data were obtained from 1670 students in the 9th and 10th grades of six high schools in Istanbul province. The data were analyzed with percentage distribution, Chi square, t test, correlation and Tukey test.The Determination of Peer Bullying Scale and a Personal Information Form were used for data collection in the research. According to the Determination of Peer Bullying Scale 17% of the students were in a bullying cycle (5.3% as bully, 5.9% as victim, and 5.8% as both bully and victim). The boys used more direct methods of bullying and girls more indirect methods of bullying. The rate of bullying behavior was also higher in boys and being a victim was higher in girls; the majority of the girls were bullied by girls and the majority of the boys were bullied by boys. More of those involved in bullying incidents had unexcused absenteeism from school and stated that they did not like school. The results obtained from this research show that the prevalence of bullying in high schools in Turkey is similar to the results in other countries. Determination of the causative factors that support and maintain bullying behavior for implementation of prevention programs is required.

Br J Educ Psychol. 2011 Mar;81(1):112-34. doi: 10.1348/2044-8279.002009. Epub 2010 Dec 3.

Trait emotional intelligence influences on academic achievement and school behaviour.

Mavroveli SSánchez-Ruiz MJ.

Imperial College London, London, UK Lebanese American University, Byblos, Lebanon.


Background. Trait emotional intelligence (trait EI or trait emotional self-efficacy) refers to individuals' emotion-related self-perceptions (Petrides, Furnham, & Mavroveli, 2007). The children's trait EI sampling domain provides comprehensive coverage of their affective personality. Preliminary evidence shows that the construct has important implications for children's psychological and behavioural adjustment. Aims. This study investigates the associations between trait EI and school outcomes, such as performance in reading, writing, and maths, peer-rated behaviour and social competence, and self-reported bullying behaviours in a sample of primary school children. It also examines whether trait EI scores differentiate between children with and without special educational needs (SEN). Sample. The sample comprised 565 children (274 boys and 286 girls) between the ages of 7 and 12 (M((age)) = 9.12 years, SD= 1.27 years) attending three English state primary schools. Method. Pupils completed the Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire-Child Form (TEIQue-CF), the Guess Who peer assessment, the Peer-Victimization Scale, and the Bullying Behaviour Scale. Additional data on achievement and SEN were collected from the school archives. Results. As predicted by trait EI theory, associations between trait EI and academic achievement were modest and limited to Year 3 children. Higher trait EI scores were related to more nominations from peers for prosocial behaviours and fewer nominations for antisocial behaviour as well as lower scores on self-reported bulling behaviours. Furthermore, SEN students scored lower on trait EI compared to students without SEN. Conclusions. Trait EI holds important and multifaceted implications for the socialization of primary schoolchildren.

Child Care Health Dev. 2010 Dec 28. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2214.2010.01181.x. [Epub ahead of print]

Peer relationships and suicide ideation and attempts among Chinese adolescents.

Cui SCheng YXu ZChen DWang Y.

Department of Child, Adolescent and Women's Health, School of Public Health, Peking University Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Health Education Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention Department of Psychology, Peking University Health Science Center Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, China.


Background  Suicide is a global health concern. Therefore, studying suicide behaviour and identifying the early roots of suicide are critical. To address these issues, the present study examined (i) the association between peer relationships and suicide ideation and attempts among Chinese adolescents; and (ii) whether such associations were moderated or mediated by feeling of loneliness. We hypothesized that problems in peer relationships were positively associated with suicide ideation and attempts, and that feeling of loneliness would moderate and mediate such associations. Methods  The sample included 8778 Chinese adolescents from a large survey. Measures of peer relationships, suicide ideation and attempts, and feeling of loneliness were obtained through adolescents' self-reports. Results  Results from multivariate logistic regressions suggested that specific problems in peer relationships, such as lack of peer association and being victimized by bullying, were significantly related to suicide ideation and attempts. In addition, the moderating effects of feeling of loneliness on the association between peer relationships and suicide ideation and attempts were found. Finally, some gender effects were also found. Conclusions  The present study provided strong evidence that suicide ideation and attempts were serious problems among adolescents in China, to which peer relationships played an important role. Further, feeling of loneliness acted as a moderator affecting the association between peer relationships and suicide ideation and attempts. Finally, there were some gender differences that have important implications.

J Adolesc. 2010 Dec 16. [Epub ahead of print]

Negative school perceptions and involvement in school bullying: A universal relationship across 40 countries.

Harel-Fisch YWalsh SDFogel-Grinvald HAmitai GPickett WMolcho MDue Pde Matos MGCraig WMembers of the HBSC Violence and Injury Prevention Focus Group.

The International Research Program on Adolescent Well-Being and Health, School of Education, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel.


Cross-national analyses explore the consistency of the relationship between negative school experiences and involvement in bullying across 40 European and North American countries, using the 2006 (40 countries n = 197,502) and 2002 (12 countries, n = 57,007) WHO-HBSC surveys. Measures include two Cumulative Negative School Perception (CNSP) scales, one based on 6 mandatory items (2006) and another including an additional 11 items (2002). Outcome measures included bullying perpetration, victimization and involvement as both bully and victim. Logistic regression analyses suggested that children with only 2-3 negative school perceptions, experience twice the relative odds of being involved in bullying as compared with children with no negative school perceptions. Odds Ratios (p < 0.001) increase in a graded fashion according to the CNSP, from about 2.2 to over 8.0. Similar consistent effects are found across gender and almost all countries. Further research should focus on the mechanisms and social context of these relationships.

Arch Pediatr. 2011 Feb;18(2):235-7. Epub 2010 Dec 10.

[Dangerous games in schoolchildren].

[Article in French]

Le Heuzey MF.

Service de psychopathologie de l'enfant et l'adolescent, hôpital Robert-Debré, AP-HP, 48, boulevard Sérurier, 75935 Paris cedex 19, France. marie-france.leheuzey@rdb.aphp.fr


Dangerous games inside or outside school are a serious social phenomenon, but unfortunately underrecognized. Aggressive games are a part of school bullying, which is in expansion. Choking games are very dangerous, with many deaths or serious neurologic complications. Pediatricians should be knowledgeable about risky behaviors encountered by their patients, and provide guidance about its dangers.

Addict Behav. 2011 Mar;36(3):256-60. Epub 2010 Nov 10.

Childhood bullying behaviors at age eight and substance use at age 18 among males. A nationwide prospective study.

Niemelä SBrunstein-Klomek ASillanmäki LHelenius HPiha JKumpulainen KMoilanen ITamminen TAlmqvist F,Sourander A.

Department of Psychiatry, University of Turku, Finland. solnie@utu.fi


Childhood bullying behaviors (bullying and victimization) were studied as risk factors for substance use among Finnish males. The study design was a nationwide prospective general population study, where information was collected in 1989 and 1999. Bullying behaviors and childhood psychopathology at age eight were collected from teachers, parents and boys themselves. At age 18, self-reports of frequent drunkenness (once a week or more often), daily heavy smoking (10 cigarettes or more per day), and illicit drug use during the past six months were obtained from 78% of the boys attending the study at age eight (n=2946). Being frequently victimized at age eight predicted daily heavy smoking, and this was evident even after adjusting for childhood family background, psychopathology at age eight and at age 18, and other forms of substance use. In multivariate analysis, bullying others frequently predicted illicit drug use, while being a victim of bullying associated with a lower occurrence of illicit drug use. Bullying behaviors had no association with frequent drunkenness independent of other factors. Accordingly, being a victim of bullying predisposes in particular to subsequent smoking. Bullying others in childhood can be regarded as an early indicator to illicit drug use later in life. The screening and intervention possibilities in order to recognize the risk group for later health compromising behaviors are emphasized.

Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2011 Jan;20(1):49-55. Epub 2010 Dec 7.

Childhood bullying as a predictor for becoming a teenage mother in Finland.

Lehti VSourander AKlomek ANiemelä SSillanmäki LPiha JKumpulainen KTamminen TMoilanen IAlmqvist F.

Department of Child Psychiatry, University of Turku, Itäinen Pitkäkatu 1 / Varia, 20014, Turku, Finland. venla.lehti@utu.fi


The aim of this study is to examine the association between bullying behaviour at the age of 8 and becoming a mother under the age of 20. This birth cohort study included 2,867 Finnish girls at baseline in 1989. Register-based follow-up data on births was collected until the end of 2001. Information, both on the main exposure and outcome, was available for 2,507 girls. Both bullies and victims had an increased risk of becoming a teenage mother independent of family-related risk factors. When controlled for childhood psychopathology, however, the association remained significant for bullies (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.2-4.1) and bully-victims (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.05-3.2), but not for pure victims. Reports of bullying and victimisation from the girls themselves, their parents and their teachers were all associated with becoming a teenage mother independent of each other. There is a predictive association between being a bully in childhood and becoming a mother in adolescence. It may be useful to target bullies for teenage pregnancy prevention.

Pediatrics. 2011 Jan;127(1):49-57. Epub 2010 Dec 6.

Criminal-justice and school sanctions against nonheterosexual youth: a national longitudinal study.

Himmelstein KEBrückner H.

Program in Ethics, Politics, and Economics, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA. kathryn.himmelstein@gmail.com


OBJECTIVE: Nonheterosexual adolescents are vulnerable to health risks including addiction, bullying, and familial abuse. We examined whether they also suffer disproportionate school and criminal-justice sanctions.

METHODS: The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health followed a nationally representative sample of adolescents who were in grades 7 through 12 in 1994-1995. Data from the 1994-1995 survey and the 2001-2002 follow-up were analyzed. Three measures were used to assess nonheterosexuality: same-sex attraction, same-sex romantic relationships, and lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) self-identification. Six outcomes were assessed: school expulsion; police stops; juvenile arrest; juvenile conviction; adult arrest; and adult conviction. Multivariate analyses controlled for adolescents' sociodemographics and behaviors, including illegal conduct.

RESULTS: Nonheterosexuality consistently predicted a higher risk for sanctions. For example, in multivariate analyses, nonheterosexual adolescents had greater odds of being stopped by the police (odds ratio: 1.38 [P < .0001] for same-sex attraction and 1.53 [P < .0001] for LGB self-identification). Similar trends were observed for school expulsion, juvenile arrest and conviction, and adult conviction. Nonheterosexual girls were at particularly high risk.

CONCLUSIONS: Nonheterosexual youth suffer disproportionate educational and criminal-justice punishments that are not explained by greater engagement in illegal or transgressive behaviors. Understanding and addressing these disparities might reduce school expulsions, arrests, and incarceration and their dire social and health consequences.

Br J Dev Psychol. 2010 Nov;28(Pt 4):921-39.

Bullying among siblings: the role of personality and relational variables.

Menesini ECamodeca MNocentini A.

Department of Psychology, University of Florence, Italy. menesini@psico.unifi.it


This study aimed to investigate: (1) the influence of gender, sibling age, and sibling gender on sibling bullying and victimization; (2) the links between personality characteristics, quality of the sibling relationship, and sibling bullying/victimization; (3) the association between sibling and school bullying/victimization, and the direct and indirect associations between personality variables and school bullying/victimization. The sample comprised 195 children (98 boys and 97 girls, aged 10-12 years). Instruments included: a self-report questionnaire for bullying and victimization, the Big Five Questionnaire for Children and the Sibling Inventory of Behaviour. Results highlighted that the presence of an older brother is a risk factor for the emergence of sibling victimization. For both boys and girls, high levels of conflict in the dyad and low levels of empathy were significantly related to sibling bullying and sibling victimization. For males, energy was associated with sibling bullying and indirectly to school bullying; friendliness and high emotional instability were directly associated with school bullying. School victimization was directly associated with emotional instability for both males and females. Finally, both sibling bullying and sibling victimization were associated with bullying and victimization at school. The discussion highlights the role of a multi-contextual approach to understand and prevent bullying.

Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2010 Dec 1. [Epub ahead of print]

Bullying at age eight and criminality in adulthood: findings from the Finnish Nationwide 1981 Birth Cohort Study.

Sourander ABrunstein Klomek AKumpulainen KPuustjärvi AElonheimo HRistkari TTamminen TMoilanen IPiha J,Ronning JA.

Department of Child Psychiatry, Turku University and Turku University Hospital, 20520, Turku, Finland, andre.sourander@utu.fi.


CONTEXT: There are no prospective population-based studies examining predictive associations between childhood bullying behavior and adult criminality.

OBJECTIVE: To study predictive associations between bullying and victimization at age eight and adult criminal offenses.

DESIGN: Nationwide birth cohort study from age 8 to 26 years.

PARTICIPANTS: The sample consists of 5,351 Finnish children born in 1981 with information about bullying and victimization at age eight from parents, teachers, and the children themselves.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: National police register information about criminal offenses at age 23-26 years.

RESULTS: When controlled for the parental education level and psychopathology score, bullying sometimes and frequently independently predicted violent (OR 3.9, 95% CI 1.9-7.9, p < 0.001; OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.6-4.1, p < 0.001, respectively), property (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.2-4.7, p < 0.05; OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.1-2.7, p < 0.05), and traffic (OR 2.8, 95% CI 1.8-4.4, p < 0.001; OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.3-2.1, p < 0.001) offenses. The strongest predictive association was between bullying frequently and more than five crimes during the 4-year period (OR 6.6, 95% CI 2.8-15.3, p < 0.001) in adjusted analyses. When different informants were compared, teacher reports of bullying were the strongest predictor of adult criminality. In adjusted analyses, male victimization did not independently predict adult crime. Among girls, bullying or victimization at age eight were not associated with adult criminality.

CONCLUSIONS: Bullying among boys signals an elevated risk of adult criminality.

Trials. 2010 Nov 29;11:114.

Protocol for a randomised controlled trial of a school based cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) intervention to prevent depression in high risk adolescents (PROMISE).

Stallard PMontgomery AAAraya RAnderson RLewis GSayal KBuck RMillings ATaylor JA.

Department for Health, University of Bath, UK. p.stallard@bath.ac.uk


BACKGROUND: Depression in adolescents is a significant problem that impairs everyday functioning and increases the risk of severe mental health disorders in adulthood. Relatively few adolescents with depression are identified and referred for treatment indicating the need to investigate alternative preventive approaches.

STUDY DESIGN: A pragmatic cluster randomised controlled trial evaluating the effectiveness of a school based prevention programme on symptoms of depression in "high risk" adolescents (aged 12-16). The unit of allocation is year groups (n = 28) which are assigned to one of three conditions: an active intervention based upon cognitive behaviour therapy, attention control or treatment as usual. Assessments will be undertaken at screening, baseline, 6 months and 12 months. The primary outcome measure is change on the Short Mood and Feeling Questionnaire at 12 months. Secondary outcome measures will assess changes in negative thoughts, self esteem, anxiety, school connectedness, peer attachment, alcohol and substance misuse, bullying and self harm.

DISCUSSION: As of August 2010, all 28 year groups (n = 5023) had been recruited and the assigned interventions delivered. Final 12 month assessments are scheduled to be completed by March 2011.


Int J Public Health. 2010 Nov 26. [Epub ahead of print]

Screen time and physical violence in 10 to 16-year-old Canadian youth.

Janssen IBoyce WFPickett W.

School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, K7L 3N6, Canada, ian.janssen@queensu.ca.


OBJECTIVES: To examine the independent associations between television, computer, and video game use with physical violence in youth.

METHODS: The study population consisted of a representative cross-sectional sample of 9,672 Canadian youth in grades 6-10 and a 1-year longitudinal sample of 1,861 youth in grades 9-10. The number of weekly hours watching television, playing video games, and using a computer was determined. Violence was defined as engagement in ≥2 physical fights in the previous year and/or perpetration of ≥2-3 monthly episodes of physical bullying. Logistic regression was used to examine associations.

RESULTS: In the cross-sectional sample, computer use was associated with violence independent of television and video game use. Video game use was associated with violence in girls but not boys. Television use was not associated with violence after controlling for the other screen time measures. In the longitudinal sample, video game use was a significant predictor of violence after controlling for the other screen time measures.

CONCLUSIONS: Computer and video game use were the screen time measures most strongly related to violence in this large sample of youth.

J Psychosom Res. 2010 Dec;69(6):541-7.

Body mass index and victimization during adolescence: the mediation role of depressive symptoms and self-esteem.

Giletta MScholte RHEngels RCLarsen JK.

Department of Psychology, University of Torino, Torino, Italy. m.giletta@pwo.ru.nl


OBJECTIVE: This study applied a multi-method approach to examine the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and the experience of victimization during adolescence by investigating the role of intrapersonal feelings.

METHODS: The sample consisted of 2051 adolescents (M=13.8 years, S.D.=0.7; 51% male) from seven high schools in the Netherlands. Participants' weight and height were measured and they completed self-report questionnaires on victimization, depressive symptoms and self-esteem. Self-reported and peer-reported measures of victimization were collected and combined to create three different victimization types (i.e., self/peer-identified, self-identified, and peer-identified).

RESULTS: Hierarchical logistic regression analyses revealed that higher BMI was associated with both self/peer-identified victimization and self-identified victimization. Intrapersonal feelings (i.e., depressive symptoms and self-esteem) were found to mediate these associations. However, BMI was not associated with peer-identified victimization.

CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that the association between BMI and victimization might be exclusively related to the self-perception of high BMI adolescents. Moreover, the mediation effects indicate that the perception of victimization might be linked to psychological difficulties of adolescents with high BMI. Thus, to fully understand the associations between weight status and victimization, intrapersonal mechanisms need to be examined.

Aggress Behav. 2010 Nov 23. [Epub ahead of print]

Moral disengagement in self-reported and peer-nominated school bullying.

Obermann ML.

Department of Psychology, Aarhus University, Aarhus C, Denmark.


This study examined the relation between moral disengagement and different self-reported and peer-nominated positions in school bullying. The aims of this study were to (1) investigate moral disengagement among children for whom self-reported and peer-nominated bully status diverged and (2) compare levels of disengagement among self-reported and peer-nominated pure bullies, pure victims, bully-victims, and children not involved in bullying. A sample of 739 Danish sixth grade and seventh grade children (mean age 12.6) was included in the study. Moral disengagement was measured using a Danish version of the Moral Disengagement Scale and bullying was measured using both self-reports and peer nominations. Results revealed that both self-reported and peer-nominated bullying were related to moral disengagement, and that both pure bullies and bully-victims displayed higher moral disengagement than outsiders. Discrepancies between self-reported and peer-nominated bullying involvement indicates that a person's social reputation has a stronger association with moral disengagement than so far expected. Implications are discussed, highlighting the importance of further research and theory development. Aggr. Behav. 35:1-12, 2010.  © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

J Sch Psychol. 2010 Dec;48(6):533-53.

Supportive school climate and student willingness to seek help for bullying and threats of violence.

Eliot MCornell DGregory AFan X.

Programs in Clinical and School Psychology, University of Virginia, United States. mee6w@virginia.edu


This study investigated the relations between student perceptions of support and student willingness to seek help for bullying and threats of violence in a sample of 7318 ninth-grade students from 291 high schools who participated in the Virginia High School Safety Study. Hierarchical linear modeling indicated that students who perceived their teachers and other school staff to be supportive were more likely to endorse positive attitudes toward seeking help for bullying and threats of violence. In schools with more perceived support, there was less of a discrepancy in help-seeking attitudes between girls and boys. Findings suggest that efforts by school staff to provide a supportive climate are a potentially valuable strategy for engaging students in the prevention of bullying and threats of violence.

J Sch Psychol. 2010 Dec;48(6):511-32.

Gender differences in the relative impact of physical and relational bullying on adolescent injury and weapon carrying.

Dukes RLStein JAZane JI.

Department of Sociology, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, 1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway, Colorado Springs, CO 80918, USA. rdukes@uccs.edu


Using structural equation modeling, concurrent associations were assessed among physical bullying, relational bullying, physical victimization, relational victimization, injury and weapon carrying using data from the population of 1300 adolescent girls and 1362 adolescent boys in grades 7-12 in a Colorado school district. For both genders, being a relational bully was a significantly stronger predictor of weapon carrying than being a physical bully, and both bullying types were significant predictors of more weapon carrying. For both genders, being a victim of physical bullying, a victim of relational bullying, or being a relational bully significantly predicted more injury. In latent means comparisons, adolescent girls reported more relational victimization and adolescent boys reported more physical bullying and victimization, more weapon carrying, and more injury. The relative strength of relational bullying on weapon carrying, and the health-related consequences of bullying on interpersonal violence and injury support concerted efforts in schools to mitigate these behaviors. Attention to differences related to age and gender also is indicated in the design of bullying mitigation programs.

Child Adolesc Psychiatry Ment Health. 2010 Nov 23;4:28.

Bullying in school and cyberspace: Associations with depressive symptoms in Swiss and Australian adolescents.

Perren SDooley JShaw TCross D.

Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development, University of Zürich, Culmannstrasse 1, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland. perren@jacobscenter.uzh.ch.



BACKGROUND: Cyber-bullying (i.e., bullying via electronic means) has emerged as a new form of bullying that presents unique challenges to those victimised. Recent studies have demonstrated that there is a significant conceptual and practical overlap between both types of bullying such that most young people who are cyber-bullied also tend to be bullied by more traditional methods. Despite the overlap between traditional and cyber forms of bullying, it remains unclear if being a victim of cyber-bullying has the same negative consequences as being a victim of traditional bullying.

METHOD: The current study investigated associations between cyber versus traditional bullying and depressive symptoms in 374 and 1320 students from Switzerland and Australia respectively (52% female; Age: M = 13.8, SD = 1.0). All participants completed a bullying questionnaire (assessing perpetration and victimisation of traditional and cyber forms of bullying behaviour) in addition to scales on depressive symptoms.

RESULTS: Across both samples, traditional victims and bully-victims reported more depressive symptoms than bullies and non-involved children. Importantly, victims of cyber-bullying reported significantly higher levels of depressive symptoms, even when controlling for the involvement in traditional bullying/victimisation.

CONCLUSIONS: Overall, cyber-victimisation emerged as an additional risk factor for depressive symptoms in adolescents involved in bullying.

J Sch Health. 2010 Dec;80(12):614-21; quiz 622-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2010.00548.x.

Cyberbullying and self-esteem.

Patchin JWHinduja S.

Department of Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, 105 Garfield Avenue, Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004, USA. patchinj@uwec.edu


BACKGROUND: This article examines the relationship between middle school students' experience with cyberbullying and their level of self-esteem. Previous research on traditional bullying among adolescents has found a relatively consistent link between victimization and lower self-esteem, while finding an inconsistent relationship between offending and lower self-esteem. It is therefore important to extend this body of research by determining how bullying augmented through the use of technology (such as computers and cell phones) is linked to differing levels of self-esteem.

METHODS: During March and April 2007, a random sample of 1963 middle school students (mean age 12.6) from 30 schools in one of the largest school districts in the United States completed a self-report survey of Internet use and cyberbullying experiences.

RESULTS: This work found that students who experienced cyberbullying, both as a victim and an offender, had significantly lower self-esteem than those who had little or no experience with cyberbullying.

CONCLUSIONS: A moderate and statistically significant relationship exists between low self-esteem and experiences with cyberbullying. As such, bullying prevention programs incorporated in school curricula should also include substantive instruction on cyberbullying. Moreover, educators need to intervene in cyberbullying incidents, as failure to do so may impact the ability of students to be successful at school.

Aggress Behav. 2010 Nov 10. [Epub ahead of print]

The development of the Social Bullying Involvement Scales.

Fitzpatrick SBussey K.

Psychology Department, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.


This study reports findings of a newly developed measure of social bullying based on Underwood's [2003] framework of social aggression. The Social Bullying Involvement Scales (SBIS) consist of four scales measuring the extent to which children experience social victimization, engage in social bullying, witness social bullying, and intervene in social bullying. The sample consisted of 636 participants (311 females and 325 males, age range 11-16 years; 71% White). Confirmatory factor analysis supported a revised version of Underwood's framework for each of the four participant role scales. Internal consistencies for each scale ranged from .93 to .97. Results revealed that social victimization was related to an increase in anxiety, depressive, and externalizing behaviors. Social bullying was associated with an increase in general externalizing behaviors only. Social witnessing was moderately correlated with depression scores. Intervening in social bullying was not linked with psychological maladjustment or externalizing behaviors. The SBIS provides a comprehensive measure of social victimization, social bullying, social witnessing, and social intervening. Aggr. Behav. 35:1-16, 2010. 

Cien Saude Colet. 2010 Oct;15 Suppl 2:3065-76.

[Bullying in Brazilian schools: results from the National School-based Health Survey (PeNSE), 2009].

[Article in Portuguese]

Malta DCSilva MAMello FCMonteiro RASardinha LMCrespo CCarvalho MGSilva MMPorto DL.

Coordenação Geral de Doenças e Agravos Não Transmissíveis, Secretaria de Vigilância em Saúde, Ministério da Saúde, Brasília, DF. deborah.malta@saude.gov.br


The aim of this study is to identify and describe the occurrence of bullying among students in the 9th year (8th grade) from public and private schools from 26 Brazilian state capitals and the Federal District. It is a cross-sectional study involving 60,973 students and 1,453 public and private schools. Data analysis indicates that 5.4% (IC95%: 5.1%-5.7%) of students reported having suffered bullying almost always or always in the last 30 days, 25.4% (IC95%: 24.8%-26.0%) were rarely or sometimes the victim of bullying and 69.2% (IC95%: 68.5%-69.8%) of students felt no humiliation or provocation at school. The capital with higher frequency of bullying was Belo Horizonte (6.9%; IC95%: 5,9%-7,9%), Minas Gerais, and the lowest was Palmas (3.5%; IC95%: 2.6%-4.5%), Tocantins. Boys reported more bullying (6,0%; IC95%: 5.5%-6.5%) compared with girls (4,8%; IC95%: 4.4%-5.3%). There was no difference between public schools 5.5% (IC95%: 5.1%-5.8%) and private (5.2%) (IC95%: 4.6%-5.8%), except in Aracaju, Sergipe, that show more bullying in private schools. The findings indicate an urgent need for intersectoral action from educational policies and practices that enforce the reduction and prevention of the occurrence of bullying in schools in Brazil.

J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2010 Nov;39(6):789-99.

Do actions speak louder than words? Classroom attitudes and behavior in relation to bullying in early adolescence.

Scholte RSentse MGranic I.

Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands. r.scholte@bsi.ru.nl


The aim of the present study was to examine to what extent classroom factors (i.e., classroom antibullying attitudes and behavioral norms) contributed to individual bullying, after controlling for individual difference characteristics. Participants were 2,547 early adolescents (M = 13.4 years, SD = .63) from 109 middle school classes. Self- and peer reports were used to answer the research questions. It was found that adolescents in classrooms that held permissive attitudes toward bullying were more likely to bully themselves, even after controlling for individual attitude, gender, social preference, and number of reciprocal friends. However, the association of classroom attitudes with individual bullying decreased substantially when classroom bullying behavior was taken into account. Our study suggests that the effects of classroom antibullying attitudes might be partly mediated by classroom behaviors. It implies that research that has not included classroom behavior might have overestimated the effects of classroom attitudes on bullying.

Duodecim. 2010;126(17):2033-9.

[Adolescent mental health promotion in school context].

[Article in Finnish]

Kaltiala-Heino RRanta KFröjd S.

Tampereen yliopisto, lääketieteen laitos ja TAYS, nuorisopsykiatrian vastuualue.


School performance, involvement in bullying and frequent absences from school are indicators of not only cognitive and social skills but also mental health. Mental disorders may interfere with learning and adjustment in many ways. Mental disorders may bring about problems in attention and motivation, and failure in schoolwork often makes an adolescent vulnerable to mental disorders. Early recognition of and prompt intervention in specific learning difficulties may prevent mental disorders. Adolescents involved in bullying present with increased risk of both internalising and externalising mental disorders, as do adolescents who are frequently absent from school, whether due to illness or due to truancy. Peer rejection is an important warning sign during adolescent development. These features can fairly easily be recognised at school, and school's psychosocial support systems should have plans for intervention. Mental health promotion in school should comprise approaches that make school safe and involving for all, and individual interventions for those at risk.

Psicothema. 2010 Nov;22(4):784-9.

[Cyberbullying: adolescent victimization through mobile phone and internet].

[Article in Spanish]

Buelga SCava MJMusitu G.

Universidad de Valencia, Facultad de Psicología, Valencia, Spain. sbuelga@uv.es


The aim of this study was to analyse the prevalence of victimization through mobile phone and internet. The differences of gender and academic year in the type of electronic aggression were also examined. The sample comprised 2001 adolescents of both genders and ages between 11 and 17 years. Results indicated that 24.6% of the adolescents had been bullied by mobile phone during the last year, and 29% through internet. In most of the electronic aggressions, girls were more bullied than boys. It was also observed that students attending the first two years of secondary education tended to be more victimized

Acta Paediatr. 2011 Mar;100(3):413-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2010.02016.x. Epub 2010 Oct 8.

Poor performance in physical education - a risk factor for bully victimization. A case-control study.

Bejerot SEdgar JHumble MB.

Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. susanne.bejerot@ki.se


AIM: Poor social skills are a risk factor for becoming bullied, which could explain why this frequently occurs to children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Poor social skills tend to coexist with clumsiness. According to a pilot study, poor performance in physical education (PE) was correlated with bully victimization.

METHODS: Sixty-nine healthy university students reported performance in PE and bully victimization in childhood. In addition, the participants responded to questionnaires for ADHD and ASDs to assess personality traits related to increased risk for bully victimization.

RESULTS: Below average performance in PE was a risk factor of being bullied in school with an odds ratio of 3.6 [95% confidence interval: 1.23-10.5; p = 0.017]. Strong correlations between poor performance in PE and long duration of victimization (p = 0.007) and poor performance in PE and high frequency of victimization (p = 0.008) were found. Autistic traits were related to performance below average in PE.

CONCLUSION: Poor motor skills are a strong risk factor for becoming bullied. Prevention programmes that identify, protect and empower the clumsy children could be an important step to avoid bullying of the most vulnerable children

Indian J Pediatr. 2011 Mar;78(3):307-10. Epub 2010 Oct 20.

Bullying among school children: prevalence and association with common symptoms in childhood.

Ramya SGKulkarni ML.

House Surgeon, JJM Medical College, Davangere, India.


OBJECTIVE: To estimate the prevalence of bullying among girls and boys in school and examine its association with psychological and psychosomatic symptoms.

METHODS: 500 students aged between 8-14 yrs from 5 randomly selected schools as well as their parents and teachers were interviewed using a pretested questionnaire.

RESULTS: Bullying was reported by 302(60.4%) of the 500 children interviewed. Bullying was seen to be more prevalent among boys than girls, the commonest forms being calling names and making fun of one's looks. Physical abuse was reported by 38 students. Only 65 (39%) parents knew that their children were being bullied. Bullied children were more likely to report symptoms such as headache, loose motions, fever and depression. Teachers were found to be ignorant of the whole issue.

CONCLUSIONS: Bullying is a major problem among school children. Bullied children complained of psychosomatic symptoms which are potentially harmful for development. Teachers must be adequately trained to tackle this problem. Pediatricians should always consider bullying as a causative agent for illness and plan for appropriate interventions.

Prax Kinderpsychol Kinderpsychiatr. 2010;59(7):513-28.

[Emotion understanding of victimized and bullying children in kindergarten--starting points for a prevention?].

[Article in German]

Baumgartner A.

Institut Sekundarstufe I, Bern. adrian.baumgartner@phbern.ch


Being victimized by peers is one of the most negative social experiences of childhood and adolescence. Emotions play a central role in these kinds of interaction. Surprisingly however, socio-affective skills of victimized and bullying children have only rarely been the subject of investigation. In this study, the emotion understanding of Swiss kindergarten children between the ages of four and seven years was probed with the Test of Emotion Comprehension (TEC) and an emotion recognition task. Individual scores in victimization and bullying behavior were determined using teacher ratings. Ordinal regression analyses showed that problems in recognizing mimic emotions (specifically anger, sadness and fear), understanding external causes of emotions and understanding the possibility of hiding emotions were predictive of more victimization. Likewise, problems in understanding external causes of emotions were related to more bullying behavior. Implications of these results for the prevention of bullying are discussed.

J Sch Nurs. 2011 Apr;27(2):149-59. Epub 2010 Oct 18.

Students feeling unsafe in school: fifth graders' experiences.

Jacobson GRiesch SKTemkin BMKedrowski KMKluba N.


Children of late elementary school age (fifth grade) provide evidence that many do not feel safe in their schools. The purpose of this study was to examine how children express their experiences of feeling unsafe in school. Questions guiding the study were What percentage of children in this sample report feeling unsafe at school? What are the aftereffects of feeling unsafe? and How do children describe what makes them feel unsafe? Participants included 243 fifth-grade students who, as part of their participation in a larger study, were asked, "Have you felt unsafe at school?" Children responding affirmatively described what made them feel unsafe. Fifty-seven (23.8%) participants indicated they sometimes or always felt unsafe at school, citing teasing, bullying, or other threats that typically occurred when adults were not present. Of these, nearly a third reported being stressed and almost half felt at slight or great risk because of feeling unsafe. When children feel unsafe in school, there are implications for schools, neighborhoods, and larger communities. The related potential for children's increased involvement in health risk behaviors because they feel unsafe merits immediate and thoughtfully planned action.

J Sch Nurs. 2011 Apr;27(2):139-48. Epub 2010 Oct 18.

Helping Students With Disabilities Better Address Teasing and Bullying Situations: A MASNRN Study.

Vessey JAO'Neill KM.


Students with disabilities are more likely to be chronically teased or bullied and develop related psychosocial problems. Proactive interventions help these youths develop coping skills and become more resilient in handling such situations. The specific aims of this study were to (a) identify children with disabilities, who are at risk for being chronically teased or bullied and (b) intervene using a web-based program to build resiliency for managing teasing and bullying situations. Using materials from the U.S. Health Services Resources Administration's Stop Bullying Now campaign, 11 school nurses conducted a 12-session, biweekly support/discussion group intervention for 65 students with disabilities. Results indicated that after participating in serial brief interventions using a school nurse-led support group model, students reported being significantly less bothered by teasing and possessed significantly improved self-concepts, thus becoming more resilient in managing teasing and bullying situations. This study was conducted by MASNRN: the Massachusetts School Nurse Research Network.

J Obes. 2011;2011. pii: 398918. Epub 2010 Oct 3.

Utility of accelerometers to measure physical activity in children attending an obesity treatment intervention.

Robertson WStewart-Brown SWilcock EOldfield MThorogood M.

Health Sciences Research Institute, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK.


Objectives. To investigate the use of accelerometers to monitor change in physical activity in a childhood obesity treatment intervention. Methods. 28 children aged 7-13 taking part in "Families for Health" were asked to wear an accelerometer (Actigraph) for 7-days, and complete an accompanying activity diary, at baseline, 3-months and 9-months. Interviews with 12 parents asked about research measurements. Results. Over 90% of children provided 4 days of accelerometer data, and around half of children provided 7 days. Adequately completed diaries were collected from 60% of children. Children partake in a wide range of physical activity which uniaxial monitors may undermonitor (cycling, nonmotorised scootering) or overmonitor (trampolining). Two different cutoffs (4 METS or 3200 counts·min(-1)) for minutes spent in moderate and vigorous physical activity (MVPA) yielded very different results, although reached the same conclusion regarding a lack of change in MVPA after the intervention. Some children were unwilling to wear accelerometers at school and during sport because they felt they put them at risk of stigma and bullying. Conclusion. Accelerometers are acceptable to a majority of children, although their use at school is problematic for some, but they may underestimate children's physical activity.

Am J Psychiatry. 2011 Jan;168(1):65-72. Epub 2010 Oct 15.

Childhood trauma and children's emerging psychotic symptoms: A genetically sensitive longitudinal cohort study.

Arseneault LCannon MFisher HLPolanczyk GMoffitt TECaspi A.

Medical Research Council Social, Genetic, and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, King’s College London, UK. louise.arseneault@kcl.ac.uk

Comment in:


OBJECTIVE: Using longitudinal and prospective measures of trauma during childhood, the authors assessed the risk of developing psychotic symptoms associated with maltreatment, bullying, and accidents in a nationally representative U.K. cohort of young twins.

METHOD: Data were from the Environmental Risk Longitudinal Twin Study, which follows 2,232 twin children and their families. Mothers were interviewed during home visits when children were ages 5, 7, 10, and 12 on whether the children had experienced maltreatment by an adult, bullying by peers, or involvement in an accident. At age 12, children were asked about bullying experiences and psychotic symptoms. Children's reports of psychotic symptoms were verified by clinicians.

RESULTS: Children who experienced mal-treatment by an adult (relative risk=3.16, 95% CI=1.92-5.19) or bullying by peers (relative risk=2.47, 95% CI=1.74-3.52) were more likely to report psychotic symptoms at age 12 than were children who did not experience such traumatic events. The higher risk for psychotic symptoms was observed whether these events occurred early in life or later in childhood. The risk associated with childhood trauma remained significant in analyses controlling for children's gender, socioeconomic deprivation, and IQ; for children's early symptoms of internalizing or externalizing problems; and for children's genetic liability to developing psychosis. In contrast, the risk associated with accidents was small (relative risk=1.47, 95% CI=1.02-2.13) and inconsistent across ages.

CONCLUSIONS: Trauma characterized by intention to harm is associated with children's reports of psychotic symptoms. Clinicians working with children who report early symptoms of psychosis should inquire about traumatic events such as maltreatment and bullying.

Forensic Sci Int. 2010 Oct 11. [Epub ahead of print]

Bullying behaviour and criminality: A population-based follow-up study of adolescent psychiatric inpatients in Northern Finland.

Luukkonen AHRiala KHakko HRäsänen P.

Department of Psychiatry, University of Oulu, P.O. BOX 5000, 90014, Finland.


The recent school shootings in Europe and the USA have raised the question of whether victims of bullying run an increased risk of committing violent crimes later in life, but scientific research in this area is scarce. The aim of this work was to investigate whether bullying behaviour is associated with later criminal offences committed in adolescence and young adulthood. We studied a sample of 508 Finnish adolescents (age 12-17 years) admitted to psychiatric inpatient care between April 2001 and March 2006. Data on crimes committed and the age of onset of criminal activity were extracted from the official criminal records of the national Legal Register Centre in October 2008. The Schedule for Affective Disorder and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children, Present and Lifetime (K-SADS-PL) was used to define bullying status, and to obtain DSM-IV-based psychiatric diagnoses for the adolescents. Violent crimes were statistically significantly associated with bullying behaviour, but not non-violent crimes. Furthermore, being a bully was predictive of an early onset of severe violent offences. When controlled for the psychiatric diagnoses of the adolescents, we observed decreased likelihood of criminality among victims. Thus bullying others may increase the risk of violent offences, while being a victim is not a risk factor for criminality.

J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2010 Oct 12. [Epub ahead of print]

Mothers and Children as Informants of Bullying Victimization: Results from an Epidemiological Cohort of Children.

Shakoor SJaffee SRAndreou PBowes LAmbler APCaspi AMoffitt TEArseneault L.

MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, Box Number p080, London, SE5 8AF, UK.


Stressful events early in life can affect children's mental health problems. Collecting valid and reliable information about children's bad experiences is important for research and clinical purposes. This study aimed to (1) investigate whether mothers and children provide valid reports of bullying victimization, (2) examine the inter-rater reliability between the two informants, (3) test the predictive validity of their reports with children's emotional and behavioral problems and (4) compare the genetic and environmental etiology of bullying victimization as reported by mothers and children. We assessed bullying victimization in the Environmental-Risk (E-Risk) Longitudinal Twin Study, a nationally-representative sample of 1,116 families with twins. We collected reports from mothers and children during private interviews, including detailed narratives. Findings showed that we can rely on mothers and children as informants of bullying victimization: both informants provided information which adhered to the definition of bullying as involving repeated hurtful actions between peers in the presence of a power imbalance. Although mothers and children modestly agreed with each other about who was bullied during primary and secondary school, reports of bullying victimization from both informants were similarly associated with children's emotional and behavioral problems and provided similar estimates of genetic and environmental influences. Findings from this study suggest that collecting information from multiple informants is ideal to capture all instances of bullying victimization. However, in the absence of child self-reports, mothers can be considered as a viable alternative, and vice versa.

J Pediatr (Rio J). 2011 Jan-Feb;87(1):19-23. Epub 2010 Oct 11.

Prevalence and characteristics of school age bullying victims.

[Article in English, Portuguese]

de Moura DRCruz ACQuevedo Lde Á.

Departamento Materno Infantil, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade Federal de Pelotas, Pelotas, RS, Brazil.


OBJECTIVE: To describe the prevalence of bullying victims, the characteristics of those victims and their associated symptoms in the domains of emotion, behavior, hyperactivity and peer relationships.

METHOD: This was a cross-sectional study nested in a cohort that assesses disorders of reading, writing and arithmetic in 1,075 students enrolled in the first to eighth grades of two public schools in a lower-middle-class neighborhood of the city of Pelotas, RS, Brazil. The KIDSCAPE questionnaire was used to evaluate the prevalence of bullying and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire was used to assess victims' behavioral characteristics.

RESULTS: The prevalence of bullying was 17.6%. The most prevalent type of intimidation was verbal, followed by physical, emotional, racial and sexual. After adjustment for confounding factors, bullying was still associated with male sex (PR 1.49 95%CI 1.14-1.96), hyperactivity (PR 1.89 95%CI 1.25-2.87) and peer relationship problems (PR 1.85 95%CI 1.24-2.76). Among the victims of bullying, 47.1% had also initiated bullying.

CONCLUSION: This study has identified the behavioral characteristics of bullying victims which may prove useful for local policies designed to protect the targets of bullying.

Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2010 Oct;105(4):282-6.

Bullying among pediatric patients with food allergy.

Lieberman JAWeiss CFurlong TJSicherer MSicherer SH.

Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe Food Allergy Institute, Division of Allergy and Immunology, Department of Pediatrics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA. Jay.lieberman@mssm.edu

Comment in:


BACKGROUND: There are reports of children and teens with food allergy being harassed because of their food allergy, yet no study to date has attempted to characterize these occurrences.

OBJECTIVES: To determine the presence and characteristics of bullying, teasing, or harassment of food-allergic patients owing to their food allergies.

METHODS: Questionnaires were completed by food-allergic teens and adults and by parents of food-allergic children.

RESULTS: A total of 353 surveys were completed. Because most food-allergic individuals were children, most surveys were completed by parents of food-allergic individuals. The ages of the food-allergic individuals were younger than 4 years (25.9%), 4 to 11 years (55.0%), 12 to 18 years (12.5%), 19 to 25 years (2.6%), and older than 25 years (4.0%). Including all age groups, 24% of respondents reported that the food-allergic individual had been bullied, teased, or harassed because of food allergy. Of those who were bullied, teased, or harassed, 86% reported multiple episodes. Eighty-two percent of episodes occurred at school, and 80% were perpetrated mainly by classmates. Twenty-one percent of those who were bullied, teased, or harassed reported the perpetrators to be teachers or school staff. Overall, 79% of those bullied, teased, or harassed attributed this solely to food allergy. Of those bullied, 57% described physical events, such as being touched by an allergen and having an allergen thrown or waved at them, and several reported intentional contamination of their food with allergen.

CONCLUSIONS: Bullying, teasing, and harassment of children with food allergy seems to be common, frequent, and repetitive. These actions pose emotional and physical risks that should be addressed in food allergy management.

Int J Law Psychiatry. 2010 Nov-Dec;33(5-6):293-305. Epub 2010 Oct 6.

A school peer mediation program as a context for exploring therapeutic jurisprudence (TJ): Can a peer mediation program inform the law?

McWilliam N.

Faculty of Law, University of Technology, Sydney, P.O. Box 2063, Bondi Junction, NSW 1355, Australia. nickym@sydneymediation.com.au


This paper reports an exploratory study of a school peer mediation program implemented as an alternative way to manage bullying and other destructive conflict. The study explores the effects of the program on the well-being of members of the school community by examining perceptions of students, staff and a sample of parents and former students. Drawing on therapeutic jurisprudence (TJ) the study explores whether the component parts of the program, separately or together, promote intended or unintended therapeutic effects. The preliminary findings of the study emphasise the importance of peer mediation training and suggest that existing scholarship in the area of school conflict resolution and peer mediation, when viewed through a TJ lens, may provide valuable insights into how to optimally configure programs for development and adoption in schools and other community settings. The study highlights the lack of attention paid by the legal system to valuable scholarship in the area of school conflict resolution and peer mediation, which may have implications for the understanding and development of legal processes and the law in general.

J Nerv Ment Dis. 2010 Oct;198(10):728-33.

Is a history of school bullying victimization associated with adult suicidal ideation?: a South Australian population-based observational study.

Roeger LAllison SKorossy-Horwood REckert KAGoldney RD.

Discipline of General Practice, Flinders University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia. leigh.roeger@flinders.edu.au


The objective of this research was to determine whether a history of school bullying victimization is associated with suicidal ideation in adult life. A random and representative sample of 2907 South Australian adults was surveyed in Autumn, 2008. Respondents were asked "When you were at school, did you experience traumatic bullying by peers that was particularly severe, for example, being frequently targeted or routinely harassed in any way by 'bullies'?" Depression was determined by the mood module of the PRIME-MD which includes a suicidal ideation question; "In the last 2 weeks, have you had thoughts that you would be better off dead or hurting yourself in some way?" The overall prevalence of suicidal ideation in postschool age respondents was 3.4% (95% confidence interval: 2.8%-4.2%) in 2008. Bullying by peers was recalled by 18.7% (17.2%-20.3%). Respondents with a history of being bullied were approximately 3 times (odds ratio: 3.2) more likely to report suicidal ideation compared with those who did not. The association between being bullied and suicidal ideation remained after controlling for both depression and sociodemographic variables (odds ratio: 2.1). The results from the present research suggest that there is a strong association between a history of childhood bullying victimization and current suicidal ideation that persists across all ages. Bullying prevention programs in schools could hold the potential for longer lasting benefits in this important area of public health.

J Clin Nurs. 2010 Jul;19(13-14):1960-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2009.03137.x.

Mothers' experience with 1st-3rd-grade children with asthma assisting their child's adaptation of school life in Taiwan.

Cheng SCChen YCLiou YMWang KWMu PF.

Department of Nursing, Tsu-Chi College of Technology, Taipei, Taiwan.


AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: This study used purposive sampling through semi-structured interviews to obtain the experiences of mothers of 7-11-year-old children with asthma who were assisting their child's adaptation to school life.

BACKGROUND: Children with asthma often have problems with social adaptation, including school absenteeism, limits to their activity and bullying by peers. From kindergarten to elementary school, it is a transitional process where the child experiences multiple changes in the body, mind and social situations. It can be difficult for mothers of children with asthma to assist their children with their adaptation to school life.

DESIGN: A qualitative enquiry design was used.

METHODS: A total of 15 mothers having elementary school children with asthma in grades 1-3 were interviewed. Participants were contacted at the outpatient department of a medical centre in Taiwan. Verbatim transcriptions of the interviews were examined by the content analysis method. After analysis of the interview data of the 15 informants, no new themes had emerged. Lincoln and Guba's trustworthiness criteria were employed to evaluate methodological rigour.

RESULTS: There were four themes that formed part of the mothers' experiences. Those were: (1) being concerned about the child's adaptation to school life, (2) improving attitudes and relieving symptoms, (3) establishing the child's self-management abilities and (4) bearing role strain and normalising the life of the child.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study should help health professionals and schoolteachers to understand the needs of families and mothers who have a child with asthma. The findings provide appropriate information and resources to assist the children's adjustment to school life.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: The findings indicate that nursing professionals should provide child-focused and family-centred care that will assist parents of children with asthma to adjust to school life.

Child Psychiatry Hum Dev. 2010 Oct 1. [Epub ahead of print]

Empathy and Bullying: Exploring the Influence of Callous-Unemotional Traits.

Muñoz LCQualter PPadgett G.

School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Darwin Bldg, Preston, Lancashire, PR1 2HE, UK, LMunoz@uclan.ac.uk.


Although knowing and feeling the emotions of other people might result in less bullying, we argue that not caring about these feelings will also be important. That is, what good is empathy, if one does not care about the feelings or values of others? We examined self-reports of callous-unemotional traits (CU: Inventory of Callous-Unemotional Traits), bullying, and empathy in 201 children (ages 11-12 years). Results show children high on CU to be lowest in affective empathy and highest in direct bullying. While all subscales of the ICU were related to affective empathy, only the uncaring subscale was uniquely related to cognitive empathy. Empathy did not explain differences in bullying when taking into account CU traits. Therefore, failing to care about others is more important than empathy for explaining the direct and indirect bullying these children take part in. Implications for targeting different forms of empathy in treatment are considered.

Child Abuse Negl. 2010 Oct;34(10):793-803. Epub 2010 Sep 28.

Risk and protective factors for bullying victimization among AIDS-affected and vulnerable children in South Africa.

Cluver LBowes LGardner F.

Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of Oxford, UK.


OBJECTIVES: To examine whether bullying is a risk factor for psychological distress among children in poor, urban South Africa. To determine risk and protective factors for bullying victimization.

METHOD: One thousand and fifty children were interviewed in deprived neighborhoods, including orphans, AIDS-affected children, streetchildren, and child-headed households. Using standardized scales, children reported on bullying victimization, psychological problems, and potential risk and protective factors at individual, peer, family, and community levels.

RESULTS: 34% of children reported bullying victimization. Bullied children showed higher levels of anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and post-traumatic stress, as well as higher levels of clinical-level disorder. Risk factors for being bullied were being a victim of physical or sexual abuse or domestic violence at home, living in a high-violence community, and experiencing AIDS-related stigma (independent of sociodemographic cofactors and child psychological disorder). Protective factors were sibling support and support from friends, although findings suggest that friendship groups may also be sources of bullying for AIDS-affected children.

CONCLUSIONS: Bullying is an independent and important risk factor in child psychological distress in South Africa. Children victimized at home or in the community are more likely to be bullied, suggesting a cycle of violence.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Those working with children in Southern Africa should be alert to risk of bullying, especially among abused or AIDS-affected children. Interventions combating community violence and AIDS-related stigma may have additional positive impacts on bullying, and promotion of peer and sibling support may reduce bullying victimization among high-risk children.

Addict Behav. 2011 Jan-Feb;36(1-2):6-13. Epub 2010 Sep 24.

Adolescent bullying victimisation and alcohol-related problem behaviour mediated by coping drinking motives over a 12 month period.

Topper LRCastellanos-Ryan NMackie CConrod PJ.

MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, The Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK. lauren.topper@kcl.ac.uk


BACKGROUND: Despite the adverse externalising risks associated with bullying victimisation, no study has investigated the underlying mechanisms of adolescent victims' engagement with alcohol. This current study investigated the development of risky coping drinking motives as a mediator in the relationship between adolescent school victimisation and alcohol-related problem behaviour using a longitudinal design over 12 months.

METHOD: We recruited 324 participants, aged 13 to 15 from schools across London, England. Participants were surveyed during class time at 2 time points: baseline and 12 months. At both time points participants answered questions related to bullying victimisation, alcohol-related problem behaviour, drinking motives and the quantity by frequency of alcohol consumption.

RESULTS: The relationships between victimisation, drinking and drinking motives were investigated using Pearson correlations. Path analysis showed that victimisation leads both directly and indirectly, through coping motives to alcohol-related problems, rather than to the quantity and frequency of alcohol use. Significance of mediation was tested using 5000 bias corrected and accelerated bootstrapped intervals. Baseline victimisation was significantly correlated with baseline alcohol-related problem behaviour and predictive of future problems at 12 months. Drinking to cope at 12 months partially mediated the relationship between baseline victimisation and alcohol-related problems at 12 months.

CONCLUSIONS: Results show that victims of bullying are drinking alcohol in a risky style, partly due to the development of self medicating drinking behaviour. Victims of bullying could therefore benefit from coping skills interventions targeting negative affect regulation in order to reduce the risk for future alcohol misuse.

Med Pr. 2010;61(4):467-77.

[Individual and environmental antecedents of mobbing].

[Article in Polish]

Moscicka ADrabek M.

Zaklad Psychologii Pracy, Instytut Medycyny Pracy im. prof. J. Nofera, Lódz. moscicka@imp.lodz.pl


The aim of the article is to present the most common risk factors of bullying at the workplace. In the relevant literature one can find two main classes of bullying risk factors: environmental and individual. The most important environmental predictors of bullying are negative social climate, ineffective social communication and poor work organization. Among individual risk factors of bullying the most frequently pointed are functional features, such as low level of assertiveness, lack of social skills, ineffective coping with difficult situations and the few relatively stable individual characteristics, like neuroticism, trait anxiety, hostility and aggression. Most authors underline the crucial role of environmental factors in the development of bullying, and the individual characteristics of persons involved in this pathological relation are usually seen as the modifiers of bullying process.

Postgrad Med. 2010 Sep;122(5):62-8.

The association of bullying and health complaints in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

Holmberg K.

Department of Women's and Children's Health, Section for Paediatrics, Central Unit of Child Healthcare, Uppsala University Children's Hospital, SE-751 85, Uppsala, Sweden. kirsten.holmberg@kbh.uu.se


BACKGROUND: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in schoolchildren is often associated with troublesome relationships with family members and peers as well as difficulties in the classroom. The aims of this study were to assess the associations between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), recurrent subjective health complaints, and bullying in the peer group in schoolchildren.

METHOD: Cohort study of 577 fourth graders (10-year-olds) in 1 municipality in Stockholm County, Sweden. All children were screened for attention and behavior problems through interviews with their parents and teachers. Children with high scores underwent further clinical and cognitive assessments. Information about health complaints and bullying was collected from the children themselves in a classroom questionnaire. The 516 children for whom there was information from all 3 data sources were included in the final study population.

RESULTS: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder was associated with a 2-fold increased risk for recurrent abdominal pain (RAP), sleeping problems, and tiredness, while there was no association with headache. Bullying other students as well as being bullied were strongly associated with ADHD. There was a 2-fold increased risk for all kinds of health complaints among children being bullied, while bullies were more likely to report tiredness than other children.

CONCLUSIONS: Evaluation and treatment strategies for ADHD need to include an effective evaluation and treatment of RAP, tiredness, and sleeping disturbances as well as assessment and effective interventions for bullying. Evaluation of ADHD should be considered in children with recurrent health complaints and in children involved in bullying. Antibullying interventions are important to prevent health problems in all children.

J Deaf Stud Deaf Educ. 2011 Spring;16(2):236-53. Epub 2010 Sep 20.

Bullying and cyberbullying among deaf students and their hearing peers: an exploratory study.

Bauman SPero H.

Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies, College of Education, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA. sherib@u.arizona.edu


A questionnaire on bullying and cyberbullying was administered to 30 secondary students (Grades 7-12) in a charter school for the Deaf and hard of hearing and a matched group of 22 hearing students in a charter secondary school on the same campus. Because the sample size was small and distributions non-normal, results are primarily descriptive and correlational. No significant differences by hearing status were detected in rates of conventional or cyberbullying or both forms of victimization. Cyberbullying and cybervictimization were strongly correlated, as were conventional bullying and victimization. Moral disengagement was positively correlated only with conventional bullying. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.

Br J Dev Psychol. 2010 Sep;28(Pt 3):679-97.

Immigrant children's peer acceptance and victimization in kindergarten: the role of local language competence.

von Grünigen RPerren SNägele CAlsaker FD.

Department of Psychology, University of Bern, Switzerland.


The study investigates peer acceptance and victimization of immigrant and Swiss children in kindergarten classes. Our first aim is to compare peer acceptance and victimization of Swiss and immigrant children. Secondly, we explore the role of their local language competences (LLCs). The sample was drawn from kindergartens in communities in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. A representative sample of 568 boys and 522 girls (mean age 5.8 years) took part in the research. Teachers completed questionnaires on children's victimization, bullying, and LLC. The nationality background of parents was indicated by teachers and parents. To assess peer acceptance, a peer nomination method was used. Immigrant children showed less acceptance by peers and were more often victimized than their Swiss peers. There was a significant interaction effect for LLC and national background of mothers, showing that LLC was positively associated with peer acceptance for children of an immigrant background but not for Swiss children. Furthermore, peer acceptance mediated the effect of national background of mothers on victimization. Results are discussed in terms of the need to improve immigrant children's LLC.

Scand J Public Health. 2011 Feb;39(1):17-25. Epub 2010 Sep 16.

Deliberate self-harm and associated factors in 17-year-old Swedish students.

Landstedt EGillander Gådin K.

Department of Health Sciences, Mid Sweden University, Sundsvall, Sweden. evelina.landstedt@miun.se


BACKGROUND: Deliberate self-harm (DSH) in young people is an important public health issue. To prevent DSH, more knowledge is needed about its prevalence and associated contextual factors in community samples of adolescents.

AIMS: To determine the prevalence of deliberate self-harm in 17-year-old Swedish students and to explore the association of demographic variables, psychological distress, experiences of violence, and school-related factors with DSH.

METHODS: Data were derived from a cross-sectional study in which 17-year-old students completed questionnaires during school hours (n = 1,663; 78.3%). The variables used in this analysis are as follows: deliberate self-harm, demographic variables, psychological distress, experiences of violence, and school-related factors. Data were analysed using chi-squared statistics and logistic regression.

RESULTS: The lifetime prevalence of DSH was 17%, and it was more common among girls (23.3%) than boys (10.5%). There were considerable socioeconomic differences in reports of DSH. Psychological distress was strongly associated with DSH in both boys and girls, as were experiences of bullying, sexual harassment, physical violence and sexual assault. Social support, safety and academic factors in school were related to reports of DSH in both girls and boys. There were some gender differences with respect to which factors were associated with DSH.

CONCLUSIONS: Deliberate self-harm is common and more frequently reported by girls than boys. Psychological distress, experiences of different types of violence, and school-related factors (academic, social and safety-related), should be considered risk factors for DSH in young people. Findings can be applied to health-promotion policy and interventions in various contexts, for example schools.

J Rheumatol. 2010 Oct;37(10):2174-9. Epub 2010 Sep 15.

En coup de sabre scleroderma and Parry-Romberg syndrome in adolescents: surgical options and patient-related outcomes.

Palmero MLUziel YLaxer RMForrest CRPope E.

Section of Dermatology, Division of Paediatric Medicine, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Erratum in:

  • J Rheumatol. 2010 Nov;37(11):2444.


OBJECTIVE: There is little information regarding surgical options and outcomes in patients with facial localized scleroderma. We evaluated the surgical outcomes of procedures performed for linear scleroderma of the face in the pediatric age group; and assessed psychosocial effects of surgical interventions on the affected children.

METHODS: A retrospective chart review was performed of children with en coup de sabre scleroderma (ECDS) and Parry-Romberg syndrome (PRS) who underwent surgical intervention; this included demographic data, clinical features, and type of surgical interventions. A questionnaire of 13 questions covering 4 domains (physical, emotional, social, and symptoms) was sent to patients who consented to take part in the survey. Surgical treatments and outcomes were analyzed retrospectively.

RESULTS: Seventeen patients underwent surgical intervention (autologous fat injections, Medpor implants, bone paste cranioplasty, and free groin flap) to correct facial asymmetry. Ten patients answered the questionnaire (58.8% response rate). Unhappiness with their appearance, loss of confidence, and bullying were cited as reasons for surgery. The appearance subscale of the survey demonstrated the lowest standardized scores and greatest negative effect on the patients' quality of life compared to the 3 other subscales. All subjects would consider another surgery and would recommend surgery to other patients with ECDS and PRS.

CONCLUSION: Surgical treatment is a potential useful intervention in children with facial disfigurement. Prospective data are needed.

J Sch Nurs. 2010 Dec;26(6):436-42. Epub 2010 Sep 13.

Risky internet behaviors: a case study of online and offline stalking.

Dowdell EBBradley PK.

Villanova University, College of Nursing, Villanova, PA, USA.


Today's youth are more technologically savvy than any other generation possessing the ability to go online anytime. This increase in use of and access to technology has also provided adolescents with increasing opportunities to experience online relationships, which can place them in a vulnerable position and risk for harassment, bullying, stalking, exploitation, sexual solicitation, and victimization. A case study of a 15-year-old, 10th-grade girl who demonstrated characteristics of risky Internet and health risk behaviors and experienced online and offline stalking is presented along with tips for Internet Safety for school nurses, parents, and teachers are offered. In the diverse and complex health care settings of the 21st century, professionals are increasingly encountering risk situations defined by the technology being used by both victim and offender. Adolescents who form online relationships should be informed about the risks and rewards, just as the adults who interact with them should be.

Soc Sci Med. 2010 Oct;71(8):1399-408. Epub 2010 Aug 5.

Longing to belong: social inclusion and wellbeing among youth with refugee backgrounds in the first three years in Melbourne, Australia.

Correa-Velez IGifford SMBarnett AG.

La Trobe University, Australia. i.correa-velez@latrobe.edu.au


For young people with refugee backgrounds, establishing a sense of belonging to their family and community, and to their country of resettlement is essential for wellbeing. This paper describes the psychosocial factors associated with subjective health and wellbeing outcomes among a cohort of 97 refugee youth (aged 11-19) during their first three years in Melbourne, Australia. The findings reported here are drawn from the Good Starts Study, a longitudinal investigation of settlement and wellbeing among refugee youth conducted between 2004 and 2008. The overall aim of Good Starts was to identify the psychosocial factors that assist youth with refugee backgrounds in making a good start in their new country. A particular focus was on key transitions: from pre-arrival to Australia, from the language school to mainstream school, and from mainstream school to higher education or to the workforce. Good Starts used a mix of both method and theory from anthropology and social epidemiology. Using standardized measures of wellbeing and generalised estimating equations to model the predictors of wellbeing over time, this paper reports that key factors strongly associated with wellbeing outcomes are those that can be described as indicators of belonging - the most important being subjective social status in the broader Australian community, perceived discrimination and bullying. We argue that settlement specific policies and programs can ultimately be effective if embedded within a broader socially inclusive society - one that offers real opportunities for youth with refugee backgrounds to flourish.

Dev Psychol. 2010 Nov;46(6):1580-9.

Gender-nonconforming lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth: school victimization and young adult psychosocial adjustment.

Toomey RBRyan CDiaz RMCard NARussell ST.

Family Studies and Human Development, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721-0078, USA. toomey@email.arizona.edu


Past research documents that both adolescent gender nonconformity and the experience of school victimization are associated with high rates of negative psychosocial adjustment. Using data from the Family Acceptance Project's young adult survey, we examined associations among retrospective reports of adolescent gender nonconformity and adolescent school victimization due to perceived or actual lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) status, along with current reports of life satisfaction and depression. The participants included 245 LGBT young adults ranging in age from 21 to 25 years. Using structural equation modeling, we found that victimization due to perceived or actual LGBT status fully mediates the association between adolescent gender nonconformity and young adult psychosocial adjustment (i.e., life satisfaction and depression). Implications are addressed, including specific strategies that schools can implement to provide safer environments for gender-nonconforming LGBT students.

Br J Educ Psychol. 2010 Sep 6. [Epub ahead of print]

Gender differences in the relationships between bullying at school and unhealthy eating and shape-related attitudes and behaviours.

Farrow CVFox CL.


Background Previous research has found links between being a victim of bullying and reporting more unhealthy eating behaviours and cognitions, particularly in girls. However, little is known about the factors that might mediate these relationships. Aim The present study compared the relationships between bullying, emotional adjustment, restrained eating, and body dissatisfaction in adolescent boys and girls. Sample/method Self-report data were collected from a sample of 11- to 14-year-olds (N=376) on experiences of bullying, emotional symptoms, and unhealthy eating and shape-related attitudes and behaviours. Results Bullying, emotional symptoms, restrained eating, and body dissatisfaction were all correlated. Emotional symptoms were found to significantly mediate the relationships between verbal bullying with body dissatisfaction in girls but not in boys. Conclusions Findings suggest that the experience of being verbally bullied places adolescent girls at risk of developing emotional problems which can then lead to body dissatisfaction. Longitudinal research is necessary to disentangle these pathways in more detail to facilitate the development of informed interventions to support children who are being bullied.

Aggress Behav. 2010 Nov;36(6):371-89.

Prosocial/hostile roles and emotion comprehension in preschoolers.

Belacchi CFarina E.

University of Urbino Carlo Bo-Psychology, Urbino, Italy. carmen.belacchi@uniurb.it


Bullying occurs at approximately the same rate in kindergarten as in elementary school, but few studies inquired into preschool years [Alsaker and Nägele, 2008; Stassen Berger, 2007]. This study aimed at: (1) verifying the presence in preschoolers of two additional participant roles (Consoler and Mediator), besides the six traditional roles detected by Salmivalli et al. [1996], grouped in four latent macroroles, by means of teacher report version of the Eight Participant Roles Questionnaire (PRQ) [Belacchi, 2008]; (2) linking prosocial and hostile behaviors to age and gender; and (3) investigating the relationship between roles and emotion understanding. Two hundred and nineteen children (54% boys; aged 3-6 years: mean age 4;10) were administered the Italian version of the Test of Emotion Comprehension [Albanese and Molina, 2008]; 20 teachers (2 for each class) filled in the questionnaire, attributing frequency scores on 24 items (3 for each role) to each pupil. A confirmatory analysis supported the fit of the hetero-report version of the Eight PRQ, revealing four macroroles: Hostile Roles (Bully, Reinforcer and Assistant), Prosocial Roles (Defender, Consoler, and Mediator), Victim, and Outsider. Satisfactory interteachers agreement not only confirms the macroroles hypothized, but also their expected distribution for gender and age. Moreover, the Prosocial roles presented a significant positive correlation with all subdimensions of emotion comprehension (External, Mental, and Reflective). The Victim and Outsider roles negatively correlated only with the External subdimension. The implications of these results for prevention and intervention purposes are discussed.

Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2010 Nov;19(11):803-11. Epub 2010 Sep 3.

Prevalence of bullying and aggressive behavior and their relationship to mental health problems among 12- to 15-year-old Norwegian adolescents.

Undheim AMSund AM.

Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway. anne.m.undheim@ntnu.no


The aim of this study was to examine the relationships between being bullied and aggressive behavior and self-reported mental health problems among young adolescents. A representative population sample of 2,464 young Norwegian adolescents (50.8% girls) aged 12-15 years was assessed. Being bullied was measured using three items concerning teasing, exclusion, and physical assault. Self-esteem was assessed by Harter's self-perception profile for adolescents. Emotional and behavioral problems were measured by the Moods and Feelings Questionnaire (MFQ) and the youth self-report (YSR). Aggressive behavior was measured by four items from the YSR. One-tenth of the adolescents reported being bullied, and 5% reported having been aggressive toward others during the past 6 months. More of the students being bullied and students being aggressive toward others reported parental divorce, and they showed higher scores on all YSR subscales and on the MFQ questions, and lower scores on the global self-worth subscale (Harter) than students not being bullied or aggressive. A few differences emerged between the two groups being bullied or being aggressive toward others: those who were aggressive showed higher total YSR scores, higher aggression and delinquency scores, and lower social problems scores, and reported higher scores on the social acceptance subscale (Harter) than bullied students. However, because social problems were demonstrated in both the involved groups, interventions designed to improve social competence and interaction skills should be integrated in antibullying programs.

J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2011 Feb;39(2):225-38.

Stability of early identified aggressive victim status in elementary school and associations with later mental health problems and functional impairments.

Burk LRArmstrong JMPark JHZahn-Waxler CKlein MHEssex MJ.

Department of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI 53719, USA. burk@wisc.edu


Aggressive victims-children who are both perpetrators and victims of peer aggression-experience greater concurrent mental health problems and impairments than children who are only aggressive or only victimized. The stability of early identified aggressive victim status has not been evaluated due to the fact that most studies of aggressor/victim subgroups have focused on preadolescents and/or adolescents. Further, whether children who exhibit early and persistent patterns of aggression and victimization continue to experience greater mental health problems and functional impairments through the transition to adolescence is not known. This study followed 344 children (180 girls) previously identified as socially adjusted, victims, aggressors, or aggressive victims at Grade 1 (Burk et al. 2008) to investigate their involvement in peer bullying through Grade 5. The children, their mothers, and teachers reported on children's involvement in peer aggression and victimization at Grades 1, 3, and 5; and reported on internalizing symptoms, externalizing symptoms, inattention and impulsivity, as well as academic functioning, physical health, and service use at Grades 5, 7, and 9. Most children categorized as aggressive victims in Grade 1 continued to be significantly involved in peer bullying across elementary school. Children with recurrent aggressive victim status exhibited higher levels of some mental health problems and greater school impairments across the adolescent transition when compared to other longitudinal peer status groups. This study suggests screening for aggressive victim status at Grade 1 is potentially beneficial. Further early interventions may need to be carefully tailored to prevent and/or attenuate later psychological, academic, and physical health problems.

Prog Community Health Partnersh. 2010 Fall;4(3):189-96.

A community-based approach to preventing youth violence: what can we learn from the playground?

Drabick DABaugh D.

Temple University, USA.


BACKGROUND: Aggression, bullying, and victimization represent tremendous public health concerns among youth. These behaviors occur frequently in unstructured settings, such as the playground. Direct observations of the playground permit examination of these peer processes and are readily accomplished using community-based participatory research (CBPR).

OBJECTIVES: To present alternative viewpoints regarding the use of playground observations to evaluate peer aggression, bullying, and victimization.

METHODS: We used a (1) child-specific observational coding system and (2) naturalistic observation of the playground to examine playground behaviors.

RESULTS: Peer-child processes have differential associations with conduct disorder (CD) and depression symptoms. Group-based observations suggested a number of strengths and some areas that would be amenable to intervention.

CONCLUSION: A CBPR framework is useful for identifying youth involved in bullying and victimization; providing immediate support, interventions, and problem-solving strategies; and predicting potential negative outcomes, which can inform violence prevention and intervention efforts.

Compr Psychiatry. 2010 Sep-Oct;51(5):458-61. Epub 2010 Mar 20.

Being bullied in childhood: correlations with borderline personality in adulthood.

Sansone RALam CWiederman MW.

Psychiatry and Internal Medicine at Wright State University School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio, USA. randy.sansone@khnetwork.org


OBJECTIVE: This study was designed to explore correlations between a history of being bullied in childhood and borderline personality disorder (BPD) in adulthood, several externalizing behaviors, and mental health care utilization.

METHOD: Using a cross-sectional consecutive sample of internal medicine outpatients (N = 414), we examined the relationship between history of being bullied in childhood and 2 measures of BPD: the borderline personality scale of the Personality Diagnostic Questionnaire-4 and the Self-Harm Inventory. We also explored whether having ever been bullied was related to a number of externalizing behaviors (eg, rage reactions, road rage, excessive spending, alcohol and substance misuse, binge eating) as well as greater mental health care utilization.

RESULTS: In this study, a history of being bullied in childhood demonstrated statistically significant correlations with both measures of BPD as well as a number of externalizing behaviors and the measures for mental health care utilization.

CONCLUSIONS: A history of being bullied in childhood demonstrates a positive correlation with BPD in adulthood, externalizing behaviors, and mental health care utilization. Although this does not necessarily imply causality, the nature of this relationship warrants further investigation.

J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2010 Sep;39(5):681-92.

Parental maltreatment, bullying, and adolescent depression: evidence for the mediating role of perceived social support.

Seeds PMHarkness KLQuilty LC.

Department of Psychology, University of Western Ontario, Ontario, Canada.


The support deterioration model of depression states that stress deteriorates the perceived availability and/or effectiveness of social support, which then leads to depression. The present study examined this model in adolescent depression following parent-perpetrated maltreatment and peer-perpetrated bullying, as assessed by a rigorous contextual interview and rating system. In 101 depressed and nondepressed community adolescents between the ages of 13 and 18 (M = 15.51, SD = 1.27), peer bullying and father-perpetrated maltreatment were associated with lower perceptions of tangible support and of belonging in a social network. These forms of support mediated the association of bullying and father-perpetrated maltreatment with greater depression severity. In contrast, mother-perpetrated maltreatment was associated with higher perceptions of tangible support.

Soc Sci Med. 2010 Oct;71(7):1300-7. Epub 2010 Jul 15.

Bullying victimisation, self harm and associated factors in Irish adolescent boys.

McMahon EMReulbach UKeeley HPerry IJArensman E.

National Suicide Research Foundation, Cork, Ireland.


School bullying victimisation is associated with poor mental health and self harm. However, little is known about the lifestyle factors and negative life events associated with victimisation, or the factors associated with self harm among boys who experience bullying. The objectives of the study were to examine the prevalence of bullying in Irish adolescent boys, the association between bullying and a broad range of risk factors among boys, and factors associated with self harm among bullied boys and their non-bullied peers. Analyses were based on the data of the Irish centre of the Child and Adolescent Self Harm in Europe (CASE) study (boys n = 1870). Information was obtained on demographic factors, school bullying, deliberate self harm and psychological and lifestyle factors including negative life events. In total 363 boys (19.4%) reported having been a victim of school bullying at some point in their lives. The odds ratio of lifetime self harm was four times higher for boys who had been bullied than those without this experience. The factors that remained in the multivariate logistic regression model for lifetime history of bullying victimisation among boys were serious physical abuse and self esteem. Factors associated with self harm among bullied boys included psychological factors, problems with schoolwork, worries about sexual orientation and physical abuse, while family support was protective against self harm. Our findings highlight the mental health problems associated with victimisation, underlining the importance of anti-bullying policies in schools. Factors associated with self harm among boys who have been bullied should be taken into account in the identification of boys at risk of self harm.

Arch Suicide Res. 2010 Jul;14(3):206-21.

Bullying, cyberbullying, and suicide.

Hinduja SPatchin JW.

Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Florida Atlantic University, Jupiter, Florida 33458-2906, USA. hinduja@fau.edu


Empirical studies and some high-profile anecdotal cases have demonstrated a link between suicidal ideation and experiences with bullying victimization or offending. The current study examines the extent to which a nontraditional form of peer aggression--cyberbullying--is also related to suicidal ideation among adolescents. In 2007, a random sample of 1,963 middle-schoolers from one of the largest school districts in the United States completed a survey of Internet use and experiences. Youth who experienced traditional bullying or cyberbullying, as either an offender or a victim, had more suicidal thoughts and were more likely to attempt suicide than those who had not experienced such forms of peer aggression. Also, victimization was more strongly related to suicidal thoughts and behaviors than offending. The findings provide further evidence that adolescent peer aggression must be taken seriously both at school and at home, and suggest that a suicide prevention and intervention component is essential within comprehensive bullying response programs implemented in schools

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2010 Aug;49(8):830-40. Epub 2010 May 13.

Serotonin transporter gene moderates the development of emotional problems among children following bullying victimization.

Sugden KArseneault LHarrington HMoffitt TEWilliams BCaspi A.

Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke University, 2020 West Main Street, Suite 201, Box 104410, Durham, NC 27708, USA. karen.sugden@duke.edu


OBJECTIVE: Bullying is the act of intentionally and repeatedly causing harm to someone who has difficulty defending him- or herself, and is a relatively widespread school-age phenomenon. Being the victim of bullying is associated with a broad spectrum of emotional problems; however, not all children who are bullied go on to develop such problems.

METHOD: We tested the hypothesis that the relationship between bullying victimization and emotional problems was moderated by variation in the serotonin transporter (5-HTT) gene in 2,232 British children comprising the Environmental Risk (E-Risk) study cohort.

RESULTS: Our data supported the hypothesis that children's bullying victimization leads to their developing emotional problems, and that genetic variation in the 5-HTTLPR moderates this relationship. Specifically, frequently bullied children with the SS genotype were at greater risk for developing emotional problems at age 12 than were children with the SL or LL genotype. Furthermore, we demonstrated that this genetic moderation persisted (a) after controlling for children's previctimization emotional problems by assessing intraindividual change in problems between ages 5 and 12 years, and (b) after controlling for other risk factors shared by children growing up in the same family by comparing emotional problems in twins discordant for bullying victimization.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings are further evidence that the 5-HTTLPR moderates the risk of emotional disturbance after exposure to stressful events.

Int J Offender Ther Comp Criminol. 2010 Jul 16. [Epub ahead of print]

Program Effectiveness of a Restorative Whole- School Approach for Tackling School Bullying in Hong Kong.

Wong DSCheng CHNgan RMMa SK.


With bullying in schools high on policy makers' agendas, researchers are looking for effective strategies to tackle its disruptive effects. The present study sets out to address this issue. First, the prevalence of bullying is examined in Hong Kong High Schools, and second, the effectiveness of a Restorative Whole-school Approach (RWsA) in reducing bullying is examined in a quasi-experimental design. The RWsA emphasizes the setting up of restorative goals, clear instructions, team building, and good relationships among students, parents, and teachers. Over the course of 2 years, and across four schools, the effectiveness of this program was observed by comparing an intervention group with a partial intervention group (which did not receive the full treatment) and a control group (which received no treatment whatsoever). The group that received the RWsA treatment exhibited a significant reduction of bullying, higher empathic attitudes, and higher self-esteem in comparison to the partial intervention and the control group.

J Adolesc. 2010 Jul 15. [Epub ahead of print]

Can social support protect bullied adolescents from adverse outcomes? A prospective study on the effects of bullying on the educational achievement and mental health of adolescents at secondary schools in East London.

Rothon CHead JKlineberg EStansfeld S.

Centre for Psychiatry, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Old Anatomy Building, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, Charterhouse Square, London EC1M 6BQ, UK.


This paper investigates the extent to which social support can have a buffering effect against the potentially adverse consequences of bullying on school achievement and mental health. It uses a representative multiethnic sample of adolescents attending East London secondary schools in three boroughs. Bullied adolescents were less likely to achieve the appropriate academic achievement benchmark for their age group and bullied boys (but not girls) were more likely to exhibit depressive symptoms compared to those not bullied. High levels of social support from family were important in promoting good mental health. There was evidence that high levels of support from friends and moderate (but not high) family support was able to protect bullied adolescents from poor academic achievement. Support from friends and family was not sufficient to protect adolescents against mental health difficulties that they might face as a result of being bullied. More active intervention from schools is recommended.

Am J Orthopsychiatry. 2010 Jul;80(3):362-74.

Cyber bullying behaviors among middle and high school students.

Mishna FCook CGadalla TDaciuk JSolomon S.

Factor-Intwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada. f.mishna@utoronto.ca


Little research has been conducted that comprehensively examines cyber bullying with a large and diverse sample. The present study examines the prevalence, impact, and differential experience of cyber bullying among a large and diverse sample of middle and high school students (N = 2,186) from a large urban center. The survey examined technology use, cyber bullying behaviors, and the psychosocial impact of bullying and being bullied. About half (49.5%) of students indicated they had been bullied online and 33.7% indicated they had bullied others online. Most bullying was perpetrated by and to friends and participants generally did not tell anyone about the bullying. Participants reported feeling angry, sad, and depressed after being bullied online. Participants bullied others online because it made them feel as though they were funny, popular, and powerful, although many indicated feeling guilty afterward. Greater attention is required to understand and reduce cyber bullying within children's social worlds and with the support of educators and parents.

Am J Psychiatry. 2010 Dec;167(12):1464-71. Epub 2010 Jul 15.

Hurtful words: association of exposure to peer verbal abuse with elevated psychiatric symptom scores and corpus callosum abnormalities.

Teicher MHSamson JASheu YSPolcari AMcGreenery CE.

McLean Hospital, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA. martin_teicher@hms. harvard.edu

Erratum in:

  • Am J Psychiatry. 2011 Feb;168(2):213.

Comment in:


OBJECTIVE: Previous studies have shown that exposure to parental verbal abuse in childhood is associated with higher rates of adult psychopathology and alterations in brain structure. In this study the authors sought to examine the symptomatic and neuroanatomic effects, in young adulthood, of exposure to peer verbal abuse during childhood.

METHOD: A total of 848 young adults (ages 18-25 years) with no history of exposure to domestic violence, sexual abuse, or parental physical abuse rated their childhood exposure to parental and peer verbal abuse and completed a self-report packet that included the Kellner Symptom Questionnaire, the Limbic Symptom Checklist-33, and the Dissociative Experiences Scale. Diffusion tensor images were collected for a subset of 63 young adults with no history of abuse or exposure to parental verbal abuse selected for varying degrees of exposure to peer verbal abuse. Images were analyzed using tract-based spatial statistics.

RESULTS: Analysis of covariance revealed dose-dependent effects of peer verbal abuse on anxiety, depression, anger-hostility, dissociation, "limbic irritability," and drug use. Peer and parental verbal abuse were essentially equivalent in effect size on these ratings. Path analysis indicated that peer verbal abuse during the middle school years had the most significant effect on symptom scores. Degree of exposure to peer verbal abuse correlated with increased mean and radial diffusivity and decreased fractional anisotropy in the corpus callosum and the corona radiata.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings parallel results of previous reports of psychopathology associated with childhood exposure to parental verbal abuse and support the hypothesis that exposure to peer verbal abuse is an aversive stimulus associated with greater symptom ratings and meaningful alterations in brain structure.

J Youth Adolesc. 2010 Sep;39(9):1041-52. Epub 2009 Nov 22.

Clueless or powerful? Identifying subtypes of bullies in adolescence.

Peeters MCillessen AHScholte RH.

Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, 6500 HE Nijmegen, The Netherlands. peetersmargot@gmail.com


This study examined the heterogeneity of bullying among adolescents. It was hypothesized that bullying behavior serves different social functions and, depending on these functions, bullies will differ in their skills, status and social behavior. In a total sample of 806 8th graders, 120 adolescents (52 boys, 68 girls) were identified as bullies based on peer nominations. An additional group of 50 adolescents (25 boys, 25 girls) served as the non-bully comparison group. Cluster analysis revealed three corresponding bully subtypes for boys and girls: a popular-socially intelligent group, a popular moderate group, and an unpopular-less socially intelligent group. Follow-up analyses showed that the clusters differed significantly from each other in physical and verbal aggression, leadership, network centrality, peer rejection, and self-perceptions of bullying. The results confirm the heterogeneous nature of bullies and the complex nature of bullying in the adolescent peer group.

Aggress Behav. 2010 Sep;36(5):271-81.

The relationship between self-perception of physical attractiveness and sexual bullying in early adolescence.

Cunningham NJTaylor MWhitten MEHardesty PHEder KDeLaney N.

University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky 40292, USA. nancy.cunningham@louisville.edu


The relationship between self-perception of physical attractiveness and four measures of sexual bullying behavior (victimization, perpetration, having friends who sexually bully, and observation of sexual bullying among peers at school) was examined in a sample of 396 middle school age students. Students who perceived themselves to be more physically attractive than their peers reported sexually bullying others more, being sexually bullied by others more, observing more sexual bullying, and having more friends who sexually bully others than did students who perceived themselves as average looking. In addition, males who perceived themselves to be less physically attractive than their peers reported being victimized more and reported observing more sexual bullying in the school environment. These findings highlight the importance of physical attractiveness in the early initiation of sexual harassment. Implications for future research and interventions with early adolescents are discussed.

J Fluency Disord. 2010 Jun;35(2):92-109. Epub 2010 Apr 10.

Bullying in children who stutter: speech-language pathologists' perceptions and intervention strategies.

Blood GWBoyle MPBlood IMNalesnik GR.

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, 308 Ford Building, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, United States. f2x@psu.edu


Bullying in school-age children is a global epidemic. School personnel play a critical role in eliminating this problem. The goals of this study were to examine speech-language pathologists' (SLPs) perceptions of bullying, endorsement of potential strategies for dealing with bullying, and associations among SLPs' responses and specific demographic and practice-oriented variables. A survey was developed and mailed to 1000 school-based SLPs. Six vignettes describing episodes of physical, verbal, and relational bullying of hypothetical 10-year students who stutter were developed. Three vignettes described bullying specifically mentioning stuttering behaviors, while three described bullying without mentioning stuttering behavior. The data from 475 SLPs were analyzed. SLPs rated physical bullying as most serious and in need of intervention, followed by verbal bullying. Relational bullying was rated as not serious or in need of intervention. SLPs also responded to the likelihood of using strategies for dealing with bullying. Physical and verbal bullying elicited the use of "talking with the teacher", "working with school personnel", and "reassuring the child of his safety" strategies. Relational bullying elicited "ignore the problem" and "be more assertive" strategies. Correlations among variables are reported. The seriousness of physical and verbal bullying, likelihood of intervention, and the lack of knowledge about relational bullying is discussed. Educational objectives: Readers should be able to: (1) summarize the research describing the negative effects of three major types of bullying, (2) summarize the research describing bullying and children with communication disorders, especially stuttering, (3) report results of a survey of speech-language pathologists' (SLPs) perceptions of bullying in school-age children, (4) explain the perceived seriousness of the problem by SLPs and likelihood of intervention, and (5) describe the need for continued prevention and intervention activities for children who stutter.

Soc Sci Med. 2010 Sep;71(5):975-85. Epub 2010 Jun 8.

Exploring children's stigmatisation of AIDS-affected children in Zimbabwe through drawings and stories.

Campbell CSkovdal MMupambireyi ZGregson S.

Institute of Social Psychology, London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE, UK. c.campbell@lse.ac.uk


AIDS-related stigma is a major contributor to the health and psychosocial well-being of children affected by AIDS. Whilst it is often suggested that AIDS-affected children may be stigmatised by other children, to date no research focuses specifically on child-on-child stigma. Using social representations theory, we explore how Zimbabwean children represent AIDS-affected peers, examining (i) whether or not they stigmatise, (ii) the forms stigma takes, and (iii) the existence of non-stigmatising representations that might serve as resources for stigma-reduction interventions. Our interest in identifying both stigmatising and non-stigmatising representations is informed by a theory of change which accords a central role to community-level debate and dialogue in challenging and reframing stigmatising representations. In late 2008, 50 children (aged 10-12) were asked to "draw a picture of a child whose family has been affected by AIDS in any way", and to write short stories about their drawings. Thematic analysis of stories and drawings revealed frequent references to stigmatisation of AIDS-affected children--with other children refusing to play with them, generally keeping their distance and bullying them. However children also frequently showed a degree of empathy and respect for AIDS-affected children's caring roles and for their love and concern for their AIDS-infected parents. We argue that a key strategy for stigma-reduction interventions is to open up social spaces in which group members (in this case children) can identify the diverse and contradictory ways they view a stigmatised out-group, providing opportunities for them to exercise agency in collectively challenging and renegotiating negative representations. Contrary to the common view that drawings enable children to achieve greater emotional expression than written stories, our children's drawings tended to be comparatively stereotypical and normative. It was in written stories that children most eloquently expressed meanings and emotions, and an awareness of the complexity of the scenarios they portrayed.

J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2010 Nov;51(11):1208-16. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2010.02276.x.

Trajectories of antisocial behaviour towards siblings predict antisocial behaviour towards peers.

Ensor RMarks AJacobs LHughes C.

Centre for Family Research, University of Cambridge, Free School Lane, Cambridge, UK. rad35@cam.ac.uk


BACKGROUND: Young siblings' antisocial behaviour is common yet its impact has received relatively little research attention.

METHODS: We examined trajectories of antisocial behaviour for a socially diverse sample (n = 99, 58 boys and 41 girls) who were filmed with their older siblings (52 boys and 47 girls) at ages 3 and 6 and with unfamiliar peers at age 6. Latent growth models were used to analyse three indicators of antisocial behaviour (refusal to share/interact, bullying and harming).

RESULTS: The average trajectory of antisocial behaviour towards siblings was stable and particularly high for boys with brothers and for children of mothers with no educational qualifications. Sustained and escalating antisocial behaviours towards siblings predicted bullying and refusals to share/interact with unfamiliar peers, independent of associations with concurrent antisocial behaviour towards sibling.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings highlight the importance of a developmental perspective when examining antisocial behaviour between young siblings.

J Prim Prev. 2010 Aug;31(4):209-22.

"That Could Be Me Squishing Chips on Someone's Car." How Friends Can Positively Influence Bullying Behaviors.

Burns SCross DMaycock B.

Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, School of Public Health, Curtin University of Technology, GPO Box U198, Perth, WA, 6845, Australia. s.burns@curtin.edu.au


Semi-structured one-on-one interviews with a purposive sample of 51 grade 7 students (12 years old) who reported bullying others explored what might encourage students to stop bullying others. The theoretical perspectives of symbolic interactionism, in particular the development of self and definition of the situation, were used to inform this study. Dissonance theory was used to understand how students felt about their bullying behaviors. The theme of peer group emerged as an influence when considering desisting bullying others. Feelings of dissonance reinforced by peers and the need to be accepted by peers facilitated positive changes if significant peers disapproved of bullying. Some students changed friendship groups to move away from negative situations, representing significant development of self. School-based programs can work to enhance the positive influence of prosocial students, to focus on the development of self, and to reduce the social status achieved by some through bullying others.

J Youth Adolesc. 2010 Oct;39(10):1123-33. Epub 2010 Jun 26.

When biased language use is associated with bullying and dominance behavior: the moderating effect of prejudice.

Poteat VPDigiovanni CD.

Department of Counseling, Developmental, and Educational Psychology, Boston College, Campion Hall 307, 140 Commonwealth Ave, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467, USA. poteatp@bc.edu


Biased language related to sexual orientation is used frequently among students and is related to prominent social concerns such as bullying. Prejudice toward gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals also has been examined among adolescents, but separately from these behaviors. This study tested whether biased language use was associated with bullying and dominance irrespective of sexual prejudice or if sexual prejudice moderated these associations among 290 high school students (50% female; 56% White). Sexual prejudice was associated with biased language use among boys only. Biased language was associated with bullying regardless of levels of sexual prejudice for boys. However, this association was dependent on sexual prejudice for girls. For dominance behavior, its association with biased language was moderated by sexual prejudice for boys, but not girls. However, girls' engagement in all behaviors was significantly less than boys. These results indicate nuanced ways in which multiple factors contribute to the use of sexual orientation biased language. Also, they underscore the need to address biased language and prejudice as part of anti-bullying programs.

Crisis. 2010;31(3):143-8.

Participant roles in bullying behavior and their association with thoughts of ending one's life.

Rivers INoret N.

School of Sport & Education, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UK. ian.rivers@brunel.ac.uk


BACKGROUND: Studies have shown that students who are bullied at school are at an increased risk of poor mental health and suicide. Little is known, however, about those who have other participant roles in bullying interactions (e.g., bystanders).

AIMS: To better understand the implications exposure to bullying has upon thoughts of ending life among students who have multiple participant roles.

METHODS: This study was a cross-sectional survey of a representative sample of 2,002 students (55% boys, 45% girls) aged 12 to 16 years (M = 13.60, SD = 1.06) attending 14 schools in the North of England.

RESULTS: The majority of students in this study were involved in bullying behavior at school as victims, bullies, bystanders, or a combination of all three. Those with multiple roles (victim, bully, and bystander) were significantly more likely to report having had thoughts of ending their life.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings from this study have significant implications for clinicians, educational, and school psychologists working with students involved in bullying behavior. Whole school antibullying initiatives are necessary to reduce the psychological distress and thoughts of ending life found among members of the school population. Further studies exploring covictimization among bystanders and revictimization among former victims of bullying are recommended.

Disabil Rehabil. 2010;32(18):1517-26.

Empowering children with special educational needs to speak up: experiences of inclusive physical education.

Coates JVickerman P.

Faculty of Education, Community and Leisure, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, England, UK.


PURPOSE: The inclusion of children with special educational needs (SEN) has risen up the political agenda since the return of the Labour Government in 1997. This has seen increasing numbers of children with SEN being educated within mainstream schools.

METHOD: This study examines the perspectives of children with SEN attending both mainstream and special schools in relation to their experiences of physical education (PE).

RESULTS: Findings demonstrate that children with SEN in both mainstream and special schools enjoy PE, although issues were raised in mainstream schools regarding bullying and the appropriateness of activities in PE lessons. The findings show how children offered suggestions about how to improve PE and make it more beneficial. The findings identify how children are empowered through consultation, and are aware of their needs and abilities.

CONCLUSION: As such it is evident that schools and those supporting inclusive physical activity for children with SEN must use consultation as a tool for empowering pupils as a means of providing them with choices while gaining a rich insight into their lived experiences of PE.

Riv Psichiatr. 2010 Mar-Apr;45(2):107-11.

[Bullying: disease or social phenomenon? An experimental research].

[Article in Italian]

Di Terresena LGDiolosà CInga FCaruso S.

Dottorato di Ricerca in Medicina Neurovegetativa, Università di Catania.


The phenomenon of bullying has multidimensional character: it involves young people above all, but it is amplified by hush and passivity of the adults. Main objective of our research is to explore the several factors of this phenomenon, in order to identify prevention strategies and to increase the awareness among scholastic authorities.

J Community Health. 2011 Feb;36(1):132-40.

Utility of the physical activity resource assessment for child-centric physical activity intervention planning in two urban neighborhoods.

DeBate RDKoby EJLooney TETrainor JKZwald MLBryant CAMcDermott RJ.

Department of Community and Family Health, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, 13201 Bruce B. downs Blvd, MDC Box 56, Tampa, FL 33612, USA. rdebate@health.usf.edu


Children's physical activity (PA) may be determined, in part, by environmental influences such as access to diverse and safe places to play. As part of the development of a community-based PA program, a PA asset assessment was conducted in two low-income urban neighborhoods that support elementary schools serving minority youth. Resources were rated using an adapted version of the Physical Activity Resource Assessment (PARA), a multi-dimensional instrument that rates various venues on their features, amenities, and incivilities. Seventy-one child-centric venues (e.g., parks, playgrounds, community centers, sports facilities, fitness centers, etc.) were assessed within a three-mile radius of each school. Community member feedback via interviews with parent-child dyads revealed issues (e.g., bullying) not captured by the PARA that can influence venue use. Whereas the PARA can be a useful needs assessment and program planning tool for community-based PA programs, supplementing PARA data with community-based input may reduce contextual error in program development.

J Adolesc Health. 2010 Jul;47(1):99-101. Epub 2010 Feb 4.

Bullying victimization among underweight and overweight U.S. youth: differential associations for boys and girls.

Wang JIannotti RJLuk JW.

Prevention Research Branch, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. wangji2@mail.nih.gov

Comment in:


To examine the associations between body weight and physical, verbal, relational, and cyber victimization among U.S. boys and girls in grade 6 through 10. Underweight boys and girls were more likely to be physical and relational victims, respectively. Overweight boys and obese girls were more likely to be verbal victims.

Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw. 2010 Apr;13(2):195-9.

Comparing children and adolescents engaged in cyberbullying to matched peers.

Twyman KSaylor CTaylor LAComeaux C.

Department of Pediatrics, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri 63104, USA. Twymank@slu.edu


Although characteristics of traditional bullying participants have been identified and studied for years, research on cyberbullying is limited. The purpose of this study is to expand the literature on cyberbullying with a particular focus on the relationships among cyberbullying characteristics, typical social activities, and more traditional forms of bullying. The typical activities and experiences with traditional bullying and cyberbullying of 52 children ages 11 to 17 were compared to those of 52 matched controls. Children exposed to cyberbullying, whether as a cyberbully, cybervictim, or both (bully/victim), spent more time on computer-based social activities. Nearly two thirds of cyberbully/victims were also traditional bully/victims. While preliminary, results suggest that efforts to prevent cyberbullying may need to focus on patterns of Internet use, amount and type of social activities, and exposure to traditional bullying as risk factors for engaging in cyberbullying.

J Interpers Violence. 2010 Jun 3. [Epub ahead of print]

An Ecological Systems Approach to Bullying Behaviors Among Middle School Students in the United States.

Lee CH.

University of Arkansas at Little Rock.


The aim of this study is to identify an ecological prediction model of bullying behaviors. Based on an ecological systems theory, this study identifies significant factors influencing bullying behaviors at different levels of middle and high school. These levels include the microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, and macrosystem. More specifically, the ecological factors investigated in this multilevel analysis are individual traits, family experiences, parental involvement, school climate, and community characteristics. Using data collected in 2008 from 485 randomly selected students in a school district, this study identifies a best-fitting structural model of bullying behavior. Findings suggest that the ecological model accounted for a high portion of variance in bullying behaviors. All of the ecological systems as well as individual traits were found to be significant influences on bullying behaviors either directly or indirectly.

Biomed Environ Sci. 2010 Apr;23(2):108-12.

Relationships between weight status and bullying victimization among school-aged adolescents in Guangdong Province of China.

Guo QZMa WJNie SPXu YJXu HFZhang YR.

Department of Noncommunicable Disease Control and Prevention, Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Guangzhou 510300, Guangdong, China.


OBJECTIVE: To examine relationships between weight status and different forms of bullying victimization among adolescents aged 11-18 years.

METHODS: The relationships between weight status and bullying victimization (physical, verbal, and relational) were examined utilizing data from the Guangdong Provincial Youth Health Behavior Survey. Data on height, weight, and victimization behaviors were collected by self-reporting from 12 439 subjects. , test and logistic regression were used to analyze relationships between weight and bullying victimization.

RESULTS: The incidence of victimization for adolescents aged 11-18 years was 8.6%, with higher rates for boys (12.4%) than for girls (4.7%). For children with normal, overweight and obese body mass index (BMI), the incidence rates of victimization were 8.2%, 17.3%, and 11.5%, respectively. Compared to normal weight, overweight was a risk factor for bullying victimization(OR = 1.60, 95% CI: 1.18-2.17), and it also increased children's risk of being teased in a hurtful way (OR = 2.13, 95% CI: 1.41-3.24) and being made fun of due to physical appearance (OR = 3.58, 95% CI: 2.27-5.67). Obesity only increased the risk for children of being made fun of due to physical appearance (OR = 2.45, 95% CI: 1.44-4.15).

CONCLUSIONS: The victimization for children at school is common in Guangdong province, China. Overweight and obese children are more likely to be victims of bullying behaviors, especially verbal victimization.

Prax Kinderpsychol Kinderpsychiatr. 2010;59(4):266-81.

[Tuitional-based promotion of social competencies and prevention of bullying in adolescence--the fairplayer.manual: results of a pilot evaluation study].

[Article in German]

Scheithauer HBull HD.

Fachbereich Erziehungswissenschaft und Psychologie, Wissenschaftsbereich Psychologie, Arbeitsbereich Entwicklungswissenschaft und Angewandte Entwicklungspsychologie, Freie Universität Berlin. hscheit@zedat.fu-berlin.de


The fairplayer.manual (Scheithauer u. Bull, 2008), a manualized, tuitional-based preventive intervention programme to facilitate social competence and prevent school bullying consists of at least 15 to 17 consecutive, ninety-minute-lessons using cognitive-behavioural methods (e. g. role plays, model-learning, social reinforcement, behaviour-feedback) and moral dilemma discussions amongst others. We present results from a pilot evaluation study with 138 students (between 13 and 21 years of age, from comprehensive and vocational school) and their teachers. Students and teachers were administered structured questionnaires considering e. g. the occurrence of bullying, prosocial behavior and student's empathy as well as legitimation of violence. For 113 students we obtained data for the two measurement points (pre-post). Due to a high attrition rate information of an initially recruited control group could not be considered. Results indicated partially impressive positive changes concerning the total number of bullies and victims as well as prosocial behavior. Results concerning legitimation of violence and empathy differed for classes according to treatment integrity.

J Pediatr Psychol. 2010 Nov;35(10):1103-12. Epub 2010 May 20.

Co-occurrence of victimization from five subtypes of bullying: physical, verbal, social exclusion, spreading rumors, and cyber.

Wang JIannotti RJLuk JWNansel TR.

Prevention Research Branch, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, MD 20892-7510, USA. wangji2@mail.nih.gov


OBJECTIVE: To examine co-occurrence of five subtypes of peer victimization.

METHODS: Data were obtained from a national sample of 7,475 US adolescents in grades 6 through 10 in the 2005/2006 Health Behavior in School-Aged Children (HBSC) study. Latent class analyses (LCA) were conducted on victimization by physical, verbal, social exclusion, spreading rumors, and cyber bullying.

RESULTS: Three latent classes were identified, including an all-types victims class (9.7% of males and 6.2% of females), a verbal/relational victims class (28.1% of males and 35.1% of females), and a nonvictim class (62.2% of males and 58.7% of females). Males were more likely to be all-type victims. There was a graded relationship between the three latent classes and level of depression, frequency of medically attended injuries, and medicine use, especially among females.

CONCLUSIONS: Increased co-occurrence of victimization types put adolescents at greater risks for poorer physical and psychological outcomes.

Can J Psychiatry. 2010 May;55(5):282-8.

The association of suicide and bullying in childhood to young adulthood: a review of cross-sectional and longitudinal research findings.

Brunstein Klomek ASourander AGould M.

Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, Israel. klomeka@childpsych.columbia.edu <klomeka@childpsych.columbia.edu>


OBJECTIVE: To review the research addressing the association of suicide and bullying, from childhood to young adulthood, including cross-sectional and longitudinal research findings.

METHOD: Relevant publications were identified via electronic searches of PsycNet and MEDLINE without date specification, in addition to perusing the reference lists of relevant articles.

RESULTS: Cross-sectional findings indicate that there is an increased risk of suicidal ideation and (or) suicide attempts associated with bullying behaviour and cyberbullying. The few longitudinal findings available indicate that bullying and peer victimization lead to suicidality but that this association varies by sex. Discrepancies between the studies available may be due to differences in the studies' participants and methods.

CONCLUSIONS: Bullying and peer victimization constitute more than correlates of suicidality. Future research with long-term follow-up should continue to identify specific causal paths between bullying and suicide.

Psychiatry Res. 2010 Jun 30;178(1):166-70. Epub 2010 May 14.

Bullying behavior in relation to psychiatric disorders and physical health among adolescents: a clinical cohort of 508 underage inpatient adolescents in Northern Finland.

Luukkonen AHRäsänen PHakko HRiala KSTUDY-70 Workgroup.

Collaborators (10)

University of Oulu, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oulu, Finland. anuhelmi@paju.oulu.fi


The aim was to investigate the association of bullying behavior with psychiatric disorders and physical health in a sample of adolescent psychiatric patients, as there have to our knowledge been no previous studies using actual psychiatric diagnoses examining this relationship in boys and girls. We studied 508 Finnish adolescents (age 12-17) admitted to psychiatric inpatient care between April 2001 and March 2006 from the geographically large area of Northern Finland. The Schedule for Affective Disorder and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children, Present and Lifetime (K-SADS-PL) was used to obtain psychiatric diagnoses of adolescents according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) and information on bullying behavior. Logistic regression analyses showed that having an externalizing disorder increased the likelihood of being a bully or a bully-victim (i.e. a person who is both a bully and a victim of bullying) among both the boys (odds ratio, OR=14.4, P=0.001) and the girls (OR=10.0, P<0.001). In addition, having an internalizing disorder increased the likelihood of being a victim of bullying among the boys (OR=3.4, P=0.008), but not the girls. Chronic somatic diseases were also significantly associated with being bullied among the boys (OR=2.5, P=0.041). Our results suggest that adolescents who are involved in bullying behavior should be evaluated psychiatrically, as this might be an early marker of psychiatric disorders.

Br J Psychol. 2010 May 12. [Epub ahead of print]

Ganging up or sticking together? Group processes and children's responses to text-message bullying.

Jones SEManstead ASLivingstone AG.


Drawing on social identity theory and intergroup emotion theory (IET), we examined group processes underlying bullying behaviour. Children were randomly assigned to one of three groups: a perpetrator's group, a target's group, or a third party group. They then read a gender-consistent scenario in which the norm of the perpetrator's group (to be kind or unkind towards others) was manipulated, and an instance of cyberbullying between the perpetrator's group and a member of the target's group was described. It was found that group membership, group norms, and the proposed antecedents of the group-based emotions of pride, shame, and anger (but not guilt) influenced group-based emotions and action tendencies in ways predicted by social identity and IET. The results underline the importance of understanding group-level emotional reactions when it comes to tackling bullying, and show that being part of a group can be helpful in overcoming the negative effects of bullying.

J Interpers Violence. 2011 Mar;26(5):991-1011. Epub 2010 May 11.

Father's and Mother's Psychological Violence and Adolescent Behavioral Adjustment.

Melançon CGagné MH.

Université Laval, Québec City, Canada. claudiane.melancon.1@ulaval.ca.


Maternal and paternal psychological violence were examined as potential risk factors for internalized and externalized behavior problems displayed by adolescents. Childhood family violence (physical and psychological parental violence), current extrafamily violence (bullying and dating violence), and family structure were taken into account. A sample of 278 adolescents (mean age: 14.2) were recruited in three public schools located in low to high socioeconomic areas. Participants were in the 7th, 8th, and 9th grades, and each completed a self-administered questionnaire. Frequency of current psychological violence is about the same for each parental figure. The three most frequent and least frequent psychologically violent parental practices were also the same for both parental figures. Psychological violence of both parents was related to internalized and externalized behavior problems over and above family structure, childhood family violence, and current extrafamily violence.

Pediatrics. 2010 Jun;125(6):e1301-7. Epub 2010 May 3.

Weight status as a predictor of being bullied in third through sixth grades.

Lumeng JCForrest PAppugliese DPKaciroti NCorwyn RFBradley RH.

Center for Human Growth and Development, 300 North Ingalls St, 10th Floor, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5406, USA. jlumeng@umich.edu


OBJECTIVES: Childhood obesity and bullying both are pervasive public health problems. The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between childhood obesity and being bullied in third, fifth, and sixth grades while testing for potential confounding and moderation.

METHODS: A total of 821 children who were participating in the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (50% male, 81% white, 17% obese, 15% overweight in third grade) were studied. Generalized estimating equations were used to evaluate the relationship between child weight status and the odds of being bullied as reported by child, mother, and teacher, accounting for repeated measures and adjusting for grade level in school, child gender, child race, family income-to-needs ratio, school racial and socioeconomic composition, and mother- and teacher-reported child social skills and child academic achievement.

RESULTS: In sixth grade, 33.9%, 44.5%, and 24.9% of the children were reported to be bullied per teacher-, mother-, and self-report, respectively. There was a significant independent association between being obese and being bullied (odds ratio: 1.63 [95% confidence interval: 1.18-2.25]). The relationship between being obese and being bullied was attenuated but not eliminated by all covariates except gender. The relationship was not moderated by any of the covariates.

CONCLUSIONS: Children who are obese are more likely to be bullied, regardless of a number of potential sociodemographic, social, and academic confounders. No protective factors were identified. Effective interventions to reduce bullying of obese children need to be identified.

Child Dev. 2010 Mar-Apr;81(2):480-6.

The complex relation between bullying, victimization, acceptance, and rejection: giving special attention to status, affection, and sex differences.

Veenstra RLindenberg SMunniksma ADijkstra JK.

Sociology, University of Groningen, Grote Rozenstraat 31, Groningen 9712 TG, the Netherlands. d.r.veenstra@rug.nl


To understand the complex nature of bullies' acceptance and rejection, this article considered goal-framing effects of status and affection as they relate to the gender of the bully (male vs. female bullies), the target (male vs. female victims), and the evaluator (acceptance and rejection from male vs. female classmates). The hypotheses were tested with data from a social network questionnaire conducted in 26 elementary school classes (N = 481 children; M(age) = 10.5 years). The findings revealed that bullies were only rejected by those for whom they were a potential threat and that bullies generally chose their victims so as to minimize loss of affection by choosing victims who were not likely to be defended by significant others.

J Community Health Nurs. 2010 Apr;27(2):107-18.

Nurturing healthy relationships through a community-based interactive theater program.

Fredland NM.

School of Nursing, The University of Texas at Austin, 1700 Red River, Austin, TX 78701, USA. nfredland@mail.nur.utexas.edu


Promoting healthy relationships and preventing unhealthy behaviors, such as bullying and teen dating violence, among young adolescents was the goal of this study. This developmentally appropriate project used interactive theater to deliver a healthy message. Students in 7th grade health classes (N = 114) participated in the interactive theater intervention, a program that consisted of three consecutive performances and one follow-up day. This article reports on community-based research related to the development of a theater script in collaboration with a local theater group, the feasibility of using this innovative format as an intervention method, and lessons learned in collaborating with community partners.

Eur Psychiatry. 2010 Nov;25(7):382-9.

Bullying behaviour and substance abuse among underage psychiatric inpatient adolescents.

Luukkonen AHRiala KHakko HRäsänen PStudy-70 workgroup.

University of Oulu, Finland. anuhelmi@paju.oulu.fi


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Only a few studies have examined the putative association between substance use and bullying others, and to our knowledge none of the previous studies have investigated substance abuse among victims or those who are both bullies and victims. The aim of our study was to investigate substance use among all of these three bullying subgroups and to examine the putative association between substance use and bullying behaviour.

METHODS: The study sample consisted of 508 Finnish adolescents (age 12-17) admitted to psychiatric inpatient care between April2001 and March2006. We used the Schedule for Affective Disorder and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children Present and Lifetime (K-SADS-PL) to obtain DSM-IV psychiatric diagnoses, information about bullying behaviour and substance abuse of the adolescents. The level of nicotine dependence (ND) was assessed by using the modified Fagerström Tolerance Questionnaire (mFTQ).

RESULTS: Our study showed that both among boys and girls, regular daily smoking and alcohol use among boys were statistically significantly associated with bullying behaviour. Further, among girls, but not among boys, there was also an association between bullying behaviour and more severe substance use, such as ND, use of cannabis and hard drugs.

CONCLUSION: Since an association between bullying and severe substance use was found in this study, our novel finding needs replication in adolescent general population samples.

Paediatr Nurs. 2010 Apr;22(3):27-9.

Tackling homophobic attitudes and bullying in youth settings.

Bekaert S.

City and Hackney Young People's Services, London.


This article offers practical guidance on how to tackle homophobia in all settings for young people. It provides advice on tackling homophobic attitudes and bullying on several levels. The areas covered are: use of language and individual interactions, examining institutional policy and ethos, staff training, and holding workshops with young people.

J Youth Adolesc. 2010 Jun;39(6):634-45. Epub 2009 Jul 2.

Bullying and depressive symptomatology among low-income, African-American youth.

Fitzpatrick KMDulin APiko B.

Department of Sociology, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, USA. kfitzpa@uark.edu


Utilizing a risk and protective factors approach, this research examined the relationship between self-reported depressive symptomatology, group membership (bully, victim, bully-victim) risks, and protection among a sample of African-American youths. Self-report data were collected in spring, 2002. Youth in grades 5-12 were sampled (n = 1,542; 51% female) from an urban school district in the Southeast. African-American youths self-identifying as bullies, victims, or bully-victims, reported higher levels of depressive symptoms compared to their nonbullied-nonvictimized counterparts. Additionally, multivariate results highlight a significant set of risk and protective factors associated with depressive symptomatology, even after controlling for the effects of self-identified group membership. These findings further contribute to our general understanding of the interplay among bullying, victimization, risk and protective factors, and their effects on depressive symptoms among a group of understudied African-American youth.

Prev Sci. 2010 Dec;11(4):355-9.

Bullying victimization and substance use among U.S. adolescents: mediation by depression.

Luk JWWang JSimons-Morton BG.

Department of Psychology, University of Washington, Box 351525, Seattle, WA 98195-1525, USA. jwluk@uw.edu


This study examined the link between bullying victimization and substance use and tested the mediating role of depression in male and female adolescents. Cross-sectional data were collected from a national sample of 1,495 tenth graders who participated in the 2005/06 Health Behaviors in School-aged Children U.S. Survey. Victimization, depression and substance use were all measured as latent variables. Substance use was measured by drinking alcohol, being drunk, smoking cigarettes and using marijuana in the past 30 days. Multiple-group structural equation modeling showed that victimization was linked to substance use in both males and females. Among females, depression was positively associated with both victimization and substance use and mediated the association between the two latter variables. Among males, depression was associated with victimization but not with substance use. Results highlight the elevated risk for victimization and substance use problems that depression poses among adolescent females.

J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2010 May;39(3):341-50.

Parent alcohol problems and peer bullying and victimization: child gender and toddler attachment security as moderators.

Eiden RDOstrov JMColder CRLeonard KEEdwards EPOrrange-Torchia T.

Research Institute on Addictions, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY 14203, USA. eiden@ria.buffalo.edu


This study examined the association between parents' alcoholism and peer bullying and victimization in middle childhood in 162 community-recruited families (80 girls and 82 boys) with and without alcohol problems. Toddler-mother attachment was assessed at 18 months of child age, and child reports of peer bullying and victimization were obtained in 4th grade. There was a direct association between fathers' alcohol symptoms and bullying of peers, as well as indirect association via toddler-mother attachment security. Multiple group models indicated that the direct association between parents' alcohol symptoms and bullying was significant for boys but not girls. The association between maternal alcohol symptoms and bullying was significant for secure but not insecure boys or secure/insecure girls. The association between fathers' alcohol symptoms and bullying was significant for insecure boys but not secure boys or secure/insecure girls.

Am J Orthopsychiatry. 2010 Jan;80(1):124-34.

Bullying in school: evaluation and dissemination of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program.

Olweus DLimber SP.

University of Bergen, Norway.


The nature and extent of bullying among school children is discussed, and recent attention to the phenomenon by researchers, the media, and policy makers is noted. The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP) is a comprehensive, school-wide program that was designed to reduce bullying and achieve better peer relations among students in elementary, middle, and junior high school grades. Several large-scale studies from Norway are reviewed, which provide compelling evidence of the program's effectiveness in Norwegian schools. Studies that have evaluated the OBPP in diverse settings in the United States have not been uniformly consistent, but they have shown that the OBPP has had a positive impact on students' self-reported involvement in bullying and antisocial behavior. Efforts to disseminate the OBPP in Norway and the United States are discussed.

J Homosex. 2010 Mar;57(3):347-63.

Wearing pink as a stand against bullying: why we need to say more.

Naugler D.

Department of Sociology, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada.


This article presents a contextual discourse analysis of the media response to a campaign against bullying that was developed in the spring of 2007 in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. As a feature of masculine socialization, male-on-male bullying secures the reproduction of an aggressive and heteronormative hegemonic masculinity (Connell, 1987) for boys and young men in contemporary North American mainstream culture. I argue that the celebration of the "Pink Campaign" is illustrative of the normalizing silences, or "unremarkability," about the related discourses of sexism and homophobia that motivate everyday practices of male-on-male bullying.

Percept Mot Skills. 2010 Feb;110(1):48-60.

Sensitivity to violence measured by ratings of severity increases after nonviolence training.

Collyer CEJohnson KLde Mesquita PBPalazzo LAJordan D.

Department of Psychology, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881, USA. collyer@uri.edu


It was hypothesized that training in nonviolence would increase participants' sensitivity to violence because such training emphasizes both the harm and the avoidability of many kinds of violence. This research built upon earlier studies, which had proposed that ratings of the severity of violent behaviors (e.g., murder, bullying, cursing) can be interpreted as measuring sensitivity to violence. Two quasi-experiments examined changes in ratings of severity obtained before and after nonviolence training. In Study 1, 28 college-age traffic offenders who received nonviolence training judged stimulus behaviors ranging from life-threatening physical harm to verbal disrespect as more violent after their training. An untrained comparison group did not show this change. In Study 2, 30 student teachers who received instruction in nonviolence also rated behaviors as more violent after training; an untrained comparison group did not. Results are interpreted as showing increased sensitivity to violence following exposure to nonviolence.

AIDS Care. 2010 Mar;22(3):308-13.

Breaking down the wall of silence around children affected by AIDS in Thailand to support their psychosocial health.

Ishikawa NPridmore PCarr-Hill RChaimuangdee K.

Bureau of International Cooperation, International Medical Center of Japan, Tokyo, Japan. n-ishikawa@it.imcj.go.jp


This study examines the psychosocial needs of the children affected by AIDS. Eight primary school children aged 10-13 years who lost parents to AIDS or whose parents were living with HIV were closely followed for a period of one year and qualitative data on the psychosocial challenges they faced were collected using semi-structured interviews, observation, drawings and diaries. Data were also collected from their caregivers and classroom teachers using semi-structured interviews, as well as data from their classmates using a self-completion questionnaire. The findings strongly suggested that adults were creating a "wall of silence" around children affected by AIDS by hiding the parents' HIV status from them and avoid talking to them about HIV and AIDS. The silence was intended to protect the children from sadness, embarrassment, bullying and discrimination. In reality, however, the silence was found to have isolated them and increased their psychosocial vulnerability by blocking open communication with family members, peers and teachers, and left them to cope with their problems on their own. It is argued that to support the psychosocial health of these children, it is necessary for the adults to recognise the negative impact of silence and for the families and the school to be involved in a process of participatory learning and action to find culturally appropriate ways to break down the wall of silence, and promote more open communication.

Scand J Caring Sci. 2011 Mar;25(1):70-80. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6712.2010.00792.x.

Witnessing and experiencing domestic violence: a descriptive study of adolescents.

Lepistö SLuukkaala TPaavilainen E.

Department of Nursing Science, University of Tampere, Finland. sari.j.lepisto@uta.fi


OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to describe the experiences of different types of domestic violence among adolescents and associations between the family background and different types of domestic violence.

METHODS: The survey included 1393 ninth-graders from one Finnish municipality.

RESULTS: Domestic violence is fairly common in the lives of adolescents. Sixty-seven percent of respondents had experienced parental symbolic aggression, 55% mild violence and 9% severe violence during their childhood. Twelve percent of adolescents had witnessed parent-to-parent violence. Witnessing domestic violence and exposure to parental violence is associated with a number of adolescents' background factors such as self-perceived health, satisfaction with life, family relationships, parenting practice, school bullying and sexual activity.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings stress the relevance of corporal punishment and witnessing domestic violence as a risk factor for more severe domestic violence and sexual abuse. Different types of domestic violence have a major effect on adolescent well-being and risk behaviours. To break the negative cycle, nurses and other professionals working with adolescents in different settings should pay attention to all forms of violence, including the milder ones.

J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2010 Aug;38(6):829-42.

Explicit- and implicit bullying attitudes in relation to bullying behavior.

van Goethem AAScholte RHWiers RW.

Institute of Developmental Psychology, University of Utrecht, P.O. Box 80140, 3584 CS, Utrecht, The Netherlands. A.A.J.vanGoethem@uu.nl


The main aim of this study was to examine whether an assessment of implicit bullying attitudes could add to the prediction of bullying behavior after controlling for explicit bullying attitudes. Primary school children (112 boys and 125 girls, M age = 11 years, 5 months) completed two newly developed measures of implicit bullying attitudes (a general Implicit Association Test on bullying and a movie-primed specific IAT on bullying), an explicit bullying attitude measure, and self reported, peer reported, and teacher rated bullying behavior. While explicit bullying attitudes predicted bullying behavior, implicit attitudes did not. However, a significant interaction between implicit and explicit bullying attitudes indicated that in children with relatively positive explicit attitudes, implicit bullying attitudes were important predictors of bullying behavior. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Scand J Public Health. 2010 Jun;38(4):359-67. Epub 2010 Mar 22.

Emotional, self-conceptual, and relational characteristics of bullies and the bullied.

Meland ERydning JHLobben SBreidablik HJEkeland TJ.

Department of Public Health and Primary Health Care, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway. eivind.meland@isf.uib.no


AIMS: To clarify distributions of emotional and somatic symptoms among different groups involved in bullying behaviour during early adolescence; to explore differences in social integration and self-perceptions; to explore how different cut-off limits for bullying behaviour may affect the impact of these measures; and to interpret our findings in the light of theories of identity that may suggest directions for interventions against bullying in schools.

METHODS: A cross-sectional study, based on self-completion questionnaire, of 1237 pupils aged 11-15 years in autumn 2000 in Alesund, Norway.

RESULTS: Bullies and their victims reported similar and greater emotional impairments and psychosomatic complaints, lack of self-confidence, and pessimism than students not involved in bullying. With increasing involvement, bullies differed from non-involved students only in regard to depressive complaints and pessimism. The bullied group reported more depressive, somatic and anxiety complaints, and self-reproach with increasing victimisation. Both bullies and the bullied reported problems relating to school, parents, and teachers. Bullies enjoyed friendships to the same degree or better than their peers not involved in bullying, whereas the bullied group reported impaired peer relations and increasing problems with more serious involvement. Bullies, the bullied, and bully-victims reported diminishing peer support in their class with increasing involvement.

CONCLUSIONS: Both the bullied and bullies share relational, emotional, and self-conceptual problems, but they also differ in whether they succeed in social arenas and to what extent they are affected by different emotional and self-conceptual problems. They are, however, fellow sufferers in many aspects.

J Adolesc Health. 2010 Apr;46(4):366-71. Epub 2010 Jan 29.

Sexual orientation and bullying among adolescents in the growing up today study.

Berlan EDCorliss HLField AEGoodman EAustin SB.

Section of Adolescent Medicine, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio 43205, USA. Elise.berlan@nationwidechildrens.org


PURPOSE: To examine the relationship between sexual orientation and past-year reports of bullying victimization and perpetration in a large sample of American youth.

METHODS: Survey data from 7,559 adolescents aged 14-22 who responded to the 2001 wave questionnaire of the Growing Up Today Study were examined cross-sectionally. Multivariable generalized estimating equations regression was performed using the modified Poisson method. We examined associations between sexual orientation and past-year bully victimization and perpetration with heterosexuals as the referent group, stratifying by gender and controlling for age, race/ethnicity, and weight status.

RESULTS: Compared to heterosexual males, mostly heterosexual males (risk ratio [RR]: 1.45; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.13, 1.86) and gay males (RR 1.98; CI: 1.39, 2.82) were more likely to report being bullied. Similarly, mostly heterosexual females (RR: 1.72, 95% CI: 1.45, 2.03), bisexual females (RR: 1.63, 95% CI: 1.14, 2.31), and lesbians (RR: 3.36, 95% CI: 1.76, 6.41) were more likely to report being bullied than were heterosexual females. Gay males (RR: 0.34, 95% CI: 0.14, 0.84) were much less likely to report bullying others than were heterosexual males. Mostly heterosexual females (RR: 1.70, 95% CI: 1.42, 2.04) and bisexual females (RR: 2.41, 95% CI: 1.80, 3.24) were more likely to report bullying others than heterosexual females. No lesbian participants reported bullying others.

CONCLUSIONS: There are significant differences in reports of bullying victimization and perpetration between heterosexual and sexual minority youth. Clinicians should inquire about sexual orientation and bullying, and coordinate care for youth who may need additional support.

Child Abuse Negl. 2010 Apr;34(4):244-52. Epub 2010 Mar 20.

Peer victimization and internalizing problems in children: a meta-analysis of longitudinal studies.

Reijntjes AKamphuis JHPrinzie PTelch MJ.

Utrecht University, 3508 TC, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


OBJECTIVE: A recent meta-analytic review of cross-sectional studies examining correlations between peer victimization and indices of internalizing problems indicates that victims of bullying are highly distressed. However, the reliance on cross-sectional studies precludes interpretation of the direction of effects. The present study was designed to investigate if internalizing problems are antecedents of victimization, consequences of victimization, or both.

METHOD: This paper provides a meta-analysis of 18 longitudinal studies examining prospective linkages between peer victimization and internalizing problems (n=13,978). Two prospective paths were examined: the extent to which peer victimization at baseline predicts changes in internalizing problems, as well as the extent to which internalizing problems at baseline predict changes in peer victimization.

RESULTS: Results revealed significant associations between peer victimization and subsequent changes in internalizing problems, as well as significant associations between internalizing problems and subsequent changes in peer victimization. Several moderator effects were observed.

CONCLUSIONS: Internalizing problems function as both antecedents and consequences of peer victimization. These reciprocal influences suggest a vicious cycle that contributes to the high stability of peer victimization.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: This study should further encourage steps to reduce bullying at schools.

J Adolesc. 2010 Oct;33(5):615-23. Epub 2010 Mar 19.

The psychological impact of peer victimization: exploring social-cognitive mediators of depression.

Barchia KBussey K.

Macquarie University, Department of Psychology, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. kirstin.sayers@psy.mq.edu.au


Although the association between peer victimization and depression is well established (Hawker & Boulton, 2000; Nansel et al., 2001), little research has examined the processes whereby victimization may lead to depression. This study examined the social-cognitive processes that mediate the relationship between peer victimization and depression. A questionnaire measuring peer victimization, depression, depression rumination, self efficacy to enlist support, and collective school efficacy to stop peer aggression at two time points during one school year was completed by 1167 secondary school children. Rumination, collective school efficacy and self efficacy to enlist support from a friend partially mediated the relationship between victimization and depression. Children who were victimized ruminated more, which lead to increased levels of depression. Victims were also less likely to believe that students and teachers could work together to stop peer aggression, which impacted their propensity to access the support of friends leading to higher depression.

Pediatrics. 2010 Apr;125(4):e778-86. Epub 2010 Mar 15.

Adolescent violence perpetration: associations with multiple types of adverse childhood experiences.

Duke NNPettingell SLMcMorris BJBorowsky IW.

Center for Adolescent Nursing, School of Nursing, Division of Academic General Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota, 5-140 Weaver-Densford Hall, 308 Harvard St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA. duke0028@umn.edu


OBJECTIVE: Adverse childhood experiences are associated with significant functional impairment and life lost in adolescence and adulthood. This study identified relationships between multiple types of adverse events and distinct categories of adolescent violence perpetration.

METHODS: Data are from 136 549 students in the 6th, 9th, and 12th grades who responded to the 2007 Minnesota Student Survey, an anonymous, self-report survey examining youth health behaviors and perceptions, characteristics of primary socializing domains, and youth engagement. Linear and logistic regression models were used to determine if 6 types of adverse experiences including physical abuse, sexual abuse by family and/or other persons, witnessing abuse, and household dysfunction caused by family alcohol and/or drug use were significantly associated with risk of adolescent violence perpetration after adjustment for demographic covariates. An adverse-events score was entered into regression models to test for a dose-response relationship between the event score and violence outcomes. All analyses were stratified according to gender.

RESULTS: More than 1 in 4 youth (28.9%) reported at least 1 adverse childhood experience. The most commonly reported adverse experience was alcohol abuse by a household family member that caused problems. Each type of adverse childhood experience was significantly associated with adolescent interpersonal violence perpetration (delinquency, bullying, physical fighting, dating violence, weapon-carrying on school property) and self-directed violence (self-mutilatory behavior, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempt). For each additional type of adverse event reported by youth, the risk of violence perpetration increased 35% to 144%.

CONCLUSIONS: Multiple types of adverse childhood experiences should be considered as risk factors for a spectrum of violence-related outcomes during adolescence. Providers and advocates should be aware of the interrelatedness and cumulative impact of adverse-event types. Study findings support broadening the current discourse on types of adverse events when considering pathways from child maltreatment to adolescent perpetration of delinquent and violent outcomes.

J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2010 Aug;38(6):815-27.

Active defending and passive bystanding behavior in bullying: the role of personal characteristics and perceived peer pressure.

Pozzoli TGini G.

Department of Developmental and Social Psychology, University of Padua, via Venezia, 8, 35131, Padova, Italy. tiziana.pozzoli@unipd.it


This study examined the role of pro-victim attitudes, personal responsibility, coping responses to observations of bullying, and perceived peer normative pressure in explaining defending the victim and passive bystanding behavior in bullying. A total of 462 Italian early adolescents (mean age = 13.4 years, SD = 9 months) participated in the study. The behaviors were measured through two informants: each individual student and the teachers. The findings of a series of hierarchical regressions showed that, regardless of the informant, problem solving coping strategies and perceived peer normative pressure for intervention were positively associated with active help towards a bullied peer and negatively related to passivity. In contrast, distancing strategies were positively associated with passive bystanding, whereas they were negatively associated with teacher-reported defending behavior. Moreover, self-reported defending behavior was positively associated with personal responsibility for intervention, but only under conditions of low perceived peer pressure. Finally, the perception of peer pressure for intervention buffered the negative influence of distancing on passive bystanding tendencies. Future directions are discussed.

Fam Community Health. 2010 Apr-Jun;33(2):82-93.

Cyberbullying: a review of the literature on harassment through the internet and other electronic means.

Kiriakidis SPKavoura A.

Department of Educational and Social Policy, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece. skyriak@syros.aegean.gr


The present article is a review of the literature of cyberbullying. Main findings are summarized regarding issues of definition of cyberbullying, differences, and similarities with traditional bullying; its extent; the forms of cyberbullying; the characteristics of cyberbullies and cybervictims; the effects of cyberbullying on the psychosocial development of youth; age and gender differences of cyberbullying; and perceived causes of cyberbullying. In addition, the steps that can be undertaken by youth, parents, teachers, and schools to deal with the problem and possible pathways for interventions, from a public health perspective, at the individual, class, organizational, and community levels are presented from the literature. Finally, possible legal solutions deriving from both criminal and civil law are presented.

Scand J Caring Sci. 2010 Dec;24(4):791-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6712.2010.00777.x.

School children's experience of being bullied--and how they envisage their dream day.

Kvarme LGHelseth SSaeteren BNatvig GK.

Diakonova University College, Oslo, Norway. lisbeth.kvarme@diakonova.no


Bullying may have a number of negative health impacts on children. Previous studies have mainly explored negative health consequences related to being bullied. A different approach is to explore how these phenomena are related to the school child's quality of life (QOL). The role of the school nurse is to promote health and prevent sickness, and school nurses therefore need knowledge of what promotes or threatens QOL in children. No previous research has explored how bullied children envisage their dream day or a day with good QOL. There is a need for more qualitative research on how school children experience being bullied and the kind of help they need from their school, and school nurse, to realize their dream day. The aim of this study was to explore how school children experience bullying in their everyday lives, what constitutes their dream day and what kind of help they need. An explorative qualitative design was chosen, and data were collected through focus group interviews. Data collection was conducted throughout 2007 and during the spring of 2008. The sample consisted of 17 school children, aged 12-13 years, in four different groups. An interview guide was used, and the group responses were audio-taped, transcribed and coded into themes. The data were analysed according to Kvale's three contexts of interpretation within a phenomenological and hermeneutic framework. Four main themes were identified: teasing and fighting, emotional reactions to being left alone or excluded, the need for friends to achieve the dream day and stopping the bullying immediately. The participants said that being bullied made them feel helpless, lonely and excluded. They wanted the bullying to be recognized, assistance from the school staff to stop the bullying, and to be included by their peers.

J Adolesc. 2011 Feb;34(1):59-71. Epub 2010 Mar 3.

Is low empathy related to bullying after controlling for individual and social background variables?

Jolliffe DFarrington DP.

Department of Criminology, University of Leicester, 154 Upper New Walk, Leicester, England LE1 7QA, UK. dj39@le.ac.uk


This paper examines the relationship between low empathy and bullying while also controlling for the impact of a number of other individual and social background variables linked with bullying. This included the relationship to the prevalence of bullying, but also to the frequency and type of bullying. Questionnaires were completed by 720 adolescents (344 females, 376 males) aged 13-17 in three secondary schools in England. The results suggested that low affective empathy was independently related to bullying by males, but not females. There was no evidence that low cognitive empathy was independently related to bullying, but high impulsivity was related to all forms of male bullying and to female bullying. The implications of the findings for research and practice are discussed.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2010 Mar;164(3):238-42.

Trends in childhood violence and abuse exposure: evidence from 2 national surveys.

Finkelhor DTurner HOrmrod RHamby SL.

Crimes Against Children Research Center, University of New Hampshire, 126 Horton Social Science Center, 20 College Road, Durham, NH 03824, USA. david.finkelhor@unh.edu


OBJECTIVE: To assess trends in children's exposure to abuse, violence, and crime victimizations.

DESIGN: An analysis based on a comparison of 2 cross-sectional national telephone surveys using identical questions conducted in 2003 and 2008.

SETTING: Telephone interview.

PARTICIPANTS: Experiences of children aged 2 to 17 years (2030 children in 2003 and 4046 children in 2008) were assessed through interviews with their caretakers and the children themselves. Outcome Measure Responses to the Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire.

RESULTS: Several types of child victimization were reported significantly less often in 2008 than in 2003: physical assaults, sexual assaults, and peer and sibling victimizations, including physical bullying. There were also significant declines in psychological and emotional abuse by caregivers, exposure to community violence, and the crime of theft. Physical abuse and neglect by caregivers did not decline, and witnessing the abuse of a sibling increased.

CONCLUSION: The declines apparent in this analysis parallel evidence from other sources, including police data, child welfare data, and the National Crime Victimization Survey, suggesting reductions in various types of childhood victimization in recent years.

Psychiatr Q. 2010 Sep;81(3):183-95.

Psychiatric correlates of bullying in the United States: findings from a national sample.

Vaughn MGFu QBender KDeLisi MBeaver KMPerron BEHoward MO.

School of Social Work, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO, USA. mvaughn9@slu.edu


The aim of this study was to examine the psychiatric correlates of bullying behavior in the United States. Data were derived from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, a nationally representative sample of US adults. Structured psychiatric interviews (N = 43,093) were completed by trained lay interviewers between 2001 and 2002. Six percent of US adults reported a lifetime history of bullying others. Respondents who were men, 18 to 34, Asian/Native American, earned <or=$35,000 annually, were born in the US, and received no college education had significantly higher rates of bullying. Multivariate logistic regression analyses identified significant associations between bullying and bipolar disorder, lifetime alcohol and marijuana use disorders, nicotine dependence, conduct disorder, antisocial, paranoid, and histrionic personality disorders, and family history of antisocial behavior. Prevention and treatment targeting bullying behaviors, comorbid conditions, and their precursors could potentially reduce the prevalence and consequences of bullying.

Am J Prev Med. 2010 Mar;38(3):323-30.

Poly-victimization in a national sample of children and youth.

Turner HAFinkelhor DOrmrod R.

Crimes Against Children Research Center, University of New Hampshire, 20 Academic Way, Durham, NH 03857, USA. haturner@cisunix.unh.edu


BACKGROUND: Most studies of children's exposure to violence focus on separate, relatively narrow categories of victimization (such as sexual abuse, physical maltreatment, or bullying), paying less attention to exposure to multiple forms of victimization.

PURPOSE: This study documents children's lifetime exposure to multiple victimization types (i.e., "poly-victimization") and examines the association between poly-victimization and extent of trauma symptomatology.

METHODS: Analyses were based on telephone interviews conducted between January 2008 and May 2008 with a nationally representative sample of 4053 children aged 2-17 years and their caregivers.

RESULTS: Exposure to multiple forms of victimization was common. Almost 66% of the sample was exposed to more than one type of victimization, 30% experienced five or more types, and 10% experienced 11 or more different forms of victimization in their lifetimes. Poly-victims comprise a substantial portion of the children who would be identified by screening for an individual victimization type, such as sexual assault or witnessing parental violence. Poly-victimization is more highly related to trauma symptoms than experiencing repeated victimizations of a single type and explains a large part of the associations between individual forms of victimization and symptom levels.

CONCLUSIONS: Studies focusing on single forms of victimization are likely to underestimate the full burden of victimization that children experience and to incorrectly specify the risk profiles of victims. Research, clinical practice, and intervention strategies are likely to improve with more comprehensive assessments of victimization exposure.

Am J Prev Med. 2010 Mar;38(3):258-67.

Overweight, obesity, youth, and health-risk behaviors.

Farhat TIannotti RJSimons-Morton BG.

Prevention Research Branch, Division of Epidemiology, Statistics and Prevention Research, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 6100 Executive Boulevard, Bethesda MD 20892-7510, USA. farhatti@mail.nih.gov


BACKGROUND: The prevalence and severity of obesity have increased among children and adolescents. Although the medical and psychosocial consequences of youth obesity have been well documented, comparatively less information exists on the association of overweight/obesity with health-risk behaviors, which are considered to be a primary threat to adolescent health.

PURPOSE: This study aims to examine the association of overweight and obesity with health-risk behaviors among U.S. youth.

METHODS: Self-reported height and weight, substance use, violence, and bullying were assessed in a nationally representative sample of students aged 11-17 years (N=7825) who participated in the 2005-2006 Health Behaviors in School-Aged Children survey. Data were analyzed in 2009.

RESULTS: Significant gender and age differences in the relationship of overweight/obesity with risk behaviors were observed. Overweight and obesity were significantly associated with substance use among girls only: Frequent smoking and drinking were associated with overweight and obesity among younger girls, whereas these behaviors were associated with obesity among older girls. Frequent smoking and cannabis use were associated with overweight among younger girls only. Relationships between violent behavior and overweight/obesity were mainly observed among boys: Younger obese boys were more likely to be victims of bullying, whereas older obese boys were more likely to carry weapons compared to boys of normal weight.

CONCLUSIONS: Overweight and obese young people are at risk of developing health-compromising behaviors that may compound medical and social problems associated with excess weight.

Arch Dis Child. 2010 Feb;95(2):136-40. Epub 2010 Feb 4.

Stress and psychosomatic symptoms in Chinese school children: cross-sectional survey.

Hesketh TZhen YLu LDong ZXJun YXXing ZW.

UCL Centre for International Health and Development, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH, UK. t.hesketh@ich.ucl.ac.uk


OBJECTIVE: The Chinese educational system is highly competitive from the start of primary school with great emphasis on academic performance and intolerance of failure. This study aimed to explore the pressures on primary schoolchildren, and to determine the relationship between these pressures and psychosomatic symptoms: abdominal pain and headache.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey using self-completion questionnaires.

SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: 9- to 12-year-olds in primary schools in urban and rural areas of Zhejiang Province, eastern China.

OUTCOME MEASURES: Proportion of children with defined school-related stressors and frequency of psychosomatic illness.

RESULTS: Completed questionnaires were obtained from 2191 children. All stressors were common in boys and girls and in urban and rural schools. Eighty-one per cent worry 'a lot' about exams, 63% are afraid of the punishment of teachers, 44% had been physically bullied at least sometimes, with boys more often victims of bullying, and 73% of children are physically punished by parents. Over one-third of children reported psychosomatic symptoms at least once per week, 37% headache and 36% abdominal pain. All individual stressors were highly significantly associated with psychosomatic symptoms. Children identified as highly stressed (in the highest quartile of the stress score) were four times as likely to have psychosomatic symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS: The competitive and punitive educational environment leads to high levels of stress and psychosomatic symptoms in Chinese primary schoolchildren. Measures to reduce unnecessary stress on children in schools should be introduced urgently.

J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2010 Jul;51(7):809-17. Epub 2010 Feb 3.

Families promote emotional and behavioural resilience to bullying: evidence of an environmental effect.

Bowes LMaughan BCaspi AMoffitt TEArseneault L.

MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK.


BACKGROUND: Bullied children are at risk for later emotional and behavioural problems. 'Resilient' children function better than would be expected given their experience of bullying victimisation. This study examined the role of families in promoting resilience following bullying victimisation in primary school.

METHOD: Data were from the Environmental Risk (E-Risk) Study which describes a nationally representative sample of 1,116 twin pairs and their families. We used mothers' and children's reports to examine bullying victimisation during primary school and mothers' and teachers' reports to measure children's emotional and behavioural adjustment at ages 10 and 12. We used mothers' and interviewers' reports to derive measures of protective factors in the home including maternal warmth, sibling warmth and positive atmosphere at home.

RESULTS: Results from linear regression models showed that family factors were associated with children's resilience to bullying victimisation. Maternal warmth, sibling warmth and a positive atmosphere at home were particularly important in bullied children compared to non-bullied children in promoting emotional and behavioural adjustment. We used a twin differences design to separate out environmental protective factors in twins who are genetically identical. Differences in maternal warmth between twins from genetically identical monozygotic pairs concordant for bullying victimisation were correlated with twin differences in behavioural problems (r = -.23) such that the twin who received the most warmth had fewer behavioural problems. This shows that maternal warmth has an environmental effect in protecting children from the negative outcomes associated with being bullied.

CONCLUSIONS: Warm family relationships and positive home environments help to buffer children from the negative outcomes associated with bullying victimisation. Warm parent-child relationships can exert an environmentally mediated effect on children's behavioural adjustment following bullying victimisation. Identifying protective factors that promote resilience to bullying victimisation could lead to improved intervention strategies targeting the home environment.

Acta Paediatr. 2010 Apr;99(4):597-603. Epub 2010 Jan 18.

Health-related quality of life and bullying in adolescence.

Frisén ABjarnelind S.

Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden. ann.frisen@psy.gu.se


OBJECTIVE: To investigate if adolescents' HRQL (Health-Related Quality of Life) is associated with experiences of school bullying.

METHOD: A total of 758 adolescents completed a questionnaire to help examine HRQL and the prevalence of bullying.

RESULTS: Associations were found between being bullied and all of the examined aspects of HRQL. To be involved in bullying--both as a bully and bully/victim (both bully and victim)--is related to experiences of physical and emotional difficulties. Being bullied during the latter school years affects aspects of HRQL to a greater extent than being bullied during earlier school years.

CONCLUSION: Peers have a pronounced influence on the adolescents' life, which can be seen in the association between experiences of bullying and its association with HRQL. Being bullied is associated with significantly poorer ratings of HRQL for adolescents in nearly every aspect of day-to-day functioning and quality of life.

J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2010 Jan;31(1):1-8.

Bullying and ostracism experiences in children with special health care needs.

Twyman KASaylor CFSaia DMacias MMTaylor LASpratt E.

Division of Developmental Pediatrics and Genetics, Department of Pediatrics, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA. twymank@slu.edu


OBJECTIVE: Bullying experiences are becoming increasingly common in children and can have devastating consequences. Ostracism threatens a child's need for self-esteem, sense of belonging, sense of control, and meaningful existence. Recent literature suggests that children with special health care needs may be at risk for these negative events and consequences. This study compares bullying and ostracism experiences in children with and without various special health care needs.

METHODS: Participants aged 8 to 17 years completed questionnaires during a routine primary care or subspecialty clinic visit. Children with learning disabilities (N = 34), attention deficit or hyperactivity disorder (N = 100), autism spectrum disorders (N = 32), behavioral or mental health disorders (N = 33), and cystic fibrosis (CF, N = 22) were compared with 73 control children with no diagnosis on Reynolds' Bully-Victimization Scale scores and a 15-item pilot ostracism scale.

RESULTS: Compared with the control group, children in the learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, and attention deficit or hyperactivity disorder groups exhibited significant victimization scores on the Bully-Victimization Scale, whereas the behavioral or mental health disorders group had increased mean victimization scores. The learning disabilities group also reported clinically significant bullying. The CF group did not report involvement as bullies or victims. All children with special health care needs groups had increased mean frequency of threats to basic needs related to ostracism, and children with attention deficit or hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorders were at higher risk for ostracism experiences.

CONCLUSION: Children with special health care needs may be at higher risk for bullying, victimization, and ostracism. Further research is needed to explore this relationship, especially as it relates to child adjustment. Children with special health care needs should be asked about bullying and ostracism experiences and potential effects as part of mental health screening.

J Youth Adolesc. 2010 May;39(5):446-59. Epub 2010 Jan 14.

Bullying victimization and adolescent self-harm: testing hypotheses from general strain theory.

Hay CMeldrum R.

College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-1127, USA. chay@fsu.edu


Self-harm is widely recognized as a significant adolescent social problem, and recent research has begun to explore its etiology. Drawing from Agnew's (1992) social psychological strain theory of deviance, this study considers this issue by testing three hypotheses about the effects of traditional and cyber bullying victimization on deliberate self-harm and suicidal ideation. The data come from a school-based survey of adolescents in a rural county of a southeastern state (n = 426); 50% of subjects are female, their mean age was 15 years, and non-Hispanic whites represent 66% of the sample. The analysis revealed that both types of bullying are positively related to self-harm and suicidal ideation, net of controls. Moreover, those relationships are partially mediated by the negative emotions experienced by those who are bullied and partially moderated by features of the adolescent's social environment and self. Regarding the latter, exposure to authoritative parenting and high self-control diminished the harmful effects of bullying victimization on self-harm and suicidal ideation. The article concludes by discussing the implications of these conclusions for future research and for policy efforts designed to reduce self-harm.

Int J Eat Disord. 2011 Jan;44(1):58-64. doi: 10.1002/eat.20774.

Startle as an objective measure of distress related to teasing and body image.

Spresser CDKeune KMFilion DLLundgren JD.

Department of Psychology, University of Missouri-Kansas City, 4825 Troost Ave., Kansas City, MO 64110, USA. cds985@umkc.edu


OBJECTIVE: The startle reflex was used to assess negative emotion in response to body image cues in persons with and without body-related teasing histories.

METHOD: Fifty-three female college students viewed photos of themselves both unaltered and morphed to look heavier and thinner. Participants with a teasing history were compared to participants without a teasing history on self-report measures and the affect modulated startle paradigm when viewing the photos.

RESULTS: All participants, regardless of teasing history, self-reported that the photo morphed to look heaviest was more unpleasant than the neutral photo. When assessed by the affect modulated startle paradigm, a significant teasing history by photo interaction was found between the neutral and morphed to look heaviest photos and the neutral and morphed to look smallest photo. Those with a teasing history had greater startle response to the morphed images in comparison to the neutral images than did those without a teasing history.

DISCUSSION: College-aged women with weight-related teasing histories may have negative emotional reactions to personally relevant body image cues, as measured by the startle reflex, even when they subjectively report no distress. Objective measures, such as the startle reflex should be considered when assessing emotional reactions to body image cues.

Psychol Med. 2010 Nov;40(11):1811-9. Epub 2010 Jan 8.

Factors associated with deliberate self-harm among Irish adolescents.

McMahon EMReulbach UCorcoran PKeeley HSPerry IJArensman E.

National Suicide Research Foundation, Cork, Republic of Ireland.


BACKGROUND: Deliberate self-harm (DSH) is a major public health problem, with young people most at risk. Lifetime prevalence of DSH in Irish adolescents is between 8% and 12%, and it is three times more prevalent among girls than boys. The aim of the study was to identify the psychological, life-style and life event factors associated with self-harm in Irish adolescents.

METHOD: A cross-sectional study was conducted, with 3881 adolescents in 39 schools completing an anonymous questionnaire as part of the Child and Adolescent Self-harm in Europe (CASE) study. There was an equal gender balance and 53.1% of students were 16 years old. Information was obtained on history of self-harm life events, and demographic, psychological and life-style factors.

RESULTS: Based on multivariate analyses, important factors associated with DSH among both genders were drug use and knowing a friend who had engaged in self-harm. Among girls, poor self-esteem, forced sexual activity, self-harm of a family member, fights with parents and problems with friendships also remained in the final model. For boys, experiencing bullying, problems with schoolwork, impulsivity and anxiety remained.

CONCLUSIONS: Distinct profiles of boys and girls who engage in self-harm were identified. Associations between DSH and some life-style and life event factors suggest that mental health factors are not the sole indicators of risk of self-harm. The importance of school-related risk factors underlines the need to develop gender-specific initiatives in schools to reduce the prevalence of self-harm.

J Interpers Violence. 2010 Aug;25(8):1489-502. Epub 2009 Dec 29.

Self-esteem in pure bullies and bully/victims: a longitudinal analysis.

Pollastri ARCardemil EVO'Donnell EH.

Frances L. Hiatt School of Psychology, Clark University, 950 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01610, USA. apollastri@clarku.edu


Past research on the self-esteem of bullies has produced equivocal results. Recent studies have suggested that the inconsistent findings may be due, in part, to the failure to account for bully/victims: those children who both bully and are victims of bullying. In this longitudinal study, we examined the distinctions among pure bullies, pure victims, bully/victims, and noninvolved children in a sample of 307 middle school students. Analyses of cross-sectional and longitudinal results supported the importance of distinguishing between pure bullies and bully/victims. In addition, results revealed some interesting sex differences: girls in the pure bully and bully/victim groups reported significant increases in self-esteem over time, with girls in the pure bully group reporting the greatest increase, whereas boys in these groups reported no significant changes in self-esteem over time.

Aggress Behav. 2010 Mar;36(2):81-94.

Peer and cyber aggression in secondary school students: the role of moral disengagement, hostile attribution bias, and outcome expectancies.

Pornari CDWood J.

Department of Psychology, University of Kent, Canterbury, United Kingdom. pornaric@gmail.com


This study investigated the relationship between cognitive mechanisms, applied by people to rationalize and justify harmful acts, and engagement in traditional peer and cyber aggression among school children. We examined the contribution of moral disengagement (MD), hostile attribution bias, and outcome expectancies, and we further explored the individual contribution of each MD mechanism. Our aim was to identify shared and unique cognitive factors of the two forms of aggression. Three hundred and thirty-nine secondary school children completed self-report measures that assessed MD, hostile attribution bias, outcome expectancies, and their roles and involvement in traditional and cyber aggression. We found that the MD total score positively related to both forms of peer-directed aggression. Furthermore, traditional peer aggression positively related to children's moral justification, euphemistic language, displacement of responsibility and outcome expectancies, and negatively associated with hostile attribution bias. Moral justification also related positively to cyber aggression. Cyber aggression and cyber victimization were associated with high levels of traditional peer aggression and victimization, respectively. The results suggest that MD is a common feature of both traditional and cyber peer aggression, but it seems that traditional forms of aggression demand a higher level of rationalization or justification. Moreover, the data suggest that the expectation of positive outcomes from harmful behavior facilitates engagement in traditional peer aggression. The differential contribution of specific cognitive mechanisms indicates the need for future research to elaborate on the current findings, in order to advance theory and inform existing and future school interventions tackling aggression and bullying.

J Interpers Violence. 2010 Oct;25(10):1912-27. Epub 2009 Dec 18.

Collective efficacy in the school context: does it help explain victimization and bullying among Greek primary and secondary school students?

Sapouna M.

University of Warwick, Coventry, UK. Maria.Sapouna@scotland.gsi.gov.uk


Collective efficacy, defined as informal social controls that operate under social norms of trust, is an emerging theoretical concept that has been applied to explain violence rates in neighborhoods, affiliation with deviant peers, partner violence, and adolescent delinquency. This study employed a multilevel design to examine the association between collective efficacy at the class-level and individual-level bullying perpetration and victimization using survey data from 1,729 Greek students, aged 11 to 14 years. School class collective efficacy was defined as cohesion and trust among class members combined with their willingness to intervene in the case of aggressive or bullying incidents. Our findings indicate that individual-level victimization is more frequent in classes with lower levels of collective efficacy. We conclude that the notion of collective efficacy might also prove useful in explaining bullying involvement.

J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2010 May;38(4):433-45.

Patterns of physical and relational aggression in a school-based sample of boys and girls.

Crapanzano AMFrick PJTerranova AM.

Department of Psychology, University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA 70148, USA.


The current study investigated the patterns of aggressive behavior displayed in a sample of 282 students in the 4th through 7th grades (M age = 11.28; SD = 1.82). Using cluster analyses, two distinct patterns of physical aggression emerged for both boys and girls with one aggressive cluster showing mild levels of reactive aggression and one group showing high levels of both reactive and proactive aggression. Both aggressive clusters showed problems with anger dysregulation, impulsivity, thrill and adventure seeking, positive outcome expectancies for aggression, and higher rates of bullying. However, the combined cluster was most severe on all of these variables and only the combined aggressive group differed from non-aggressive students on their level of callous-unemotional traits. Similar patterns of findings emerged for relational aggression but only for girls.

Gac Sanit. 2010 Mar-Apr;24(2):103-8. Epub 2009 Dec 14.

[Factors related to bullying in adolescents in Barcelona (Spain)].

[Article in Spanish]

Garcia Continente XPérez Giménez ANebot Adell M.

Servicio de Evaluación y Métodos de Intervención, Agencia de Salud Pública de Barcelona, Spain.


OBJECTIVES: Violence and bullying in the school setting are a serious social and health problem that have created great alarm in the last few years. We aimed to describe bullying and factors related to this phenomenon in students in the city of Barcelona.

METHODS: We performed a cross-sectional study of a representative sample of 2,727 students from 66 secondary schools in Barcelona. Bullying was defined as having been laughed at, hit or marginalized four or more times, or as having been the target of all three of these behaviors at least once, in the last 12 months. To analyze the associations among bullying and related factors including sociodemographic variables, attitudes and behaviors, we used bivariate and multivariate logistic regression.

RESULTS: The prevalence of bullying was 18.2%, 10.9% and 4.3% in boys and 14.4%, 8.5% and 4.5% in girls in the 8th, 10th and 12th grades, respectively. Factors associated with an increased likelihood of being bullied were negative mood states and violent behavior, while being older, alcohol consumption, cannabis use and going to bars and discos were negatively associated with being bullied.

CONCLUSIONS: This study confirms that bullying is a serious problem in our context and identifies certain factors, such as negative mood states and other risk behaviors. These factors should be further analyzed in longitudinal studies in order to design and implement appropriate prevention programs.

Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2009 Dec;43(12):1163-70.

Does school bullying affect adult health? Population survey of health-related quality of life and past victimization.

Allison SRoeger LReinfeld-Kirkman N.

Flinders University of South Australia, and Southern Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, Flinders Medical Centre, Bedford Park, Adelaide, SA 5042, Australia. stephen.allison@flinders.edu.au


OBJECTIVE: The purpose of the present study was to determine the proportion of adult South Australians who report having experienced school bullying and to examine the relationship between past victimization and adult health-related quality of life.

METHOD: A representative sample (n=2833) of metropolitan and country South Australian adults were asked in a face-to-face interview whether they had experienced bullying when they were at school. Health-related quality of life was measured using the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36-item health survey questions (SF-36). Regression analyses (linear and logistic) were performed, taking into account survey weights.

RESULTS: Nearly one-fifth of adults reported having experienced bullying when they were at school. Older persons and those born overseas were less likely to report having been bullied. Those reporting that they had been bullied experienced significantly poorer mental and physical health compared to those who had not been bullied.

CONCLUSIONS: Adults commonly reported experiencing bullying while at school and these reports were associated with lower health-related quality of life in adulthood. School bullying needs further investigation as a preventable cause of mental health problems across the lifespan.

Br J Dev Psychol. 2009 Nov;27(Pt 4):853-73.

Birds of a feather bully together: group processes and children's responses to bullying.

Jones SEManstead ASLivingstone A.

School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK. jonesse21@cardiff.ac.uk


Recent research has shown that a group-level analysis can inform our understanding of school bullying. The present research drew on social identity theory and intergroup emotion theory. Nine- to eleven-year olds were randomly assigned to the same group as story characters who were described as engaging in bullying, as being bullied, or as neither engaging in bullying nor being bullied. Participants read a story in which a bully, supported by his or her group, was described as acting unkindly towards a child in a different group. Gender of protagonists and the bully's group norm (to be kind or unkind to other children) were varied. Identification affected responses to the bullying incident, such that those who identified more highly with each group favoured this group. Moreover, children's group membership predicted the group-based emotions they reported, together with the associated action tendencies. Implications for understanding the processes underlying bullying behaviour are discussed.

Br J Dev Psychol. 2009 Nov;27(Pt 4):835-51.

Who escapes or remains a victim of bullying in primary school?

Wolke DWoods SSamara M.

Department of Psychology, University of Warwick, Warwick Medical School, Coventry, UK. Wolke@warwick.ac.uk


The stability of both direct and relational victimization and factors that contribute to remaining, escaping or becoming a victim of bullying were investigated. 663 children at baseline aged 6-9 (years 2-4) were interviewed about their bullying experiences and parents completed a behaviour and health measure. Children's perception of the degree of social hierarchical structuring and social prominence in their class was determined by peer nominations. 432 children participated in the follow-up either 2 or 4years after baseline aged 10-11 (year 6) and completed a bullying questionnaire. Relational victims and children from classes with a high hierarchical structure were more likely to have dropped out of the study compared to neutral children, and children from classes with a low hierarchical structure. Relative risk analyses indicated a twofold increased risk of remaining a direct victim at follow-up, compared to a child not involved at baseline becoming a victim over the follow-up period. In contrast, relational victimization increased but was not found to be stable. Logistic regression analyses revealed that being a girl, and receiving few positive peer nominations predicted remaining a direct victim. Becoming a relational victim at follow-up was predicted by a strong class hierarchy. The implications for future study of early recognition of likely long term victims and early preventative bullying initiatives are discussed.

Ital J Pediatr. 2009 Nov 25;35(1):38.

Bullying victimization and physical fighting among Venezuelan adolescents in Barinas: results from the Global School-Based Health Survey 2003.

Muula ASHerring PSiziya SRudatsikira E.

Department of Public Health, Division of Community Health, University of Malawi, College of Medicine, Blantyre, Malawi. muula@email.unc.edu.



BACKGROUND: Violence among adolescents has untoward psycho-social and physical health effects among this age group. Most of the literature on this topic has been from high-income nations, and little information has come from middle- and low-income nations. This study was done to assess the relationship between physical fighting and bullying victimization among Venezuelan school-going adolescents in Barinas.

METHOD: We used data from the 2003 Global School-Based Health Survey conducted among in-school adolescents in Barinas, Venezuela. We estimated the prevalence of bullying victimization and physical fighting. We also conducted Logistic regression analysis to assess the association between a selected list of explanatory variables and physical fighting. We hypothesized that there would be a dose-response relationship between physical fighting and number of times the adolescent reported being a bullied in the past 30 days.

RESULTS: A total of 2,249 adolescent students participated in the survey. However data on sex (gender) were available for only 2,229 respondents, of whom 31.2 (47.4% males and 17.0% females) reported having been involved in a physical fight in the last 12 months. Some 31.5% (37.0% males and 27.0% females) reported having been bullied in the past 30 days. There was a dose-response relationship between bullying victimization and physical fighting (p-trend < 0.001). Compared to subjects who were not bullied, those who reported being bullied were more likely to engage in physical fighting after controlling for age, sex, substance use (smoking, alcohol drinking or drug use), and parental supervision.

CONCLUSION: Physical fighting and bullying victimization experience is common among in-school adolescents in Barinas, Venezuela. The fact that victims of bullying were more likely to have engaged in physical fighting may be evidence supporting the notion that "violence begets more violence".

Br J Educ Psychol. 2010 Jun;80(Pt 2):183-98. Epub 2009 Nov 21.

The association between adolescents' beliefs in a just world and their attitudes to victims of bullying.

Fox CLElder TGater JJohnson E.

School of Psychology, University of Keele, UK. c.fox@psy.keele.ac.uk


BACKGROUND: Research which has investigated children's attitudes to bullying has found that the majority of children display anti-bullying attitudes. However, a small minority of children do appear to admire the bully and lack sympathy for victims of bullying. The just world belief theory has received a great deal of attention in recent years with evidence emerging in support of a two-dimensional model distinguishing between beliefs in a just world (BJW) for self and BJW for others. BJW-self (and not BJW-others) has been found to uniquely predict psychological well-being, whereas BJW-others (and not BJW-self) uniquely predicts harsh social attitudes and derogation of victims.

AIM: The aim of the present study was to measure BJW-self and others in a sample of UK secondary schoolchildren and to see whether BJW-others can account for adolescents' negative attitudes towards victims of bullying.

SAMPLE: In total, 346 pupils aged 11-16 years of age (270 males, 76 females) from two schools took part in the study.

METHODS: The participants completed measures of BJW-self and others, attitudes to victims of bullying, empathy, and self-esteem on a whole class basis.

RESULTS: It was found that BJW-others uniquely predicted adolescents' attitudes to victims but in the opposite direction to that which was predicted - high BJW were associated with stronger anti-bullying attitudes. As predicted, BJW-self (but not BJW-others) was positively and uniquely correlated with self-esteem.

CONCLUSION: The findings are discussed in the context of research which has found that the direction of the relationship between BJW-others and derogation of victims appears to depend on the nature of the injustice, with people with strong BJW less tolerant of severe injustices.

Int J Law Psychiatry. 2010 Jan-Feb;33(1):43-51. Epub 2009 Nov 8.

Staff and prisoner perceptions of physical and social environmental factors thought to be supportive of bullying: the role of bullying and fear of bullying.

Allison MDIreland JL.

School of Psychology Department, HMP Leeds, UK.


The current study explored the relationship between social and physical environmental factors supportive of bullying, levels of bullying and fear of bullying. Participants were 261 adult male prisoners. All completed the Direct and Indirect Prisoner Checklist-Scaled Version Revised (DIPC-SCALED-r Ireland, 2007), the Prison Environment Scale (PES Allison, 2007), and a Brief Measure of Fear of Bullying Scale (BMFBS). The PES was explored initially using 100 male prisoners randomly selected from the main sample and 100 prison officers. It was predicted that increased bullying would be associated with increased evidence of environmental factors supportive of bullying; that increased levels of fear of bullying would be associated with increased evidence of environmental factors supportive of bullying; and that actual experience of bullying would represent better predictors of fear levels than the presence of environmental factors supportive of bullying. Those perceiving greater levels of environmental factors reported more fear of bullying and more behaviours indicative of bullying (perpetration and victimisation), with this holding for indirect and direct behaviours indicative of bullying. Bullying behaviours (direct perpetration and indirect victimisation) predicted fear of bullying more than the presence of environmental factors. The environmental factor of rules, regulations and security were found to predict bullying perpetration.

Res Dev Disabil. 2010 Mar-Apr;31(2):376-80. Epub 2009 Nov 7.

Outcomes of anti-bullying intervention for adults with intellectual disabilities.

McGrath LJones RSHastings RP.

CoAction Slip, Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland.


Although existing research is scarce, evidence suggests that children and adults with intellectual disabilities may be at increased risk of being bullied (as they are for maltreatment generally) and possibly more likely than those without disabilities to also engage in bullying behavior. Despite significant clinical interest in bullying, we could find no published research on the outcomes of bullying intervention for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Adults with intellectual disabilities in three work center settings participated in one of two interventions for perpetrators and/or victims of bullying: (a) psychoeducational intervention with a cognitive behavioral orientation (n=20), or (b) the same intervention but with additional involvement of community stakeholders such as parents, the police, and local schools (n=22). A third work center (n=18) acted as a waiting list control comparison. Pre-intervention, 43% of participants reported that they had been bullied within the preceding three months and 28% identified themselves as having bullied others. Reports of being bullied decreased significantly within the two intervention groups over time but not in the control group. There were no differences between the two intervention groups, and no statistically significant reduction in self-reported bullying behavior. Initial data on this intervention suggest that its effects might be clinically meaningful with an associated Numbers Needed to Treat for reduction in exposure to bullying of 5.55.

Child Abuse Negl. 2009 Dec;33(12):914-23. Epub 2009 Nov 5.

The relationship between staff maltreatment of students and bully-victim group membership.

Khoury-Kassabri M.

School of Social Work and Social Welfare, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem 91905, Israel.


OBJECTIVES: The current study presents the prevalence of students' reports of physical and emotional maltreatment by school staff and examines the differences between these reports according to the students' category of involvement in school bullying (only bullies, only victims, bully-victims, and neither bullies nor victims).

METHOD: This study is based on a large, nationally representative sample of 16,604 students in grades 7-11 in 324 schools across Israel, who completed questionnaires during class. Using Multivariate Analyses of Variance (MANOVA), the study explores the differences between bully-victim group memberships on their reports of staff maltreatment. It also examines the interaction of students' gender, nation (Jewish vs. Arab students) and school level (junior high vs. high school student) with physical and emotional maltreatment.

RESULTS: Significant MANOVA results were found for gender (boys more than girls), nation (Arabs more than Jews) and bully-victim group membership for both emotional and physical maltreatment. Post hoc follow-up analyses revealed that bully-victims reported significantly more staff maltreatment than other students, followed by bullies and victims. Students who were not involved in bullying reported the lowest levels of staff maltreatment. In addition, the interaction analysis revealed that differences in bully-victim subgroup membership vary by gender, nations and school level in both physical and emotional maltreatment.

CONCLUSION: The findings showed that levels of staff maltreatment toward students vary according to the category of students' involvement in bullying, with bully-victims boys being at the highest risk. These findings mirror past research suggesting that bully-victims present multiple challenges for school staff and they are in need for special attention.

PRACTICE IMPLICATION: The findings emphasize the need to invest more efforts in helping bully-victims that were found at highest risk for staff maltreatment in both Jewish and Arab schools. Furthermore, it is essential to support teachers to help them cope effectively with difficult situations without resorting to aggression. To achieve this goal, training opportunities for teachers in Israel and other countries need to be expanded. This intervention should be designed and implemented from a "whole school" approach that includes students, school staff, and parents.

Cyberpsychol Behav. 2009 Nov 3. [Epub ahead of print]

Comparing Children and Adolescents Engaged in Cyberbullying to Matched Peers.

Twyman KSaylor CTaylor LAComeaux C.

1 Department of Pediatrics, Saint Louis University , St. Louis, Missouri.


Abstract Although characteristics of traditional bullying participants have been identified and studied for years, research on cyberbullying is limited. The purpose of this study is to expand the literature on cyberbullying with a particular focus on the relationships among cyberbullying characteristics, typical social activities, and more traditional forms of bullying. The typical activities and experiences with traditional bullying and cyberbullying of 52 children ages 11 to 17 were compared to those of 52 matched controls. Children exposed to cyberbullying, whether as a cyberbully, cybervictim, or both (bully/victim), spent more time on computer-based social activities. Nearly two thirds of cyberbully/victims were also traditional bully/victims. While preliminary, results suggest that efforts to prevent cyberbullying may need to focus on patterns of Internet use, amount and type of social activities, and exposure to traditional bullying as risk factors for engaging in cyberbullying.

Health Promot Int. 2010 Mar;25(1):73-84. Epub 2009 Nov 2.

Bullying among middle-school students in low and middle income countries.

Fleming LCJacobsen KH.

Department of Global and Community Health, College of Health and Human Services, George MasonUniversity, Fairfax, Virginia, USA.


This analysis of data from the Global School-based Student Health Survey examined the prevalence of bully victimization in middle-school students in 19 low- and middle-income countries and also explored the relationship between bullying, mental health and health behaviors. In most countries, boys were more likely than girls to report being bullied and the prevalence of bullying was lower with increasing age. Students who reported being bullied in the past month were more likely than non-bullied students to report feelings of sadness and hopelessness, loneliness, insomnia and suicidal ideation. Bullied students also reported higher rates of tobacco use, alcohol use, drug use and sexual intercourse.

BMC Public Health. 2009 Oct 31;9:403.

Supporting adolescent emotional health in schools: a mixed methods study of student and staff views in England.

Kidger JDonovan JLBiddle LCampbell RGunnell D.

Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, Canynge Hall, 39, Whatley Road, Bristol BS8 2PS, UK. judi.kidger@bristol.ac.uk


BACKGROUND: Schools have been identified as an important place in which to support adolescent emotional health, although evidence as to which interventions are effective remains limited. Relatively little is known about student and staff views regarding current school-based emotional health provision and what they would like to see in the future, and this is what this study explored.

METHODS: A random sample of 296 English secondary schools were surveyed to quantify current level of emotional health provision. Qualitative student focus groups (27 groups, 154 students aged 12-14) and staff interviews (12 interviews, 15 individuals) were conducted in eight schools, purposively sampled from the survey respondents to ensure a range of emotional health activity, free school meal eligibility and location. Data were analysed thematically, following a constant comparison approach.

RESULTS: Emergent themes were grouped into three areas in which participants felt schools did or could intervene: emotional health in the curriculum, support for those in distress, and the physical and psychosocial environment. Little time was spent teaching about emotional health in the curriculum, and most staff and students wanted more. Opportunities to explore emotions in other curriculum subjects were valued. All schools provided some support for students experiencing emotional distress, but the type and quality varied a great deal. Students wanted an increase in school-based help sources that were confidential, available to all and sympathetic, and were concerned that accessing support should not lead to stigma. Finally, staff and students emphasised the need to consider the whole school environment in order to address sources of distress such as bullying and teacher-student relationships, but also to increase activities that enhanced emotional health.

CONCLUSION: Staff and students identified several ways in which schools can improve their support of adolescent emotional health, both within and outside the curriculum. However, such changes should be introduced as part of a wider consideration of how the whole school environment can be more supportive of students' emotional health. Clearer guidance at policy level, more rigorous evaluation of current interventions, and greater dissemination of good practice is necessary to ensure adolescents' emotional health needs are addressed effectively within schools.

Ergonomics. 2009 Nov;52(11):1386-401.

Principles for the wise use of computers by children.

Straker LPollock CMaslen B.

Curtin University of Technology, Perth, WA, Australia. L.Straker@curtin.edu.au


Computer use by children at home and school is now common in many countries. Child computer exposure varies with the type of computer technology available and the child's age, gender and social group. This paper reviews the current exposure data and the evidence for positive and negative effects of computer use by children. Potential positive effects of computer use by children include enhanced cognitive development and school achievement, reduced barriers to social interaction, enhanced fine motor skills and visual processing and effective rehabilitation. Potential negative effects include threats to child safety, inappropriate content, exposure to violence, bullying, Internet 'addiction', displacement of moderate/vigorous physical activity, exposure to junk food advertising, sleep displacement, vision problems and musculoskeletal problems. The case for child specific evidence-based guidelines for wise use of computers is presented based on children using computers differently to adults, being physically, cognitively and socially different to adults, being in a state of change and development and the potential to impact on later adult risk. Progress towards child-specific guidelines is reported. Finally, a set of guideline principles is presented as the basis for more detailed guidelines on the physical, cognitive and social impact of computer use by children. The principles cover computer literacy, technology safety, child safety and privacy and appropriate social, cognitive and physical development. The majority of children in affluent communities now have substantial exposure to computers. This is likely to have significant effects on child physical, cognitive and social development. Ergonomics can provide and promote guidelines for wise use of computers by children and by doing so promote the positive effects and reduce the negative effects of computer-child, and subsequent computer-adult, interaction.

Dev Psychopathol. 2009 Fall;21(4):1181-93.

Examining the developmental history of child maltreatment, peer relations, and externalizing problems among adolescents with symptoms of paranoid personality disorder.

Natsuaki MNCicchetti DRogosch FA.

Department of Psychology, University of California, Riverside, 900 University Avenue, Riverside, CA 92521, USA.


This study examined the childhood history of maltreatment, peer relations, and externalizing problems among individuals who manifested low, moderate, or high symptom levels of paranoid personality disorder (PPD) in adolescence. Participants included 174 children who attended a longitudinal summer camp research program between the ages of 9 to 12. Multiple sources of information (self-, peer, and counselor reports) were utilized. Subsequently, they participated in a personality disorder assessment during adolescence (mean age = 15.30). The results indicated that children who manifested higher levels of PPD symptoms in adolescence had higher odds of having a history of child maltreatment. Children who manifested high levels of PPD symptoms in adolescence showed a faster growth rate for peer bullying and externalizing problems in childhood. In addition, their peers rated them as less cooperative, less likely to be leaders, and more likely to initiate fights. These findings suggested that children who manifested elevated PPD symptoms in adolescence had shown early signs of behavioral disturbances in childhood, some of which gradually worsened as they approach adolescence.

Zhonghua Liu Xing Bing Xue Za Zhi. 2009 May;30(5):444-7.

[The prevalence of bullying behaviors among urban middle school students in 18 provinces, China].

[Article in Chinese]

Qiao YJXing YJi CYZhang L.

Institute of Child and Adolescent Health, Peking University, Beijing 100191, China.


OBJECTIVE: To find out the prevalence of bullying behaviors among urban middle school students in China.

METHODS: An anonymous questionnaire survey was conducted among middle school students selected by multiply stage cluster random sampling in 18 provinces in China. 187 328 self-administration questionnaires were finished by students from grade 7 to 12 in urban middle school (male, 86,472; female, 91,106), in which 177,578 were valid.

RESULTS: Bullying was common in urban middle school students in China. Multiple bullying behavior also existed. About 66.1% of boys and 48.8% of girls suffered from one or more kinds of bullying; 8.1% of boys and 2.9% of girls suffered from four or more kinds of bullying. Boys were more likely to be bullied than girls. Malicious teasing was the most common bullying behavior(43.2%), followed by sexual bullying behavior (27.0%). In addition to malicious teasing and sexual bullying, the prevalence of other types of bullying declined when the grade was increasing. Residential students were more likely to be maliciously teased, excluded or isolated and sexual bullied than non-residential students. Students from single-parent or recomposed-families wer more likely to be bullied than other students. Male and ordinary school students,students living with single or step-parents were more likely to suffer multiple bullying behaviors at the same time.

CONCLUSION: The suggesting among students was associated with personal, familiar and social factors, mobilize more social forces and comprehensive actions to be taken to prevent bullying among students.

Psychol Med. 2010 May;40(5):717-29. Epub 2009 Sep 29.

Bullying victimization in youths and mental health problems: 'much ado about nothing'?

Arseneault LBowes LShakoor S.

MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK. louise.arseneault@kcl.ac.uk


Bullying victimization is a topic of concern for youths, parents, school staff and mental health practitioners. Children and adolescents who are victimized by bullies show signs of distress and adjustment problems. However, it is not clear whether bullying is the source of these difficulties. This paper reviews empirical evidence to determine whether bullying victimization is a significant risk factor for psychopathology and should be the target of intervention and prevention strategies. Research indicates that being the victim of bullying (1) is not a random event and can be predicted by individual characteristics and family factors; (2) can be stable across ages; (3) is associated with severe symptoms of mental health problems, including self-harm, violent behaviour and psychotic symptoms; (4) has long-lasting effects that can persist until late adolescence; and (5) contributes independently to children's mental health problems. This body of evidence suggests that efforts aimed at reducing bullying victimization in childhood and adolescence should be strongly supported. In addition, research on explanatory mechanisms involved in the development of mental health problems in bullied youths is needed.

J Epidemiol Community Health. 2010 Mar;64(3):202-8. Epub 2009 Sep 18.

Denormalising smoking in the classroom: does it cause bullying?

Hanewinkel RIsensee BMaruska KSargent JDMorgenstern M.

Institute for Therapy and Health Research, IFT-Nord, Harmsstrasse 2, Kiel 24114, Germany. hanewinkel@ift-nord.de


BACKGROUND: The Smokefree Class Competition, the largest school-based smoking prevention programme in Europe, aims to create a class climate that denormalises smoking. An analysis was carried out to assess whether it increases bullying or perception of isolation.

METHODS: A cluster randomised controlled trial was conducted, with two waves of assessment directly before the start and immediately after the end of the prevention programme. Some 3490 students were recruited from 84 secondary schools in Germany, of whom 3123 students (90%) provided data from both waves. Classes from the intervention group (IG) participated in the Smokefree Class Competition, committing themselves to stay smokefree for a period of 6 months, and self-monitoring their smoking status on a weekly basis. Classes that refrained from smoking were eligible for a prize draw. To test the hypotheses that participation in the competition might foster bullying, we measured students' self report of (1) being victimised, (2) engaging in bullying and (3) being isolated.

RESULTS: There was a strong association between daily smoking and higher odds of bullying others at baseline (adjusted proportional OR 4.66; 95% CI 3.38 to 6.43). No significant pre-post differences across treatment assignment groups were found on any bullying measure using generalised linear latent and mixed models. For being isolated, the trends suggested that the programme, if anything, fostered lower levels of isolation at follow-up, especially for those who perceived high levels of isolation at baseline.

CONCLUSION: Participation in the intervention had no effect on bullying or perceptions of isolation. TRIAL REG NO: ISRCTN27091233 in Current Control Trial Register.

J Adolesc Health. 2009 Oct;45(4):376-82. Epub 2009 Jun 25.

Evaluation of an intervention program for anxious adolescent boys who are bullied at school.

Berry KHunt CJ.

School of Psychology, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.


PURPOSE: This study tested the efficacy of an intervention for anxious adolescent boys experiencing bullying at school. The cognitive-behavioral intervention focused on targeting individual factors that appear to increase an adolescent's vulnerability to bullying experiences such as anxiety, low self-esteem, and use of maladaptive coping strategies.

METHODS: Adolescent boys reporting anxiety symptoms and the recent experience of being bullied at school (grades 7-10) were randomly assigned by group to intervention (n = 22) or wait-list (n = 24) conditions. Depressive and anxiety symptoms and bullying experiences were measured before and after the intervention, and at a 3-month follow-up for the intervention condition.

RESULTS: The intervention was effective in significantly reducing adolescent's bullying experiences as well as their anxiety, depression, and the degree of distress associated with being bullied. Intervention gains were maintained at the 3-month follow-up. The intervention was not effective in enhancing adolescent's self-esteem or changing aggressive or avoidant responses to bullying situations.

CONCLUSIONS: This study provides preliminary support for the value of individually focused interventions for boys in the effort to reduce the incidence of bullying within schools.

J Adolesc Health. 2009 Oct;45(4):368-75. Epub 2009 Jun 11.

School bullying among adolescents in the United States: physical, verbal, relational, and cyber.

Wang JIannotti RJNansel TR.

National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA. wangji2@mail.nih.gov


PURPOSE: Four forms of school bullying behaviors among US adolescents and their association with sociodemographic characteristics, parental support, and friends were examined.

METHODS: Data were obtained from the Health Behavior in School-Aged Children (HBSC) 2005 Survey, a nationally representative sample of grades 6-10 (N = 7,182). The revised Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire was used to measure physical, verbal, and relational forms of bullying. Two items were added using the same format to measure cyber bullying. For each form, four categories were created: bully, victim, bully-victim, and not involved. Multinomial logistic regressions were applied, with sociodemographic variables, parental support, and number of friends as predictors.

RESULTS: Prevalence rates of having bullied others or having been bullied at school for at least once in the last 2 months were 20.8% physically, 53.6% verbally, 51.4% socially, or 13.6% electronically. Boys were more involved in physical or verbal bullying, whereas girls were more involved in relational bullying. Boys were more likely to be cyber bullies, whereas girls were more likely to be cyber victims. African-American adolescents were involved in more bullying (physical, verbal, or cyber) but less victimization (verbal or relational). Higher parental support was associated with less involvement across all forms and classifications of bullying. Having more friends was associated with more bullying and less victimization for physical, verbal, and relational forms but was not associated with cyber bullying.

CONCLUSIONS: Parental support may protect adolescents from all four forms of bullying. Friends associate differentially with traditional and cyber bullying. Results indicate that cyber bullying is a distinct nature from that of traditional bullying.

J Adolesc Health. 2009 Oct;45(4):360-7. Epub 2009 Jun 18.

Time trends, trajectories, and demographic predictors of bullying: a prospective study in Korean adolescents.

Kim YSBoyce WTKoh YJLeventhal BL.

Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA. young-shin.kim@yale.edu


PURPOSE: To illustrate time trends and trajectories of bullying and identify demographic predictors of bullying.

METHODS: A prospective study of 1666 seventh- and eighth-grade students from two Korean middle schools was conducted between 2000 and 2001. Using the Korean-Peer Nomination Inventory, bullying was categorized into four groups: victim, perpetrator, victim-perpetrator, and neither.

RESULTS: Only the prevalence of male victims significantly decreased over the course of the study. Most students uninvolved in bullying at baseline remained so over the study period. In all, 52-58% of baseline victims and perpetrators and 74% of victim-perpetrators continued to be involved in bullying. Significantly more boys were involved with bullying than girls; individual stability of bullying behavior did not differ by gender. Shorter, heavier boys and those from lower SES, whose fathers had lower educational levels or whose mothers had higher educational levels, as well as shorter girls from Seoul or non-intact families, were at an increased risk for bullying.

CONCLUSIONS: Except for a modest decline in the number of male victims, participation in bullying (especially by victim-perpetrators) is stable over time. Along with disadvantaged background, distinct demographic profiles of bullying involvement by sex and bullying groups emerged, allowing early identification of bullying and targeting intervention and prevention.

J Adolesc Health. 2009 Oct;45(4):351-9. Epub 2009 Jun 21.

Income inequality and school bullying: multilevel study of adolescents in 37 countries.

Elgar FJCraig WBoyce WMorgan AVella-Zarb R.

Department of Psychology, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. frank_elgar@carleton.ca


PURPOSE: To examine the association between income inequality and school bullying in an international sample of preadolescents and to test for mediation of this association by the availability of social support from families, peers, and schools.

METHODS: The study used economic data from the 2006 United Nations Development Program Human Development Report and survey data from the 2005/2006 Health Behavior in School-aged Children (HBSC) study which included 66,910 11-year-olds in 37 countries. Ecological correlations tested associations between income inequality and bullying among countries. Multilevel linear and ordinal regression analyses tested the effects of income inequality on perceived social support and bullying others at school.

RESULTS: Income inequality was associated with rates of bullying among the 37 countries (r = .62). Multilevel analyses indicated that each standard deviation increase in income inequality corresponded with more frequent bullying by males (odds ratio = 1.17) and females (odds ratio = 1.24), less family support and school support but more peer support. Social support from families and schools was associated with less bullying after differences in wealth were taken into account; however, social support did not account for the association between income inequality and bullying.

CONCLUSIONS: Countries with high income inequality have more school bullying among preadolescents than countries with low income inequality. Further study is needed to understand the mechanisms that account for this association. Findings suggest that adolescents in areas of wide income inequality-not only those in deprived schools and neighborhoods- should be a focus of anti-bullying campaigns.

Adolescence. 2009 Summer;44(174):347-58.

Bully/victim problems in Northern Ireland's schools: data from the 2003 Young Persons' Behavior and Attitude Survey.

Mc Guckin CCummins PKLewis CA.

Anti-Bullying Centre, School of Education, Trinity College, University of Dublin, College Green, Dublin 2, Republic of Ireland. conor.mcguckin@dbs.edu


McGuckin and Lewis (2003, 2006, 2008), Mc Guckin, Lewis and Cummins (under review b) have reported that little is known about the nature, incidence and correlates of bully/victim problems in the Northern Ireland school system. The aim of the present study was to examine the prevalence of self-reported experiences of bully/victim problems among a representative sample of 7,223 11- to 16-year-olds living in Northern Ireland who participated in the 2003 Young Persons' Behaviour and Attitude Survey (YPBAS: Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency [NISRA], 2003). Respondents were presented with three questions inquiring explicitly and three questions inquiring implicitly about bully/victim problems. Among other questions, respondents volunteered other salient information about personal experiences of bully/victim problems (i.e., through use of the "other" response option). Almost one-fifth of all respondents (17.2%, n = 1,026) reported being a victim of bullying behavior, and 8.1% (n = 492) reported that they had picked on or bullied another school pupil. Bully/victim problems also pervaded personal experiences of school meal times, sporting activities, and perceptions of personal safety. These findings are placed within the context of previous findings.

J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2010 Feb;51(2):173-9. Epub 2009 Sep 14.

5-HTTLPR moderates the effect of relational peer victimization on depressive symptoms in adolescent girls.

Benjet CThompson RJGotlib IH.

National Institute of Psychiatry Ramón de la Fuente, Mexico City, Mexico.


BACKGROUND: Relational peer victimization is associated with internalizing symptoms. Compared to boys, girls are more likely to be both relationally victimized by peers and distressed by the victimization. While previous studies have reported that a functional polymorphism in the promoter region of the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR) moderates the effect of stressful life events on depressive symptoms, the present study is the first to evaluate the interaction of this polymorphism with relational peer victimization to predict level of depressive symptoms in young girls.

METHODS: Participants were 78 girls ages 10 to 14 who had no current or past Axis I disorder. Girls were genotyped for 5-HTTLPR; peer victimization was assessed with the Social Experiences Questionnaire, and depressive symptoms with the Children's Depression Inventory.

RESULTS: The 5-HTTLPR polymorphism alone did not predict level of depressive symptoms; the interaction of 5-HTTLPR and relational peer victimization, however, was a significant predictor of depressive symptoms. Follow-up analyses indicated that peer victimization significantly predicted level of depressive symptoms only for girls who were homozygous for the short allele, and not for girls homozygous for the long allele or who were heterozygous for the short and long alleles.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings support the diathesis-stress model of depression: having two 5-HTTLPR short alleles confers vulnerability to depressive symptoms in adolescent girls when they experience relational peer victimization. These findings also suggest that relational peer victimization, at least for girls with genetic vulnerability, is a significant source of stress and should be recognized in the monitoring and prevention of bullying.

Aggress Behav. 2009 Nov-Dec;35(6):520-9.

Socio-economic, socio-political and socio-emotional variables explaining school bullying: a country-wide multilevel analysis.

Chaux EMolano APodlesky P.

Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia. echaux@uniandes.edu.co


Why do some countries, regions and schools have more bullying than others? What socio-economic, socio-political and other larger contextual factors predict school bullying? These open questions inspired this study with 53.316 5th- and 9th-grade students (5% of the national student population in these grades), from 1,000 schools in Colombia. Students completed a national test of citizenship competencies, which included questions about bullying and about families, neighborhoods and their own socio-emotional competencies. We combined these data with community violence and socio-economic conditions of all Colombian municipalities, which allowed us to conduct multilevel analyses to identify municipality- and school-level variables predicting school bullying. Most variance was found at the school level. Higher levels of school bullying were related to more males in the schools, lower levels of empathy, more authoritarian and violent families, higher levels of community violence, better socio-economic conditions, hostile attributional biases and more beliefs supporting aggression. These results might reflect student, classroom and school contributions because student-level variables were aggregated at the school level. Although in small portions, violence from the decades-old-armed conflict among guerrillas, paramilitaries and governmental forces predicted school bullying at the municipal level for 5th graders. For 9th graders, inequality in land ownership predicted school bullying. Neither poverty, nor population density or homicide rates contributed to explaining bullying. These results may help us advance toward understanding how the larger context relates to school bullying, and what socio-emotional competencies may help us prevent the negative effects of a violent and unequal environment.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2009 Sep;66(9):1005-12.

Childhood bullying behavior and later psychiatric hospital and psychopharmacologic treatment: findings from the Finnish 1981 birth cohort study.

Sourander ARonning JBrunstein-Klomek AGyllenberg DKumpulainen KNiemelä SHelenius HSillanmäki LRistkari T,Tamminen TMoilanen IPiha JAlmqvist F.

Regional Center of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Tromsö University, Tromsö, Norway. andre.sourander@utu.fi


CONTEXT: No prospective population-based study examining predictive associations between childhood bullying behavior and long-term mental health outcomes in both males and females exists.

OBJECTIVE: To study predictive associations between bullying and victimization in childhood and later psychiatric hospital and psychopharmacologic treatment.

DESIGN: Nationwide birth cohort study from age 8 to 24 years.

PARTICIPANTS: Five thousand thirty-eight Finnish children born in 1981 with complete information about bullying and victimization at age 8 years from parents, teachers, and self-reports.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: National register-based lifetime information about psychiatric hospital treatments and psychopharmacologic medication prescriptions.

RESULTS: When controlled for psychopathology score, frequent victim status at age 8 years among females independently predicted psychiatric hospital treatment and use of antipsychotic, antidepressant, and anxiolytic drugs. Among males, frequent bully-victim and bully-only statuses predicted use of my-depression-treatment.com and anxiolytic drugs. Frequent bully-victim status among males also predicted psychiatric hospital treatment and use of antipsychotics. However, when the analysis was controlled with total psychopathology score at age 8 years, frequent bully, victim, or bully-victim status did not predict any psychiatric outcomes among males.

CONCLUSIONS: Boys and girls who display frequent bullying behavior should be evaluated for possible psychiatric problems, as bullying behaviors in concert with psychiatric symptoms are early markers of risk of psychiatric outcome. Among females, frequent childhood victimization predicts later psychiatric problems irrespective of psychiatric problems at baseline.

Zhonghua Liu Xing Bing Xue Za Zhi. 2009 Apr;30(4):331-4.

[Using multivariate multilevel model in studying the influential factors of violence among rural high school students in Changsha].

[Article in Chinese]

Zhou LBLuo JYFang JQSun ZQ.

School of Public Health, Central South University, Changsha 410008, China.


OBJECTIVE: To provide evidence for setting up violence intervention programs in rural middle schools, through studying the influential factors.

METHODS: Taking variables including emotional, physical and sexual violence in the past year as the multi-dependent variables before multivariate multilevel model logistic regression model was adopted to analyze the correlations among the three kinds of violence and the influential factors.

RESULTS: Among 3620 respondents, the incidence rates of emotional, physical and sexual violence weres 21.5%, 24.3% and 2.0% respectively. The correlation coefficients between emotional violence vs. physical violence, emotional violence vs. sexual violence, physical violence vs. sexual violence were 0.337, 0.133, 0.131 respectively when the random effect of class difference was separated by multivariate multilevel model. There was an internal aggregation of the incidence rate on physical violence in different grades (chi2=4.286, P = 0.038) and an internal relevant between emotional violence vs. sexual violence (chi2 = 4.239, P = 0.039), physical violence vs. sexual violence (chi2 = 4.482, P = 0.034). The influential factors on the incidence rates of violence would include: sex, smoking status, family without harmony, tendency of bullying others and the level on self-esteem etc.

CONCLUSION: When the random effect of class difference was separated by multivariate multilevel model, the estimated results would be more precise. Other than paying more attention to both individual and family influential factors when taking measures to reduce the incidence rate of violence in high school students, the effect of environment in the class should not be ignored.

Soc Sci Med. 2009 Oct;69(8):1186-93. Epub 2009 Aug 25.

Cumulative risk and AIDS-orphanhood: interactions of stigma, bullying and poverty on child mental health in South Africa.

Cluver LOrkin M.

Department of Social Policy and Social Work, Oxford University, Oxford OX1 2ER, UK. lucie.cluver@socres.ox.ac.uk


Research shows that AIDS-orphaned children are more likely to experience clinical-range psychological problems. Little is known about possible interactions between factors mediating these high distress levels. We assessed how food insecurity, bullying, and AIDS-related stigma interacted with each other and with likelihood of experiencing clinical-range disorder. In South Africa, 1025 adolescents completed standardised measures of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress. 52 potential mediators were measured, including AIDS-orphanhood status. Logistic regressions and hierarchical log-linear modelling were used to identify interactions among significant risk factors. Food insecurity, stigma and bullying all independently increased likelihood of disorder. Poverty and stigma were found to interact strongly, and with both present, likelihood of disorder rose from 19% to 83%. Similarly, bullying interacted with AIDS-orphanhood status, and with both present, likelihood of disorder rose from 12% to 76%. Approaches to alleviating psychological distress amongst AIDS-affected children must address cumulative risk effects.

Can J Diet Pract Res. 2009 Autumn;70(3):110-6.

What is a healthy body weight? Perspectives of overweight youth.

Thomas HMIrwin JD.

Middlesex-London Health Unit, London, ON, Canada.


PURPOSE: A qualitative assessment was completed of overweight/obese youths' perceptions of the meaning of "healthy body weight," barriers and facilitators to healthy body weight attainment, and what would effectively enhance and support their healthy body weight behaviours.

METHODS: This qualitative study targeted a sample of overweight and obese youth, aged 14 to 16 years. An experienced interviewer conducted 11 in-depth interviews. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Three qualitative researchers conducted independent and simultaneous inductive content analysis to facilitate confirmability. Data trustworthiness was supported via member checking, peer debriefing, and reflexive journalling.

RESULTS: Most participants characterized healthy body weight as a combination of healthy eating and regular physical activity. Some included a psychological dimension in the definition. Perceived facilitators of a healthy body weight included family support, access to nutritious food at home, physical activity encouragement, and a physical activity environment at school. Perceived barriers included lack of family support, a poor nutrition environment, an unsupportive school environment, time, self-esteem, and bullying. Participants identified preferences for an intervention that would include opportunities for unstructured coeducational recreational activities, coeducational nutrition education sessions, and a gender-specific discussion forum.

CONCLUSIONS: Participants provided a wealth of information to form the foundation of future youth-focused efficacious healthy body weight interventions.

J Autism Dev Disord. 2010 Feb;40(2):188-99. Epub 2009 Aug 25.

BASC-2 PRS profiles for students with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders.

Volker MALopata CSmerbeck AMKnoll VAThomeer MLToomey JARodgers JD.

Department of Counseling, School and Educational Psychology, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY, USA.


BASC-2 PRS profiles of 62 children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders (HFASDs) were compared with those of 62 typically-developing children matched by age, gender, and ethnicity. Results indicated that, except for the Somatization, Conduct Problems, and Aggression scales, significant differences were found between the HFASD and typically-developing groups on all PRS scores. Mean HFASD scores were in the clinically significant range on the Behavioral Symptoms Index, Atypicality, Withdrawal, and Developmental Social Disorders scales. At-risk range HFASD means were obtained on the Adaptive Skills composite, all adaptive scales, remaining content scales (except Bullying), and Hyperactivity, Attention Problems, and Depression clinical scales. Screening indices suggested that the Developmental Social Disorders scale was highly effective in differentiating between the two groups.

J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2010 Jan;51(1):104-12. Epub 2009 Aug 24.

Virtual learning intervention to reduce bullying victimization in primary school: a controlled trial.

Sapouna MWolke DVannini NWatson SWoods SSchneider WEnz SHall LPaiva AAndre EDautenhahn KAylett R.

Department of Psychology, University of Warwick, UK.


BACKGROUND: Anti-bullying interventions to date have shown limited success in reducing victimization and have rarely been evaluated using a controlled trial design. This study examined the effects of the FearNot! anti-bullying virtual learning intervention on escaping victimization, and reducing overall victimization rates among primary school students using a nonrandomized controlled trial design. The program was designed to enhance the coping skills of children who are known to be, or are likely to be, victimized.

METHODS: One thousand, one hundred twenty-nine children (mean age 8.9 years) in 27 primary schools across the UK and Germany were assigned to the FearNot! intervention or the waiting control condition. The program consisted of three sessions, each lasting approximately 30 minutes over a three-week period. The participants were assessed on self-report measures of victimization before and one and four weeks after the intervention or the normal curriculum period.

RESULTS: In the combined sample, baseline victims in the intervention group were more likely to escape victimization at the first follow-up compared with baseline victims in the control group (adjusted RR, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.02-1.81). A dose-response relationship between the amount of active interaction with the virtual victims and escaping victimization was found (adjusted OR, 1.09; 95% CI, 1.003-1.18). Subsample analyses found a significant effect on escaping victimization only to hold for UK children (adjusted RR, 1.90; CI, 1.23-2.57). UK children in the intervention group experienced decreased victimization rates at the first follow-up compared with controls, even after adjusting for baseline victimization, gender and age (adjusted RR, .60; 95% CI, .36-.93).

CONCLUSIONS: A virtual learning intervention designed to help children experience effective strategies for dealing with bullying had a short-term effect on escaping victimization for a priori identified victims, and a short-term overall prevention effect for UK children.

Acad Psychiatry. 2009 Jul-Aug;33(4):335-9.

Bullying of trainee psychiatrists in Pakistan: a cross-sectional questionnaire survey.

Ahmer SYousafzai AWSiddiqi MFaruqui RKhan RZuberi S.

Psychiatry, Aga Khan University, Stadium Road, Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. syed.ahmer@aku.edu

Comment in:


OBJECTIVE: Bullying is widely prevalent in health care organizations and medical institutions. It leads to stress, anxiety, depression, sickness absences, and intention to leave the job. This issue has not been studied widely and thoroughly in most developing countries.

METHODS: The authors surveyed all postgraduate psychiatry trainees in the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Pakistan, with a cross-sectional questionnaire. In addition to sociodemographic data, the questionnaire included a bullying scale that asked whether the respondents had experienced in the preceding 12 months any of the 21 bullying behaviors listed and who had perpetrated the bullying.

RESULTS: Out of 84 psychiatry trainees registered with the College of Physicians and Surgeons in May 2007, 60 participated in the survey. Eighty percent of participating trainees reported experiencing at least one bullying behavior in the preceding 12 months. There was no significant association between likelihood of experiencing bullying and any of the sociodemographic variables. However, in view of the small number of psychiatry trainees in Pakistan, this finding needs to be interpreted cautiously. Consultants were the most likely perpetrators of bullying.

CONCLUSION: Most postgraduate psychiatry trainees in Pakistan have experienced bullying. Measures need to be taken to increase awareness of what constitutes bullying and how it affects its victims. It may be necessary to introduce antibullying policies at least at the organizational level.

J Pediatr. 2009 Dec;155(6):904-908.e3. Epub 2009 Aug 15.

A multivariate analysis of youth violence and aggression: the influence of family, peers, depression, and media violence.

Ferguson CJSan Miguel CHartley RD.

Texas A&M International University, Laredo, TX 78045, USA. CJFerguson1111@aol.com

Comment in:


OBJECTIVE: To examine the multivariate nature of risk factors for youth violence including delinquent peer associations, exposure to domestic violence in the home, family conflict, neighborhood stress, antisocial personality traits, depression level, and exposure to television and video game violence.

STUDY DESIGN: A population of 603 predominantly Hispanic children (ages 10-14 years) and their parents or guardians responded to multiple behavioral measures. Outcomes included aggression and rule-breaking behavior on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), as well as violent and nonviolent criminal activity and bullying behavior.

RESULTS: Delinquent peer influences, antisocial personality traits, depression, and parents/guardians who use psychological abuse in intimate relationships were consistent risk factors for youth violence and aggression. Neighborhood quality, parental use of domestic violence in intimate relationships, and exposure to violent television or video games were not predictive of youth violence and aggression.

CONCLUSION: Childhood depression, delinquent peer association, and parental use of psychological abuse may be particularly fruitful avenues for future prevention or intervention efforts.

J Autism Dev Disord. 2010 Jan;40(1):63-73. Epub 2009 Aug 8.

Bullying among adolescents with autism spectrum disorders: prevalence and perception.

van Roekel EScholte RHDidden R.

Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, P.O. Box 9104, 6500 HE, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. g.vanroekel@pwo.ru.nl


This study examined: (a) the prevalence of bullying and victimization among adolescents with ASD, (b) whether they correctly perceived bullying and victimization, and (c) whether Theory of Mind (ToM) and bullying involvement were related to this perception. Data were collected among 230 adolescents with ASD attending special education schools. We found prevalence rates of bullying and victimization between 6 and 46%, with teachers reporting significantly higher rates than peers. Furthermore, adolescents who scored high on teacher- and self-reported victimization were more likely to misinterpret non-bullying situations as bullying. The more often adolescents bullied, according to teachers and peers, and the less developed their ToM, the more they misinterpreted bullying situations as non-bullying. Implications for clinical practice are discussed.

Int J Public Health. 2009 Sep;54 Suppl 2:251-9.

The relationship of schools to emotional health and bullying.

Freeman JGSamdal OKlinger DADur WGriebler RCurrie DRasmussen M.

Social Program Evaluation Group, Queen's University, Faculty of Education, Kingston, Canada. freemanj@queensu.ca


OBJECTIVES: To examine the extent to which school climate and school pressure could predict other aspects of adolescents' lives, most particularly their emotional health and bullying. Furthermore, the study sought to investigate if these relationships were consistent across countries.

METHODS: Participants were 11-, 13-, and 15-year-olds from 26 European countries/regions, Canada, the United States, and Israel. Participants completed surveys focusing on health behaviours and lifestyles, using a contextual framework. Using cluster analytic techniques, three clusters were created varying on school pressure and perceived school climate. These clusters were then examined using variables not used in the clustering.

RESULTS: Students in the cluster having the most positive relationships to school outcomes, including academic achievement, truancy, teacher and peer support, also had the most positive emotional health and the lowest incidence of bullying. Similarly, those in the poorest cluster in terms of school also had the poorest outcomes in terms of emotional health and bullying.

CONCLUSIONS: These relatively small but significant associations suggest that schools may have a small role in supporting children's emotional well-being and ameliorate the presence of bullying.

Curr Opin Pediatr. 2009 Oct;21(5):613-9.

Epidemiology of youth suicide and suicidal behavior.

Cash SJBridge JA.

The College of Social Work, The Ohio State University, and The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio 43205, USA.


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people in the U.S. and represents a significant public health problem worldwide. This review focuses on recent developments in our understanding of the epidemiology and risk factors for adolescent suicide and suicidal behavior.

RECENT FINDINGS: The suicide rate among children and adolescents in the U.S. has increased dramatically in recent years and has been accompanied by substantial changes in the leading methods of youth suicide, especially among young girls. Much work is currently underway to elucidate the relationships between psychopathology, substance use, child abuse, bullying, internet use, and youth suicidal behavior. Recent evidence also suggests sex-specific and moderating roles of sex in influencing risk for suicide and suicidal behavior.

SUMMARY: Empirical research into the causal mechanisms underlying youth suicide and suicidal behavior is needed to inform early identification and prevention efforts.

Arch Sex Behav. 2010 Apr;39(2):553-60. Epub 2009 Jul 29.

Peer group status of gender dysphoric children: a sociometric study.

Wallien MSVeenstra RKreukels BPCohen-Kettenis PT.

Department of Medical Psychology, VU University Medical Center, P.O. Box 7057, 1007 MB, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


In this sociometric study, we aimed to investigate the social position of gender-referred children in a naturalistic environment. We used a peer nomination technique to examine their social position in the class and we specifically examined bullying and victimization of gender dysphoric children. A total of 28 children (14 boys and 14 girls), referred to a gender identity clinic, and their classmates (n = 495) were included (M age, 10.5 years). Results showed that the gender-referred children had a peer network of children of the opposite sex. Gender-referred boys had more nominations on peer acceptance from female classmates and less from male classmates as compared to other male classmates. Gender-referred girls were more accepted by male than by female classmates and these girls had significantly more male friends and less female friends. Male classmates rejected gender-referred boys more than other boys, whereas female classmates did not reject the gender-referred girls. For bullying and victimization, we did not find any significant differences between the gender-referred boys and their male classmates nor between the gender-referred girls and their female classmates. In sum, at elementary school age, the relationships of gender dysphoric children with opposite-sex children appeared to be better than with same-sex children. The social position of gender-referred boys was less favorable than that of gender-referred girls. However, the gender-referred children were not more often bullied than other children, despite their gender nonconforming behavior.

J Youth Adolesc. 2009 Jan;38(1):101-21. Epub 2008 Apr 8.

Individual characteristics and the multiple contexts of adolescent bullying: an ecological perspective.

Barboza GESchiamberg LBOehmke JKorzeniewski SJPost LAHeraux CG.



This paper uses an ecological perspective to explore the risk factors associated with bullying behaviors among a representative sample of adolescents aged 11-14 (n = 9816; X = 12.88; s = .9814). Data derived from the Health Behavior in School Children: WHO Cross-National Survey were used to model the relationship between bullying and media effects, peer and family support systems, self-efficacy, and school environment. Overall, the results of this study suggest that bullying increases among children who watch television frequently, lack teacher support, have themselves been bullied, attend schools with unfavorable environments, have emotional support from their peers, and have teachers and parents who do not place high expectations on their school performance. In addition, we found an inverse relationship between being Asian or African American, feeling left out of school activities and bullying. Our results lend support to the contention that bullying arises out of deficits in social climate, but that social support systems mediate bullying behavior irrespective of the student's racial/ethnic characteristics, parental income levels or media influences. Because the number of friends and the ability to talk to these friends increases the likelihood of bullying, we suggest that bullying is not simply an individual response to a particular environment but is a peer-group behavior. We conclude that limiting television viewing hours, improving student's abilities to access family support systems and improving school atmospheres are potentially useful interventions to limit bullying behavior.

J Youth Adolesc. 2009 Aug;38(7):989-1000. Epub 2009 Jan 15.

LGB and questioning students in schools: the moderating effects of homophobic bullying and school climate on negative outcomes.

Birkett MEspelage DLKoenig B.

Department of Educational Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL, USA. birkett@illinois.edu


Lesbian, gay, and bisexual students (LGB) and those questioning their sexual orientation are often at great risk for negative outcomes like depression, suicidality, drug use, and school difficulties (Elliot and Kilpatrick, How to Stop Bullying, A KIDSCAPE Guide to Training, 1994; Mufoz-Plaza et al., High Sch J 85:52-63, 2002; Treadway and Yoakam, J School Health 62(7):352-357, 1992). This study examined how school contextual factors such as homophobic victimization and school climate influence negative outcomes in LGB and questioning middle school students. Participants were 7,376 7th and 8th grade students from a large Midwestern county (50.7% Female, 72.7% White, 7.7% Biracial, 6.9% Black, 5.2% Asian, 3.7% Hispanic, and 2.2% reported "other"). LGB and sexually questioning youth were more likely to report high levels of bullying, homophobic victimization, and various negative outcomes than heterosexual youth. Students who were questioning their sexual orientation reported the most bullying, the most homophobic victimization, the most drug use, the most feelings of depression and suicidality, and more truancy than either heterosexual or LGB students. A positive school climate and a lack of homophobic victimization moderated the differences among sexual orientation status and outcomes. Results indicate that schools have the ability to lessen negative outcomes for LGB and sexually questioning students through creating positive climates and reducing homophobic teasing.

Epilepsy Behav. 2009 Aug;15(4):500-5. Epub 2009 Jul 23.

Are children with epilepsy at greater risk for bullying than their peers?

Hamiwka LDYu CGHamiwka LASherman EMAnderson BWirrell E.

Division of Child Neurology, Ohio State University, College of Medicine, 700 Children's Drive, Columbus, OH 43205, USA. Hamiwka.1@osu.edu


The primary goal of this study was to determine the prevalence of bullying in children with epilepsy compared with their healthy peers and peers with chronic disease. Children with epilepsy were compared with healthy children and a cohort of children with chronic kidney disease (CKD). The following self-report questionnaires were completed: Revised Olweus Bully/Victim, Piers-Harris Self-Concept Scale, Revised Child Manifest Anxiety Scale, Child Depression Index, and Social Skills Rating System. Children with epilepsy were more frequently victims of bullying (42%) than were healthy controls (21%) or children with CKD (18%) (P = 0.01). Epilepsy factors such as early age at seizure onset, seizure type, and refractory epilepsy were not found to be predictors of victim status. Surprisingly, poor social skills, increased problem behaviors, poor self-concept, depression, and anxiety did not correlate with bully victim status. The relatively high prevalence of bullying behaviors in these children is concerning and, from a clinical standpoint, requires greater research specifically addressing peer relationships and consideration of the implementation of anti-bullying measures and coping strategies for children with epilepsy.

J Adolesc Health. 2009 Aug;45(2):126-32. Epub 2009 Mar 24.

How might schools influence young people's drug use? Development of theory from qualitative case-study research.

Fletcher ABonell CSorhaindo AStrange V.

The Centre for Research on Drugs and Health Behaviour, Department of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom. adam.fletcher@lshtm.ac.uk


PURPOSE: To explore young people's experiences of school and drug use, generate hypotheses regarding the pathways through which schools may influence students' drug use, and examine how these may vary according to students' sociodemographic characteristics.

METHODS: Qualitative data were collected through semistructured interviews with 30 students (aged 14-15) and 10 teachers in two case-study schools. Students were purposively sampled to encompass variations in socioeconomic status, gender, ethnicity, and school engagement. Techniques associated with thematic content analysis and grounded theory were used to analyze the data and generate hypotheses.

RESULTS: Three potential pathways via which school effects on drug use may occur were identified: (1) peer-group sorting and drug use as a source of identity and bonding among students who are disconnected from the main institutional markers of status; (2) students' desire to "fit in" at schools perceived to be unsafe and drug use facilitating this; and/or (3) drug use as a strategy to manage anxieties about school work and escape unhappiness at schools lacking effective social support systems.

CONCLUSIONS: Various pathways may plausibly underlie school effects on drug use. These support the idea of "whole-school" interventions to reduce drug use through: recognizing students' varied achievements and promoting a sense of belonging, reducing bullying and aggression, and providing additional social support for students. Such interventions should be piloted and evaluated in a range of settings to examine effects on students' drug use. Broader policies relating to secondary school targets, curricula, assessment, and streaming may also influence rates of adolescent drug use.

Int J Public Health. 2009 Sep;54 Suppl 2:216-24.

A cross-national profile of bullying and victimization among adolescents in 40 countries.

Craig WHarel-Fisch YFogel-Grinvald HDostaler SHetland JSimons-Morton BMolcho Mde Mato MGOverpeck MDue P,Pickett WHBSC Violence & Injuries Prevention Focus GroupHBSC Bullying Writing Group.

Collaborators (31)

Department of Psychology, Queen's University, Ontario, Canada. wendy.craig@queensu.ca


OBJECTIVES: (1) To compare the prevalence of bullying and victimization among boys and girls and by age in 40 countries. (2) In 6 countries, to compare rates of direct physical, direct verbal, and indirect bullying by gender, age, and country.

METHODS: Cross-sectional self-report surveys including items on bullying and being bullied were obtained from nationally representative samples of 11, 13 and 15 year old school children in 40 countries, N = 202,056. Six countries (N = 29,127 students) included questions about specific types of bullying (e. g., direct physical, direct verbal, indirect).

RESULTS: Exposure to bullying varied across countries, with estimates ranging from 8.6% to 45.2% among boys, and from 4.8% to 35.8% among girls. Adolescents in Baltic countries reported higher rates of bullying and victimization, whereas northern European countries reported the lowest prevalence. Boys reported higher rates of bullying in all countries. Rates of victimization were higher for girls in 29 of 40 countries. Rates of victimization decreased by age in 30 of 40 (boys) and 25 of 39 (girls) countries.

CONCLUSION: There are lessons to be learned from the current research conducted in countries where the prevalence is low that could be adapted for use in countries with higher prevalence.

Psicothema. 2009 Aug;21(3):453-8.

[Behavioral gender differences in school relationships].

[Article in Spanish]

Postigo Zegarra SGonzález Barrón RMateu Marqués CFerrero Berlanga JMartorell Pallás C.

Universitat de València, Facultad de Psicología, Valencia, Spain.


Adolescents take on different social roles mediated by gender, which affect the development of their identity and the expression of school violence. The purpose of this work is to study the behavioral differences in bullying depending on gender. The sample (N=641) is aged between 12 and 16 years old. Personal variables are assessed by self-reports, and relational variables by sociometric measures. Results indicate a large incidence of bullying, peer rejection, and school maladjustment among boys. Girls report more relational aggressions, acceptance and social skills, but also higher personal maladjustment. Female victims are rejected the most. Gender differences seem more relevant in relational variables, suggesting the special importance of the relational context in bullying.

Int J Public Health. 2009 Sep;54 Suppl 2:225-34.

Cross-national time trends in bullying behaviour 1994-2006: findings from Europe and North America.

Molcho MCraig WDue PPickett WHarel-Fisch YOverpeck MHBSC Bullying Writing Group.

Collaborators (17)

School of Health Sciences, National University of Ireland Galway, Galway, Ireland. Michal.molcho@nuigalway.ie


OBJECTIVES: To identify trends over 12 years in the prevalence of bullying and associated victimization among adolescents in North American and European countries.

METHODS: Cross-sectional self-report surveys were obtained from nationally representative samples of 11-15 year old school children in 21 countries in 1993/94 and in 27 countries in each of 1997/98, 2001/02 and 2005/06. Measures included involvement in bullying as either a perpetrator and/or victim.

RESULTS: Consistent decreases in the prevalence of bullying were reported between 1993/94 to 2005/06 in most countries. Geographic patterns show consistent decreases in bullying in Western European countries and in most Eastern European countries. An increase or no change in prevalence was evident in almost all English speaking countries participating in the study (England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Canada, but not in the USA).

CONCLUSION: Study findings demonstrated a significant decrease in involvement in bullying behaviour in most participating countries. This is encouraging news for policy-makers and practitioners working in the field of bullying prevention.

Cyberpsychol Behav. 2009 Aug;12(4):395-400.

Cyberbullying: the new face of workplace bullying?

Privitera CCampbell MA.

School of Learning and Professional Studies, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.


While the subject of cyberbullying of children and adolescents has begun to be addressed, less attention and research have focused on cyberbullying in the workplace. Male-dominated workplaces such as manufacturing settings are found to have an increased risk of workplace bullying, but the prevalence of cyberbullying in this sector is not known. This exploratory study investigated the prevalence and methods of face-to-face bullying and cyberbullying of males at work. One hundred three surveys (a modified version of the revised Negative Acts Questionnaire [NAQ-R]) were returned from randomly selected members of the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union (AMWU). The results showed that 34% of respondents were bullied face-to-face, and 10.7% were cyberbullied. All victims of cyberbullying also experienced face-to-face bullying. The implications for organizations' "duty of care" in regard to this new form of bullying are indicated.

Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2010 Jan;19(1):45-55. Epub 2009 Jul 9.

Involvement in bullying and depression in a 2-year follow-up in middle adolescence.

Kaltiala-Heino RFröjd SMarttunen M.

Department of Adolescent Psychiatry, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere 33521, Finland. merihe@uta.fi


The main objective was to analyse whether involvement in bullying at school predicts depression, and whether depression predicts involvement in bullying in middle adolescence. A total of 2,070 15-year-old girls and boys in two Finnish cities were surveyed at ninth grade (age 15) at schools, and followed up 2 years later in the Adolescent Mental Health Cohort Study (AMHC). Depression was measured by a Finnish modification of the 13-item short Beck Depression Inventory. Involvement in bullying was elicited by three questions focusing on being a bully, being a victim to bullying, and being left alone by peers against one's wishes. Similar questions were posed at both time points. Statistical analyses were carried out using cross-tabulations with chi-square/Fisher's Exact Test statistics, and logistic regression. The results summarized that, both being a victim to bullying and being a bully predicted later depression among boys. Among girls, depression at T1 predicted victimisation at T2. Depression at T1 predicted experience of being left alone at T2 among both sexes. It was concluded that victimisation to bullying may be a traumatising event that results in depression. However, depression also predicts experience of victimisation and of being left alone against one's wishes. Depression may impair an adolescent's social skills and self-esteem so that the adolescent becomes victimised by peers. However, depression may also distort and adolescent's experiences of social interactions.

Eur J Public Health. 2009 Oct;19(5):464-9. Epub 2009 Jul 8.

Is bullying equally harmful for rich and poor children?: a study of bullying and depression from age 15 to 27.

Due PDamsgaard MTLund RHolstein BE.

National Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Øster Farimagsgade 5A, Copenhagen K, Denmark. pdu@niph.dk


BACKGROUND: Exposure to bullying in childhood and adolescence is harmful to health, well-being and social competence of the victim. However, little is known about the long-term consequences of bullying victimization. In this paper, we use a longitudinal study from age 15 to 27 to examine whether childhood socioeconomic position (CSP) modifies the association between exposure to bullying in childhood and symptoms of depression in young adulthood.

METHODS: Nationally representative baseline sample in 1990 (n = 847), followed up 2002 (n = 614). We used multivariate analyses of variance to examine the influence of bullying on symptoms of depression at age 27.

RESULTS: Analyses showed that exposure to bullying, low CSP and female gender significantly increased the risk of depression in young adulthood. There was a statistically significant interaction between bullying and CSP, so that bullying increased the risk of depression for people from low CSP, while there was only a weak association between bullying victimization and depressive symptoms for people from more affluent childhood socioeconomic backgrounds. The same pattern was found for analyses stratified by sex.

CONCLUSION: Our study suggests that the effects of bullying may have more serious long-term implications on health for children from less affluent backgrounds. Our study points at bullying exposure as another pathway through which social adversity in childhood influences social inequalities in adult health. Political efforts are needed to improve norms and legislations about how to treat children and more specific interventions should take place in schools to reduce the exposure to bullying.

J Adolesc. 2010 Feb;33(1):237-40. Epub 2009 Jul 1.

Brief report: Text bullying and traditional bullying among New Zealand secondary school students.

Marsh LMcGee RNada-Raja SWilliams S.

Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Dunedin school of Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. louise.marsh@otago.ac.nz


This descriptive study examined text and traditional bullying in New Zealand (NZ), and the relationship between text bullying and traditional bullying, and feeling unsafe at school. A self-report online survey assessed the frequency of bullying among 1169 15 year old secondary students, for five categories of bullying: text messages, rumors, exclusion, teasing, and physical bullying. Results show that in the school year assessed 47% reported having been bullied sometimes or often and 37% reported bullying others; 11% reported being text bullied, while 7% reported text bullying others. Students involved in text bullying were significantly more likely to be involved in traditional forms of bullying and were less likely to feel safe at school.

Zhonghua Liu Xing Bing Xue Za Zhi. 2009 Jan;30(1):21-5.

[Study on the school-related-factors of attempted suicide among rural middle school students].

[Article in Chinese]

Xing XYTao FBHao JHXu SJSu PYHuang ZH.

Department of Maternal and Child Health, School of Public Health, Anhui Medical University Hefei 230032, China.


OBJECTIVE: This study was undertaken to examine possible relationship between attempted suicide and underachievement, bullying, low life satisfaction and low self-concept at school.

METHODS: An anonymous self-report survey assessing demographic characteristics and the major risk factors of teenage attempted suicide was completed by students from 16 middle schools in grades seven to twelve in 4 counties of Anhui province (age 10 to 21 years). An anonymous questionnaire was used to rate attempted suicide, bullying involvement and learning performance. Attempted suicide was defined as: experiencing specific suicide actions at least one time during the 12 months preceding the survey. Multidimensional Students' Life Satisfaction Scale and Children' s Self-concept Scale were used to evaluate satisfaction and self-conscience on and at respectively. In total, 10 894 respondents substantially completed the survey. Multiple logistic-regression analyses, controlling for socio-demographic variables, was used to analyze if underachievement, bullying, low school life satisfaction and low children' s self-conscience at school had been risk factors.

RESULTS: 629 participants (5.8%) reported having made at least one attempted suicide within the last 12 months. Students being underachieved were significantly having more attempted suicide events than those excellent students (chi2 = 11.39, P = 0.023). Students being both bully-victims and practiced bully were significantly more than those being only practiced bully (28.7% vs. 15.8% , P < 0.001), being victims (28.7% vs. 10.6% , P < 0.001) or having neither of them (28.7% vs. 4.8%, P < 0.001). Results from multiple logistic regression analyses showed that underachievement, bullying, lower school life satisfaction and low self conscience were risk factors for attempted suicide.

CONCLUSION: Data from this study confirmed that school bullying and children' s self-conscience at school were significantly associated with attempted suicide among rural middle school students in Anhui province. It is of importance to improve the school' s environments to reduce the risk of attempted suicide among this group.

Pediatrics. 2009 Jul;124(1):393-402. Epub 2009 Jun 11.

Policy statement--Role of the pediatrician in youth violence prevention.

Committee on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention.

Collaborators (16)


Youth violence continues to be a serious threat to the health of children and adolescents in the United States. It is crucial that pediatricians clearly define their role and develop the appropriate skills to address this threat effectively. From a clinical perspective, pediatricians should become familiar with Connected Kids: Safe, Strong, Secure, the American Academy of Pediatrics' primary care violence prevention protocol. Using this material, practices can incorporate preventive education, screening for risk, and linkages to community-based counseling and treatment resources. As advocates, pediatricians may bring newly developed information regarding key risk factors such as exposure to firearms, teen dating violence, and bullying to the attention of local and national policy makers. This policy statement refines the developing role of pediatricians in youth violence prevention and emphasizes the importance of this issue in the strategic agenda of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Scand J Psychol. 2010 Apr 1;51(2):164-70. Epub 2009 May 20.

Norms regarding secondary victimization of bullying victims: do they differ according to the victim's categorization?

Correia IAlves Hde Almeida ATGarcia D.

CIS - Centro de Investigação e Intervenção Social / ISCTE - Lisbon University Institute, Lisboa, Portugal.


Two studies with a 2 valence of the image (positive, negative) x 2 victim's category (ingroup; outgroup) between-subjects design, investigated the existence of prescriptive norms regarding secondary victimization of bullying victims as well as the influence of the categorization of the victim on those same prescriptive norms among 7th graders. Study 1 addressed a scenario of physical bullying. Study 2 addressed a scenario of verbal bullying combined with social exclusion. Results showed that norms prescribe that the ingroup victim of physical bullying should be the least secondarily victimized. Furthermore it was found that for both types of bullying a positive image can be conveyed by secondarily victimizing more an outgroup victim than an ingroup victim.

J Genet Psychol. 2009 Jun;170(2):115-33.

Bullying and victimization in adolescence: concurrent and stable roles and psychological health symptoms.

Menesini EModena MTani F.

University of Florence, Department of Psychology, Firenze, Italy. menesini@psico.unifi.it


From an initial sample of 1278 Italian students, the authors selected 537 on the basis of their responses to a self-report bully and victim questionnaire. Participants' ages ranged from 13 to 20 years (M = 15.12 years, SD = 1.08 years). The authors compared the concurrent psychological symptoms of 4 participant groups (bullies, victims, bully/victims [i.e., bullies who were also victims of bullying], and uninvolved students). Of participants, 157 were in the bullies group, 140 were in the victims group, 81 were in the bully/victims group, and 159 were in the uninvolved students group. The results show that bullies reported a higher level of externalizing problems, victims reported more internalizing symptoms, and bully/victims reported both a higher level of externalizing problems and more internalizing symptoms. The authors divided the sample into 8 groups on the basis of the students' recollection of their earlier school experiences and of their present role. The authors classified the participants as stable versus late bullies, victims, bully/victims, or uninvolved students. The authors compared each stable group with its corresponding late group and found that stable victims and stable bully/victims reported higher degrees of anxiety, depression, and withdrawal than did the other groups. The authors focus their discussion on the role of chronic peer difficulties in relation to adolescents' symptoms and well-being.

Shinrigaku Kenkyu. 2009 Apr;80(1):17-24.

[A longitudinal study of the trajectories of deviant behavior among junior high school students].

[Article in Japanese]

Nishino YUjiie TNinomiya KIgarashi AInoue HYamamoto C.

Graduate School of Education and Human Development, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan. nnishino@gctv.ne.jp


This study investigated the trajectories and related factors of deviant behavior among students during their three years of junior high school. Data was analyzed from 344 students who completed a questionnaire survey every September. Nineteen categories of deviant behavior were examined, such as smoking, drinking alcohol, bullying, truancy, violence, and stealing. We determined behavioral trajectories from mild deviant behaviors to more serious ones. The data showed that more than half of the children who engaged in serious deviant behaviors in the third year followed a trajectory from mild deviant behaviors. The three factors of "deviant peers", "attachment to parents" and "achievement" were related to the trajectory into more serious deviant behaviors.

Psychol Rep. 2009 Feb;104(1):279-308.

Empirical risk factors for delinquency and best treatments: where do we go from here?

Zagar RJBusch KGHughes JR.

Juvenile Division, Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, USA. drzagar@yahoo.com

Erratum in:

  • Psychol Rep. 2009 Dec;105(3 Pt 2):1282-3.


Youth development and prevention of violence are two sides of the same public policy issue. A great deal of theoretical and empirical effort has focused on identification of risk factors for delinquency and development of interventions for general risks. Recent calls for changes in public policy are evaluated here--and challenged--in light of new comprehensive, longitudinal empirical data on urban violent delinquency. Treatments such as prenatal care, home visitation, prevention of bullying, prevention of alcohol and/or drug abuse, promotion of alternative thinking, mentoring, life skills training, rewards for graduation and employment, functional family therapy, and multidimensional foster care are effective because they prevent or ameliorate risks for delinquency occurring during development. At present, the best treatments yield 10 to 40% reductions in delinquent recidivism. Better controlled application of developmentally appropriate treatments in higher doses, with narrow targeting of the highest-risk youth based on actuarial testing--rather than less accurate clinical judgment--should result in higher effectiveness. Such a focused approach in a geographical area with high homicide rates should be cost-effective. A prediction of cost-benefit outcomes for a carefully constructed example of a large-scale program is presented.

West Afr J Med. 2008 Oct;27(4):259-62.

Suicide attempt by hanging in preadolescent children: a case series.

Omigbodun OOAdejumo OABabalola OO.

Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of lbadan & University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria. fouryinkas@yahoo.co.uk


BACKGROUND: Suicide is now among the five top causes of death in youth worldwide. However, during the preadolescent period, suicidal behaviour is rare and difficult to define because the cognitive level of young children limits their ability to plan and understand the consequences or the finality of suicide. There is virtually no information about preadolescent suicidal behaviour in Nigeria.

OBJECTIVE: To illustrate the presentation and psychosocial issues associated with preadolescent suicidal attempt using the 'hanging' method in Nigeria.

METHODS: Three case scenarios of suicide attempt by hanging in preadolescents seen at the University College Hospital, Ibadan between 2005 and 2006 were interviewed in detail along with mental state and physical examination. Family and individual therapies were embarked upon.

RESULTS: Types of psychopathology found in the preadolescents include depressive symptoms, conduct and oppositional defiant disorder and impulse control problems. Stressful life events such as family disruption, physical abuse, and bullying at school were factors associated with suicidal behaviour. The influence of the media in providing information about 'hanging' as a method of suicide was evident. Therapy yield varying results.

CONCLUSION: High risk parameters for suicide in children should be known to all health professionals. The importance of intervention strategies particularly media education, monitoring systems and further research on suicidal behaviour in this environment is apparent.

Dev Neurorehabil. 2009 Jun;12(3):146-51.

Cyberbullying among students with intellectual and developmental disability in special education settings.

Didden RScholte RHKorzilius Hde Moor JMVermeulen AO'Reilly MLang RLancioni GE.

Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. r.didden@pwo.ru.nl


OBJECTIVE: To explore the types, prevalence and associated variables of cyberbullying among students with intellectual and developmental disability attending special education settings.

METHODS: Students (n = 114) with intellectual and developmental disability who were between 12-19 years of age completed a questionnaire containing questions related to bullying and victimization via the internet and cellphones. Other questions concerned sociodemographic characteristics (IQ, age, gender, diagnosis), self-esteem and depressive feelings.

RESULTS: Between 4-9% of students reported bullying or victimization of bullying at least once a week. Significant associations were found between cyberbullying and IQ, frequency of computer usage and self-esteem and depressive feelings. No associations were found between cyberbullying and age and gender.

CONCLUSIONS: Cyberbullying is prevalent among students with intellectual and developmental disability in special education settings. Programmes should be developed to deal with this issue in which students, teachers and parents work together.

J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2009 Oct;37(7):929-43.

Modeling the bullying prevention program preferences of educators: a discrete choice conjoint experiment.

Cunningham CEVaillancourt TRimas HDeal KCunningham LShort KChen Y.

Offord Centre for Child Studies, McMaster Children's Hospital, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada. cunnic@hhsc.ca


We used discrete choice conjoint analysis to model the bullying prevention program preferences of educators. Using themes from computerized decision support lab focus groups (n = 45 educators), we composed 20 three-level bullying prevention program design attributes. Each of 1,176 educators completed 25 choice tasks presenting experimentally varied combinations of the study's attribute levels. Latent class analysis yielded three segments with different preferences. Decision Sensitive educators (31%) preferred that individual schools select bullying prevention programs. In contrast, Support Sensitive educators (51%) preferred that local school boards chose bullying prevention programs. This segment preferred more logistical and social support at every stage of the adoption, training, implementation, and long term maintenance processes. Cost Sensitive educators (16%) showed a stronger preference for programs minimizing costs, training, and implementation time demands. They felt prevention programs were less effective and that the time and space in the curriculum for bullying prevention was less adequate. They were less likely to believe that bullying prevention was their responsibility and more likely to agree that prevention was the responsibility of parents. All segments preferred programs supported by the anecdotal reports of colleagues from other schools rather than those based on scientific evidence. To ensure that the bullying prevention options available reflect the complex combination of attributes influencing real world adoption decisions, program developers need to accommodate the differing views of the Decision, Support, and Cost Sensitive segments while maximizing the support of parents and students.

Br J Clin Psychol. 2010 Jun;49(Pt 2):151-62. Epub 2009 May 18.

Vulnerabilities to deliberate self-harm among adolescents: the role of alexithymia and victimization.

Garisch JAWilson MS.

School of Psychology, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.


OBJECTIVES: This study investigates vulnerabilities to deliberate self-harm (DSH) among adolescents, specifically focusing on peer victimization and alexithymia.

DESIGN: Correlational survey design.

METHODS: Three hundred and twenty-five secondary school students completed self-report questionnaires asking their history of DSH and bullying, and scales assessing alexithymia and depression.

RESULTS: Self-harming adolescents reported more victimization and alexithymic symptomology than participants who had never engaged in DSH. Alexithymia moderated, and partially mediated, the relationship between bullying and DSH. Bullying and DSH significantly co-varied when participants' alexithymia was moderate or high, but not when participants' alexithymia was low. The relationship between alexithymia and DSH was fully mediated by depression. The relationship between bullying and DSH was also moderated by depression. Depression moderated the relationship between alexithymia and DSH.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest stressors in the social environment (e.g. bullying) are more likely to facilitate DSH when an adolescent has poor emotion regulation and communication skills and when an individual is experiencing mood difficulties.

Adolescence. 2009 Spring;44(173):149-63.

Migration and self-esteem: a qualitative study among internal migrant girls in Turkey.

Altinyelken HK.

Amsterdam Institute for Metropolitan and International Development Studies (AMIDSt), University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. H.K.Altinyelken@uva.nl


This article examining the impact of migration experience on self-esteem of girls enrolled at primary schools in Turkey. It is based on a broader study that explored educational and coping strategies of internal migrant girls living in a suburban town in the western part of Turkey. The study showed that students encountered a variety of challenges in their new school environment including adaptation, language, low socioeconomic background, peer relations, discrimination, and bullying. These challenges seemed to have a direct or indirect influence on the educational experiences of migrant girls, undermining their self-esteem in multiple and complex ways.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2009 May;66(5):527-36.

Prospective study of peer victimization in childhood and psychotic symptoms in a nonclinical population at age 12 years.

Schreier AWolke DThomas KHorwood JHollis CGunnell DLewis GThompson AZammit SDuffy LSalvi GHarrison G.

Health Sciences Research Institute,Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, England.


CONTEXT: Psychotic symptoms are commonly experienced in nonclinical populations of adolescents and adults and have been shown to be predictive of later schizophreniform disorders. Associations between adverse experiences in childhood and psychotic symptoms in adulthood have been demonstrated.

OBJECTIVE: To examine whether peer victimization is associated with psychotic symptoms in a population-based sample of 12-year-olds.

DESIGN: Prospective cohort study.

SETTING: Assessment clinic for 12-year-old members of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children birth cohort in Bristol, England, where parents had participated since pregnancy and their children completed a range of physical and psychological annual assessments since age 7 years.

PARTICIPANTS: A total of 6437 respondents with complete interviews (mean age, 12.9 years).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: The Psychosis-like Symptoms Interview developed for the study using stem questions, glossary definitions, and rating rules, adapted from the National Institute of Mental Health Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children-IV and the Schedules for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry. The interview, carried out by trained psychology graduates, investigated respondents' experience of psychotic symptoms (hallucinations, delusions, and thought disorders) over the previous 6 months.

RESULTS: The risk of psychotic symptoms was increased about 2-fold (odds ratio = 1.94; 95% confidence interval, 1.54-2.44) among victims of bullying at ages 8 and/or 10 years, independent of other prior psychopathology, family adversity, or child's IQ. Similar results were found using mother and teacher reports of victimization. Associations were stronger (up to odds ratio = 4.60; 95% confidence interval, 3.24-6.50) when victimization was chronic or severe (ie, experience of relational as well as overt victimization reported).

CONCLUSIONS: Peer victimization in childhood, especially if it is chronic or severe, is associated with psychotic symptoms in early adolescence. These results lend further support to the relevance of psychosocial factors in the etiology of psychotic symptoms in nonclinical populations, which may increase the risk of adult-onset psychotic disorders.

Br J Psychiatry. 2009 May;194(5):451-5.

Stalking among juveniles.

Purcell RMoller BFlower TMullen PE.

ORYGEN Research Centre, Department of Psychiatry, The University of Melbourne, Australia. rpurcell@unimelb.edu.au


BACKGROUND: There is an almost total lack of empirical research on stalking among juveniles.

AIMS: To examine the characteristics, nature and impacts of stalking by juveniles.

METHOD: Analysis of consecutive court applications for a restraining order against a juvenile because of stalking behaviours.

RESULTS: A total of 299 juvenile stalkers were identified. The majority were male (64%) and their victims predominantly female (69%). Most pursued a previously known victim (98%), favouring direct means of contact via unwanted approaches (76%) and telephone calls or text messaging (67%). Threats (75%) and physical and sexual assaults (54%) were common. The contexts for juvenile stalking involved an extension of bullying (28%), retaliation for a perceived harm (22%), a reaction to rejection (22%), sexual predation (5%) and infatuation (2%).

CONCLUSIONS: Juvenile stalking is characterised by direct, intense, overtly threatening and all too often violent forms of pursuit. The seriousness that is afforded to adult forms of stalking should similarly apply to this behaviour among juveniles given the even greater rates of disruption to the victim's life and risks of being attacked.

Rural Remote Health. 2009 Apr-Jun;9(2):1137. Epub 2009 Apr 29.

There should be more help out here! A qualitative study of the needs of Aboriginal adolescents in rural Australia.

Mohajer NBessarab DEarnest J.

Centre for International Health, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia, Australia. nicole.mohajer@gmail.com


INTRODUCTION: Aboriginal adolescents living in or near rural towns have different social and cultural needs than Aboriginal adolescents living in large cities or remote areas. Identification of health needs by the community is an established principle of health promotion for improving community health. The objective of this study was to identify the views of rural Aboriginal adolescents regarding health promotion topics, the most important health problems they faced, their support networks and their beliefs about who should help them meet their health needs.

METHODS: Ninety-nine adolescents aged between 12 and 18 years were involved in in-depth interviews or focus group discussions using a tested and trialled questionnaire. Data collection took place at three sites in rural Australia from 2006 to 2008: two Aboriginal-controlled communities and one rural town. All locations were de-identified at the request of participants because confidentiality and anonymity were concerns of the adolescents, who felt that identifying their own community would result in stereotyping. After preliminary interviews with parents, teachers, youth and health workers, snowball sampling was used to identify 'vulnerable' adolescents with low school attendance. The mean age of respondents was 13 years. There were 40 male participants and 59 female participants, representing 6 language groups. Informed consent was obtained from both participants and their guardians. Data were analysed using thematic matrices and cross-checked in subsequent interactions with participants.

RESULTS: Alcohol, drugs and violence were identified as the biggest problems facing Aboriginal adolescents in rural areas and the topic they would most like to know about. The youth from a smaller Aboriginal community near a town with a population of 1500 stated that boredom was an equally important problem. Racism and bullying were noted as reasons for poor school attendance. Family members were the most important supports, and the people they felt would help solve their health problems. They strongly identified with sports and were proud to be Aboriginal although there were many adolescents who had no future plans or ambitions. Most participants wanted a 'safe and fun' place to go to in the evenings.

CONCLUSIONS: The importance of engaging the community and being sensitive to social and cultural contexts in research and programming was confirmed. Policy-makers, health providers and agencies working with youth need to focus on inclusion of families in youth health promotion and drug and alcohol prevention for Aboriginal adolescents in rural areas. Mentorship and peer-support programs are more effective than health professionals and agencies in working with youth. The expertise of those traditionally working with youth could be channelled into coordinating a mentorship program. Personal wellbeing and safety is an important issue and multipurpose youth centres may provide a secure place for adolescents to learn, interact and develop a vision for their futures.

Addict Behav. 2009 Jun-Jul;34(6-7):561-7. Epub 2009 Mar 24.

Victimization from mental and physical bullying and substance use in early adolescence.

Tharp-Taylor SHaviland AD'Amico EJ.

RAND Corporation, 4570 Fifth Avenue, Suite 600, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA. taylor@rand.org


Logistic regression analyses were used to assess the association between victimization from mental and physical bullying and use of alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, and inhalants among middle school students. Self-report data were analyzed from 926 ethnically diverse sixth through eighth grade students (43% White, 26% Latino, 7% Asian American/Pacific Islander, 3% African American, 14% mixed ethnic origin, and 5% "other") ages 11-14 years from southern California. Substance use was collected at two time points (fall 2004 and spring 2005) during an academic year. Models were run for each substance separately. Results supported an association between victimization from bullying and substance use. Youths who experienced each type of bullying (mental or physical) separately or in combination were more likely to report use of each substance in spring 2005. This finding held after controlling for gender, grade level, ethnicity and substance use in fall 2004.

Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2009 Jul;22(4):351-6.

Youth Internet use: risks and opportunities.

Guan SSSubrahmanyam K.

Children's Digital Media Center, Los Angeles, USA.


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The Internet has become all pervasive in the lives of young people and this paper will review studies that examine the risks and opportunities that it affords. We will examine research that investigates the more negative aspects of youth online behavior such as addiction as well as online risks such as harassment/cyber bullying and sexual solicitation. In addition, positive aspects of Internet use such as its potential for learning and enhancing social relations as well as delivering health interventions will be examined.

RECENT FINDINGS: The results show that online risks such as addiction, cyber bullying, and sexual solicitation are associated with negative consequences for youth. It is important to note that not all children are equally susceptible and more research is necessary to identify the youth most at risk as well as to develop effective interventions. The Internet can also provide benefits in the areas of cognitive, social, and physical development, and can also be used to deliver treatment interventions.

SUMMARY: The Internet represents both risks and opportunities for young people. To protect youth who are at risk for online addiction, bullying, and solicitation, we need more research to understand which youth may be most susceptible and to develop targeted interventions to protect them. The Internet also has many positive aspects and can be used to enhance youth learning and empowerment; although it is a tremendous health resource and can be used to cheaply deliver interventions, we need to understand how to better implement them to enhance their effectiveness.

Res Dev Disabil. 2009 Nov-Dec;30(6):1155-67. Epub 2009 Apr 16.

Development of the Children's Scale of Hostility and Aggression: Reactive/Proactive (C-SHARP).

Farmer CAAman MG.

Ohio State University Nisonger Center, Columbus, OH 43210, USA. farmer.107@osu.edu


Whereas some scales exist for assessing aggression in typically developing children, they do not give a detailed analysis, and none is available for populations with developmental disabilities (DD). Parents of 365 children with DD completed the Children's Scale of Hostility and Aggression: Reactive/Proactive (C-SHARP), which surveys the severity of aggressive and hostile behaviors (Problem Scale) in addition to their proactive or reactive qualities (the Provocation Scale). Factor analysis yielded a 5-factor solution: I. Verbal Aggression (12 items), II. Bullying (12 items), III. Covert Aggression (11 items), IV. Hostility (9 items), and V. Physical Aggression (8 items). Coefficient alpha ranged from moderate (0.74, Physical Aggression) to high (0.92, Verbal Aggression). General validity was supported by expected differences between age and gender groups. Preliminary normative data were presented. The C-SHARP appears to be a promising tool for assessing aggression and hostility in children with DD.

Can Fam Physician. 2009 Apr;55(4):356-60.

Approach to bullying and victimization.

Lamb JPepler DJCraig W.

University of Toronto, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Women's College Hospital, Burton Hall, 60 Grosvenor St, Toronto, Ontario. jennifer.lamb@utoronto.ca


OBJECTIVE: To review the epidemiology, identification, and management of bullying and victimization among children in the primary care setting.

SOURCES OF INFORMATION: Information was obtained from PsycINFO and MEDLINE databases, as well as the authors' own clinical and research experience. Information is based on levels II and III evidence.

MAIN MESSAGE: Involvement in bullying is a destructive relationship problem, with important health implications. Physicians need to be aware of the physical and psychosocial symptoms commonly associated with involvement in bullying so that they can screen and identify those children involved. This article presents a review of bullying and associated symptoms, a tool for assessing bullying involvement, and an overview of intervention and management.

CONCLUSION: Bullying is a substantial problem affecting Canadian children. With an increased awareness and understanding of bullying as a health problem, physicians can play an instrumental role in identifying children involved in bullying and providing them with the support needed to develop healthy relationships.

J Sch Nurs. 2009 Jun;25(3):195-204. Epub 2009 Apr 10.

The behavioral ecological model as a framework for school-based anti-bullying health promotion interventions.

Dresler-Hawke EWhitehead D.

Department of Marketing, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.


This article presents a conceptual strategy which uses the Behavioral Ecological Model (BEM) as a health promotion framework to guide school-based bullying awareness programs and subsequent anti-bullying strategies for school nursing practice. Anti-bullying frameworks and tools are scarce despite the extent of the problem of bullying. This article reviews existing literature centered on the BEM and illustrates how the model can be applied to the school-setting. This is the first time that a multilevel framework has been proposed for school-based anti-bullying in the form of a model. The BEM is a useful tool for assisting in the development of more comprehensive programs to influence anti-bullying intervention in school-based nursing practice.


Rev Salud Publica (Bogota). 2008 Aug-Oct;10(4):517-28.

[Bullying amongst students attending state basic and middle schools].

[Article in Spanish]

Cepeda-Cuervo EPacheco-Durán PNGarcía-Barco LPiraquive-Peña CJ.

Departamento de Estadística, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá. ecepedac@unal.edu.co


OBJECTIVE: Determining the characteristics and level of bullying in state schools in Ciudad Bolivar (Locality 19) in Bogotá, Colombia.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: A sample of 3 226 basic education students was taken, the students being in the sixth to eleventh grades in state schools in the locality of Ciudad Bolivar in Bogotá. The data was collected by applying a survey in which the perception of bullying in the schools was established. SPSS 14.0 was used for statistical analysis.

RESULTS: This research took statistical results indicating the level of indifference, aggressiveness and other kinds of violence in the schools. The initial conclusion was that a high percent of students were rejected and humiliated by their peers. The level of bullying depended on the students' scholastic level rather than their socioeconomic level. Bullying situations such as giving students nicknames which they did not like or not including them in class activities were more frequent in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades. Overall, intensity and strategic indices revealed that school is a place where each day brings more suffering, where many violent situations may arise thereby making students feel afraid and that this affects the children's life for a high percentage of the students.

CONCLUSIONS: The student community from the locality of Ciudad Bolivar in Bogotá, Colombia, is affected by a high number of bullying situations.


Prax Kinderpsychol Kinderpsychiatr. 2009;58(2):139-54.

[Bullying prevention in the context of mental health promotion and the development of quality in schools: "MindMatters"].

[Article in German]

Michaelsen-Gärtner BWitteriede H.

Zentrum für Angewandte Gesundheitswissenschaften, Leuphana Universität Lüneburg, Wilschenbrucher, Lüneburg.


The discussion of the subject matter is introduced by a definition of the phenomenon bullying. A vivid case description additionally illustrates the results. The severity of the problem is pointed out by taking empirical findings into account. International research has yielded risk and protection factors of bullying in schools which are subsequently presented as crucial for its successful prevention. The following presentation of the German version of MindMatters is underpinned by these theoretical corner stones. This resource aims to prevent bullying by its integration into mental health promotion and the development of quality in schools.


Prax Kinderpsychol Kinderpsychiatr. 2009;58(2):125-38.

[Coping, adjustment, and bullying among male children and adolescents].

[Article in German]

Hampel PDickow BHayer TPetermann F.

Zentrum für Klinische Psychologie und Rehabilitaton, Universität Bremen, Bremen. petra@uni-bremen.de


This study aimes to investigate if bully-victim status types differ in coping with interpersonal stressors, psychological adjustment, and strain state among male pupils. In total, N=207 sixth to ninth graders (aged 10 to 16 years) were asked to complete self-report measures, which assessed experiences with bullying and victimization, coping strategies, externalizing and internalizing problems, and strain. Overall, bully/victims showed the worst psychosocial functioning. Victims were characterized by a mixed pattern of maladaptive coping as well as anger control and internalizing problems. In contrast, bullies scored low on maladaptive coping and high on externalizing problems. Results suggest preventive interventions, which must be tailored to special needs of the groups regularly involved in bullying and victimization.


Prax Kinderpsychol Kinderpsychiatr. 2009;58(2):110-24.

[Bullying in primary school: participant roles and their stability across contexts].

[Article in German]

Hörmann CSchäfer M.

Institut für Pädagogische Psychologie und Entwicklungspsychologie der Ludwig-Maximilains-Universität München, Müchen.


When bullying happens in secondary school peer involvement and distinct participant roles for nine often children (as bully, assistant, reinforcer, defender, outsider or victim) are well evidenced. However, it is still unclear to what extent this applies to primary school children: How precise do they represent roles and how stable is individual role behavior across different contexts? For all 251 children (53% male) of a Munich primary school (6 to 10 years, first to fourth grade) Participant Roles in bullying (Salmivalli, Lagerspetz, Björkqvist, Osterman, Kaukiainen, 1996) were assessed in standardized interviews. Additionally, for 119 of these children (58 % male) a participant role could be identified in their after school group (Hort). Our findings confirm the existence of distinct participant roles in bullying for primary school children, but a high intercorrelation between the pro-aggressive roles is noticeable. Especially the bully and the victim role turn out to be quite stable across contexts. An analysis by grades suggests a considerable impact of contextual characteristics: children's behavior in bullying situations seems to be affected by the range of behavioral choices the different contexts provide.


Prax Kinderpsychol Kinderpsychiatr. 2009;58(2):96-109.

[The bullying and victimization questionnaire for children (BVF-K): construction and analysis of an instrument for the assessment of bullying in kindergarten and primary school].

[Article in German]

von Marée NPetermann F.

Zentrum für Klinische Psychologie und Rehabilitation, Universität Bremen, Grazer Strasse, Bremen. nvmarees@uni-bremen.de


Bullying constitutes a meaningful risk factor concerning the development of emotional problems and behavioral abnormalities and occurs to a considerable degree in kindergarten and primary school already. In order to identify bullying behavior as well as the children involved early enough, reliable and valid assessment methods are needed. The Bulling and Victimization Questionnaire for Children (BVF-K) is an instrument based on self-reports for pre- and primary school children. The questionnaire assesses to what extent 4-10 year old children are affected by direct or indirect bullying. The construction sample consisted of 458 children. Item analysis showed good distribution of item difficulties as well as satisfactory discriminative power of items. Via principal component analysis, two scales (victim and bully) as well as four subscales were extracted (direct and indirect/relational victimization and direct and indirect/relational aggression respectively), showing satisfactory to good internal consistency.


Prax Kinderpsychol Kinderpsychiatr. 2009;58(2):81-95.

[How valid are student self-reports of bullying in schools?].

[Article in German]

Morbitzer PSpröber NHautzinger M.

Universitätsklinikum Ulm, Klinik für Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie/-psychotherapie, Ulm.


In this study we examine the reliability and validity of students' self-reports about bullying and victimization in schools. 208 5th class students of four "middle schools" in Southern Germany filled in the Bully-Victim-Questionnaire (Olweus, 1989, adapted by Lösel, Bliesener, Averbeck, 1997) and the School Climate Survey (Brockenborough, 2001) to assess the prevalence of bullying/victimization, and to evaluate attitudes towards aggression and support for victims. By using reliability and validity criteria, one third (31%) of the questionnaires was classified as "unreliable/invalid". Mean comparisons of the "unreliable/invalid" group and the "valid" group of the subscales concerning bullying/victimization found significant differences. The "unreliable/invalid" group stated higher values of bullying and victimization. Based on the "unreliable/invalid" questionnaires more students could be identified as bullies/victims or bully-victims. The prevalence of bullying/victimization in the whole sample was reduced if "unreliable/invalid" questionnaires were excluded. The results are discussed in the framework of theories about the presentation of the self ("impression management', "social desirability") and systematic response patterns ("extreme response bias").


Anxiety Stress Coping. 2009 Oct;22(5):497-508.

Belief in a just world and well-being of bullies, victims and defenders: a study with Portuguese and Indian students.

Correia IKamble SVDalbert C.

CIS-Centro de Investigacao e Intervencao Social/ISCTE-Lisbon University Institute, Lisboa, Portugal. Isabel.Correia@iscte.pt


Previous findings characterize the belief in a just world (BJW) as a valuable resource for maintaining positive well-being and assimilating injustice. The present cross-sectional study applies just world research to school bullying and tested the hypotheses that the personal BJW is positively correlated with subjective well-being, here particularly school distress. In this paper the generalizability of this association is tested in victims, bullies, and defenders, and across gender and also two countries with different cultures, Portugal and India. We will test if BJW can best be interpreted as a personal resource (main effect) or a buffer (moderator) for the distress of victims, bullies and defenders of the victims. The participants were 465 school students (Portuguese sample: 187 students aged between 12 and 18 years; Indian sample: 278 Indian students aged between 14 and 17 years). Overall, the results of the study supported the personal resource hypothesis. The stronger the adolescents' endorsements of the BJW the less they felt distressed at school, and this was true independent of their bullying behavior and within both sexes and across both samples, although boys, bullies, and Portuguese adolescents experienced more distress and defenders experienced less distress at school.

Am J Community Psychol. 2009 Jun;43(3-4):204-20.

A social disorganization perspective on bullying-related attitudes and behaviors: the influence of school context.

Bradshaw CPSawyer ALO'Brennan LM.

Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 624 N. Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. cbradsha@jhsph.edu


Social disorganization theory suggests that certain school-level indicators of disorder may be important predictors of bullying-related attitudes and behaviors. Multilevel analyses were conducted on bullying-related attitudes and experiences among 22,178 students in 95 elementary and middle schools. The intraclass correlation coefficients indicated that 0.6-2% of the variance in victimization, 5-10% of the variance in retaliatory attitudes, 5-6% of the variance in perceptions of safety, and 0.9% of the variance in perpetration of bullying was associated with the clustering of students within schools. Although the specific associations varied somewhat for elementary schools as compared to middle schools, the hierarchical linear modeling analyses generally suggested that school-level indicators of disorder (e.g., student-teacher ratio, concentration of student poverty, suspension rate, and student mobility) were significant predictors of bullying-related attitudes and experiences. Student-level characteristics (i.e., sex, ethnicity, status in school) were also relevant to students' retaliatory attitudes, perceptions of safety, and involvement in bullying. Implications for school-based research and violence prevention are provided.

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2009 May;48(5):545-53.

School, neighborhood, and family factors are associated with children's bullying involvement: a nationally representative longitudinal study.

Bowes LArseneault LMaughan BTaylor ACaspi AMoffitt TE.

Medical Research Council Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, United Kingdom.


OBJECTIVE: To test whether school, neighborhood, and family factors are independently associated with children's involvement in bullying, over and above their own behaviors that may increase their risk for becoming involved in bullying.

METHOD: We examined bullying in the Environmental Risk (E-Risk) Longitudinal Twin Study, a nationally representative 1994-1995 birth cohort of 2,232 children. We used mother and teacher reports to identify children who experienced bullying between the ages of 5 and 7 years either as victims, bullies, or bully-victims. We collected information about school characteristics from the Department for Children, Schools and Families. We collected reports from mothers about children's neighborhood and home environments and reports from mothers and teachers about children's internalizing and externalizing problems when they were 5 years old.

RESULTS: Multinomial logistic regressions showed that over and above other socioenvironmental factors and children's behavior problems, school size was associated with an increased risk for being a victim of bullying, problems with neighbors was associated with an increased risk for being a bully-victim, and family factors (e.g., child maltreatment, domestic violence) were associated with all groups of children involved in bullying.

CONCLUSIONS: Socioenvironmental factors are associated with children's risk for becoming involved in bullying over and above their own behaviors. Intervention programs aimed at reducing bullying should extend their focus beyond schools to include local communities and families.

Clin Pract Epidemiol Ment Health. 2009 Mar 23;5:6.

Mental and somatic health complaints associated with school bullying between 10th and 12th grade students; results from cross sectional studies in Oslo, Norway.

Lien LGreen KWelander-Vatn ABjertness E.

Institute of Psychiatry, University of Oslo, Box 1130, 0318 Oslo, Norway. lars.lien@medisin.uio.no.



BACKGROUND: Bullying is a widespread and serious problem that might influence both mental and psychical well being as well as school performance and social life. The aim of this study was to describe the prevalence of bullying, mental health problems and psychical complaints among 10th and 12th grade students and to analyze the association between bullying, mental health problems and muscle and skeletal complaints.

METHODS: Two cross sectional studies of adolescents living in Oslo, Norway the first conducted in 2001 among 10th grade students (15/16 years old) and the second in 2004 among 12th grade students (18/19 years old). Both surveys were based on self report, were mostly school based and had almost identical questionnaires. There were around 3700 participants in both surveys, but the participation rate was lower in the latter survey (88 versus 80%). The Hopkins Symptoms Check List (HSCL-10) and the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) were used to measure mental health problems.

RESULTS: Bullying is decreasing both among boys and girls while the prevalence of internalized mental health problems are increasing from 10th to 12th grade. For muscle and skeletal pain there is a diverging trend between boys and girls, with an increase among girls and a decrease among boys. The highest Odds Ratios, as a measure for the association between bullying, mental health problems and pain, were found for internalized mental health problems at both 10th and 12th grade both for boys and girls.

CONCLUSION: Both internalized and externalized mental health problems together with pain seem to be associated with bullying irrespective of school type and gender.

Arch Dis Child. 2010 Sep;95(9):711-6. Epub 2009 Mar 22.

Are adolescents with chronic conditions particularly at risk for bullying?

Pittet IBerchtold AAkré CMichaud PASurís JC.

Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, Lausanne, Switzerland.


OBJECTIVE: To compare the prevalence and intensity of victimisation from bullying and the characteristics of the victim of bullying, comparing adolescents with and adolescents without chronic conditions (CC).

DESIGN: School survey.

SETTING: Postmandatory schools.

PARTICIPANTS: A total of 7005 students (48% females) aged 16-20 years, distributed into adolescents with CC (728, 50% females) and controls (6277, 48% females). Chronic condition was defined as having a chronic disease and/or a physical disability.

OUTCOME MEASURES: Prevalence of bullying-intensity of bullying-and sociodemographic, biopsychosocial, familial, school and violence context characteristics of the victims of bullying.

RESULTS: The prevalence of bullying in our sample was 13.85%. Adolescents with CC were more likely to be victims of bullying (adjusted OR 1.53), and to be victims of two or three forms of bullying (adjusted OR 1.92). Victims of bullying with CC were more likely than non-victims to be depressed (RR 1.57), to have more physical symptoms (RR 1.61), to have a poorer relationship with their parents (RR 1.33), to have a poorer school climate (RR 1.60) and to have been victims of sexual abuse (RR 1.79) or other forms of violence (RR 1.80). Although these characteristics apply to victims in general, in most cases, they are less pronounced among victims without CC.

CONCLUSIONS: CC seems to be a risk factor for victimisation from bullying. Therefore, as adolescents with CC are increasingly mainstreamed, schools should be encouraged to undertake preventive measures to avoid victimisation of such adolescents.

Am J Public Health. 2009 May;99(5):907-14. Epub 2009 Mar 19.

Socioeconomic inequality in exposure to bullying during adolescence: a comparative, cross-sectional, multilevel study in 35 countries.

Due PMerlo JHarel-Fisch YDamsgaard MTHolstein BEHetland JCurrie CGabhainn SNde Matos MGLynch J.

Institute of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. pdu@niph.dk


OBJECTIVES: We examined the socioeconomic distribution of adolescent exposure to bullying internationally and documented the contribution of the macroeconomic environment.

METHODS: We used an international survey of 162,305 students aged 11, 13, and 15 years from nationally representative samples of 5998 schools in 35 countries in Europe and North America for the 2001-2002 school year. The survey used standardized measures of exposure to bullying and socioeconomic affluence.

RESULTS: Adolescents from families of low affluence reported higher prevalence of being victims of bullying (odds ratio [OR] = 1.13; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.10, 1.16). International differences in prevalence of exposure to bullying were not associated with the economic level of the country (as measured by gross national income) or the school, but wide disparities in affluence at a school and large economic inequality (as measured by the Gini coefficient) at the national level were associated with an increased prevalence of exposure to bullying.

CONCLUSIONS: There is socioeconomic inequality in exposure to bullying among adolescents, leaving children of greater socioeconomic disadvantage at higher risk of victimization. Adolescents who attend schools and live in countries where socioeconomic differences are larger are at higher risk of being bullied.

J Youth Adolesc. 2010 Jan;39(1):1-11. Epub 2008 Oct 24.

Bullying and victimization among adolescents: the role of ethnicity and ethnic composition of school class.

Vervoort MHScholte RHOverbeek G.

The Netherlands Institute for Social Research, The Hague, The Netherlands. m.vervoort@scp.nl


The present study examined the relationships between ethnicity, peer-reported bullying and victimization, and whether these relationships were moderated by the ethnic composition of the school classes. Participants were 2386 adolescents (mean age: 13 years and 10 months; 51.9% boys) from 117 school classes in the Netherlands. Multilevel analyses showed that, after controlling for the ethnic composition of school class, ethnic minority adolescents were less victimized, but did not differ from the ethnic majority group members on bullying. Victimization was more prevalent in ethnically heterogeneous classes. Furthermore, the results revealed that ethnic minority adolescents bully more in ethnically heterogeneous classes. Our findings suggest that, in order to understand bullying and victimization in schools in ethnically diverse cultures, the ethnic background of adolescents and the ethnic composition of school classes should be taken into account.


5/5/09: Important new study of severity of the problem

This newly published paper is very significant because it is the first prospective study showing an association between being bullied as a child and the development of (in some bullied children) psychotic symptoms in childhood - which is itself predictive in some children of the later development of an adult psychotic disorder. This is not the first paper to show such an association, but it is the first one to show it prospectively - that is, to take a group of children (over 6,000 in this case, in England) and follow them from before the experience of bullying. As you may know, this type of evidence is much stronger than retrospective studies of such questions. As such, this paper (published in a very good, peer-reviewed journal - Archives of General Psychiatry) is likely to attract wide publicity in and out of the scientific community (e.g., it's already been discussed in an NPR program). The paper provides further evidence-based support, if any were needed, for the absolute importance and urgency of addressing childhood bullying.

              The abstract is below.

Stuart Green

Prospective Study of Peer Victimization in Childhood and Psychotic Symptoms in a Nonclinical Population at Age 12 Years

Andrea Schreier, PhD; Dieter Wolke, PhD; Kate Thomas, MSc; Jeremy Horwood, BSc; Chris Hollis, PhD, MRCPsych; David Gunnell, PhD; Glyn Lewis, PhD, FRCPsych; Andrew Thompson, MD, MRCPsych; Stanley Zammit, PhD; Larisa Duffy, BSc; Giovanni Salvi, MBChB; Glynn Harrison, MD, FRCPsych

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2009;66(5):527-536.

Context Psychotic symptoms are commonly experienced in nonclinical populations of adolescents and adults and have been shown to be predictive of later schizophreniform disorders. Associations between adverse experiences in childhood and psychotic symptoms in adulthood have been demonstrated.

Objective To examine whether peer victimization is associated with psychotic symptoms in a population-based sample of 12-year-olds.

Design Prospective cohort study.

Setting Assessment clinic for 12-year-old members of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children birth cohort in Bristol, England, where parents had participated since pregnancy and their children completed a range of physical and psychological annual assessments since age 7 years.

Participants A total of 6437 respondents with complete interviews (mean age, 12.9 years).

Main Outcome Measure The Psychosis-like Symptoms Interview developed for the study using stem questions, glossary definitions, and rating rules, adapted from the National Institute of Mental Health Diagnostic Interview Schedule for ChildrenIV and the Schedules for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry. The interview, carried out by trained psychology graduates, investigated respondents' experience of psychotic symptoms hallucinations, delusions, and thought disorders) over the previous 6 months.

Results The risk of psychotic symptoms was increased about 2-fold (odds ratio = 1.94; 95% confidence interval, 1.54-2.44) among victims of bullying at ages 8 and/or 10 years, independent of other prior psychopathology, family adversity, or child's IQ. Similar results were found using mother and teacher reports of victimization. Associations were stronger (up to odds ratio = 4.60; 95% confidence interval, 3.24-6.50) when victimization was chronic or severe (ie, experience of relational as well as overt victimization reported).

Conclusions Peer victimization in childhood, especially if it is chronic or severe, is associated with psychotic symptoms in early adolescence. These results lend further support to the relevance of psychosocial factors in the etiology of psychotic symptoms

2/24/09: Recess or how life outside the classroom affects the classroom, continued ...

Here is a NY Times article summarizing a recent study published in the good medical journal Pediatrics. The point of the study (as the Times puts it) is that recess - no longer routinely available to all students, especially those in less resourced settings - is important to academic functioning and performance. This is another in an increasingly long line of work emphasizing the importance of social and environmental factors at school to learning. Bullying is, of course, one of those factors, though not a focus here.

Recess - NY Times 2-09

1/13/09: Cyberbullying Report

A NY Times article summarizing a report about to issued from a Harvard-led national task force on cyberbullying makes the point (as Nancy Willard and other experts have made before) that the threat of sexual predation on-line and on social networking sites specifically is more limited than is typically believed (though any incident is of concern, of course), but that cyberbullying (peer harassment, including on a sexual basis) is the much more common threat. This finding seems consistent with the small number of good studies previously done. Here is the article.

Task Force Report 1-09

12/08: Zero Tolerance - no evidence and no good

A recent report of the American Psychological Association's Zero Tolerance Task Force essentially affirmed the relative uselessness (and occasional harm) zero tolerance approaches do, both in terms of bullying and in terms of fair treatment of students and impact on school climate. (Article posted below.)

Zero tol APA 12-08


A report of a survey of children conducted in Oklahoma in 2005 and an accompanying report just issued in 2008 (not sure why the gap between the year the survey was conducted - apparently 2005 - and issuance of the report, apparently a few weeks ago, but ... ) just came to my attention (thanks to Dr Michael Greene). I haven't seen the survey instrument itself as yet (though it's reportedly of high quality, a modification of Olweus' , and may be useful for NJ purposes) and the survey results are not surprising, essentially finding again (in Oklahoma) roughtly similar results to those found by survey after survey in the US (and some other countries) over the years. But the short summary report accompanying the survey is also nicely done, neatly stating key elements of a systemic approach to bullying in schools, with a solid introduction. Worth looking at.

Oklahoma report 10-08

 8/29/08: Note re: articles recently published in the International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health (2008).

A special issue about bullying, of the International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, was just published. This is a good addition to the literature. The journal did an exceptional job of obtaining review articles from many of the major researchers in the field. There are many particular issues addressed by the various articles - perhaps the key one, in terms of an overview of where we are from an evidence-based perspective, is the article by Rigby and Slee which addresses interventions. As the article concludes, we have a beginning understanding of what measures may effectively address bullying but the results vary pretty widely, according to such factors as the quality of implementation, buy-in by school staff, ages of the children addressed, severity of the bullying, etc. Much more effort to intervene and study the interventions is needed. Given the importance of the issue, the level of funding and extent of support - financial and technical - available to schools is currently trivial. Here is the conclusion of the Rigby/Slee article, and then below that another article I consider important, by Pepler and colleagues. There are several more very good articles in the issue, which I'll try to review here at a later date as well.


Rigby K, Slee P. Interventions to reduce bullying.

Int J Adolesc Med Health. 2008;20(2):165-183.




Perpler D, Craig W, et al. The development of bullying. Int J Adolesc Med Health. 2008;20(2):113-19.


This is another important article, though essentially a summary of points from work originally published by the authors in the journal Child Develpment (as they note).

In terms of children bullied, they divide the children into those who experience high levels of bullying, those at moderate levels, those at moderate levels who stop experiencing bullying by high school (a "desisting" group) and those who experience low or no bullying. The research is survey-based, with all the problems attendant to that type of study, but well-done for that. Key points are:

  • Only 42% of all children (elementary through high school) experience 'low or no' bullying. (It's worth noting that this group does include children who have experienced bullying, which even at 'low' levels can be distressing and have lasting effects.) So the majority of children experience significant bullying, most throughout their school years (the "desisting" group is 13%).
  • As one would expect there are strong gender differences: four times as many boys as girls are significantly bullied ('high') levels. Even in the 'moderately' bullied group (setting aside the 10% who experience 'high' levels of bullying), there are more boys. And in the 42% of kids who are never bullied or experience 'low' levels, there are twice as many girls.
  • Children bullied most have many types of problems, both with peers and in the family. (However, it must be noted that many problems develop after being bullied and this survey data cannot distinguish that factor out. So this data would NOT be a basis for saying that because kids bullied most have the most problems, that is necessarily a preceding, let alone causative, factor in their bullying.)
  • A very important aspect of this research is the 'associated characteristics' in terms of peer and family functioning which the authors found in the various sub-groups. For example, in the "desisting" group (which did experience moderate or high levels of bullying earlier in their school careers, but the bullying stopped by high school), once the bullying stopped, these children's relations with peers and family assumed the same positive, non-problematic nature as those of children who experienced low or no bullying. However - of interest - those bullied were found to be more susceptible to peer pressure. (This makes sense, in that a child who has ever experienced being bullied, even if no longer, could be expected to have an extremely heightened sense of what constitutes peer norms or what are peer expectations - a child analogue of being 'worried well' in terms of peer relations.)
  • Of great interest is the authors' report of finding "no pattern" in the profiles of those who bully. They do note that children who bully are reinforced in the use of aggression as a strategy for dealing with peers, and that this is of course very harmful to them, aside from the damage it does to peers. (They also suggest 'self-regulation' problems in those who bully, and some other characteristics, which need addressing. A key point they make is that for those who bully the most, an "intensive" - individual - approach may be needed.)

A good and important article.


7/21/08: Children 'Overestimate' Bullying?

A recent Star Ledger story reported on a recently published survey which had as one of its findings that while NJ children thought more than 3/4 of all children in their schools were involved in bullying, 'only' 20% or so (if I recall) actually were (directly involved in bullying). So the headline noted this 'overestimation' or apparent excess of fear about bullying. (I'll post the articles themselves, including the study, when I can.) I was called by a reporter to comment. Here is the (email query and response):


Dear Mr. Green,
I'm a reporter for The Star-Ledger and I'm working on a piece about a new survey of perceptions of bullying by New Jersey middle school students. The survey found that the kids overestimated the prevalence of bullying in their schools. While they reported they did not engage in bullying they estimated that it happens frequently in the schools by someone else. The authors feel that, A, this could lead to more bullying or reluctance to intervene because kids think it happens so frequently, and B, that school should recast their message indicate most kids are against bullying and peer pressure can be exerted against bullies, and C, that the anti bullying messages themselves might be responsible for kids overestimating bullying in school.


Here is my response:

I haven't seen the survey yet so I can't judge its accuracy, but let's assume it's good data (surveys commonly are not good data, but ... ):

 This one survey would not be consistent with most or all previous evidence (mostly survey data, admittedly), of which I'm aware. That either means most or all of the previous data was not accurate, or that the current survey is not accurate, or that something important has changed.

- It's unlikely tho still possible that most or all of the previous data was (collectively) not accurate.

- In terms of the accuracy of the current survey, the issue is what is the basis for comparison? That is, the rate at which kids report bullying occurs (in the present survey) is obviously being compared to something else (e.g., a more accurate report about the rate at which bullying is actually occurring). I'm not aware that we have any good data, in NJ or anywhere else, about the actual rate at which bullying is occurring (and such reports themselves depend on how bullying is defined, who's conducting the data, whether the data collection is anonymous or not, etc. etc.). So what is the idea of kids over-estimating bullying based on (what comparison)? From what you wrote, it seems as if the rate at which kids report bullying occurring is being matched against kids' report of how much/often they themselves engage in bullying. If that's all the comparison is, it's not much to report. Kids are of course likely to respond no (or to minimize) if asked if and how much they themselves bully. It's not even clear that kids will report accurately how much they are bullied. Again, it depends on how the data is collected, the questions are formulated, etc. etc.

- If something important has changed (i.e., kids now perceive and/or report more bullying than is actually occurring), what could have happened?

- Well, it's possible that bullying has become such a media focus and parent/community concern at present, that the perception of bullying occurring (by kids or anyone else) has now exceeded the actual rate (assuming we know it) at which bullying occurs in school. But even if this is so, it does not mean anything especially good for the lives of those kids in the school who are being bullied. Schools generally are not yet systematically and adequately taking such great care of kids being bullied, nor especially systematic or effective steps to prevent that bullying from occurring. Nor are schools currently over-committing resources to bullying, nor over-focusing on it (in their actions). So it's not as if - based on this survey, e.g. - schools can now cut back on something they weren't doing enough of in the first place. In other words, I don't see much reason to stop pursuing the goal of having schools effectively address bullying because of this report.

- However, there is one important implication of such a result (the survey), worth thinking about. We know, from some recent research done on problematic alcohol use in college, that the perception by college students that "everyone" (peers) drinks can apparently be a factor which leads some students to drink more or more often than they otherwise would have. As I'm sure you know, this is complicated research, needs a lot of replication and may or may not be actually true, as many have pointed out. But anyway, based on some findings that suggest this may be true (more drinking if college students think 'everyone drinks'), some have suggested that college campaigns to decrease drinking remind students that most college students don't drink or get into trouble with alcohol (e.g., binge drink). It remains to be seen, as far as I know, whether such new campaigns, with this slant, actually decrease college student drinking. Anyway, if the middle school situation is similar (may or may not be), it might be good to remind students that most kids don't bully (and certainly not hype how common bullying is.

That's a reasonable suggestion. Nancy Willard, who writes extensively about cyberbullying and internet safety, has, for example, pointed out that there's a lot of hype around the danger of the internet for kids, though this is not to say there aren't some real risks and dangerous situations which do occur.  I agree w her about this. It may also be true about bullyinjg.

- But so what? The big danger today is not that we overhype or overestimate bullying. The real, actual danger - which currently exists in all schools of which I'm aware - is that we do not do enough to prevent and address bullying (at whatever rate it occurs) and do not do anywhere near enough to adequately protect and support vulnerable kids.


Stuart Green

Director, NJ Coalition for Bullying Awareness and Prevention
(908) 522-2581



5/22/08: From the professional literature (based on reading the abstracts, not yet the studies themselves): (1) More evidence that traumatic experiences in childhood, which bullying (among other things) is, can have lasting negative effects (as if more evidence was needed). This time a study about adolescent smoking in which one of the traumatic experiences identified ((based on self-reported history in a database of about 15,000 teens) was "physical assault." Bullying is the most common type of physical assault young people experience but bullying is not specifically identified here, just the broader category. Nonetheless, the study finds a significant association between (self) report of physical assault within the preceding year and the onset of "regular smoking." The article is: Roberts ME, Fuemmeler BF, McClernon FJ and Beckham JC (2008). Association between trauma exposure and smoking in a population-based sample of young adults. Journal of Adolescent Health, 42, 266-274. (2) An interesting study of school staff training for suicide prevention, which finds that those trained have more knowledge about suicide (by self-report) but this in itself doesn't lead them asking students about suicide of distress. The authors state that barriers on the student side (e.g., unwillingness to talk to adults about suicide) limit the impact of the staff training. This may be interpreted (here) as reinforcing an existing wisdom about bullying prevention programs: that an intervention must be systemic, not only staff training but a more thorough, multi-pronged revision of the environment (school culture, climate, processes) to achieve success. We're stretching from the study (which was not at all about bullying) to this conclusion, but the stretch seems reasonable. Where bullying is concerned, e.g., students must be convinced that their telling adults (e.g., staff) about bullying will result in effective, helpful (and reasonable) action before they will tell. The article is: Wyman PA, Brown CH, Inman J, Cross W, Schmeelk-Cone K, Guo J and Pena JB (2008). Randomized trial of gatekeeper program for suicide prevention. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 76, 104-115. We might also note that this study was a randomized controlled trial (RCT), a rigorous research method most likely to produce reliable conclusions (though not clear from the abstract if it was placebo-controlled or blinded, which is the ideal but both of which would be very hard to do in a social context such as a school). RCT's are difficult to do in regard to bullying, even more difficult to do than this good study. All the authors looked at here was the self-reported behavior of the staff. In a helpful study on bullying, much more would have to be the focus, to make the findings meaningful.

5/08: Useful recent articles from the academic lit. The first is from the counseling program at Northeastern U in Illinois - a simple review of the science, including re intervention. The other, by psychologists in Sweden, is a less commonly encountered study of adolescent perspectives on bullying. Here are the articles:

Article 1 Article 2

(3/08): Excellent article (from the medical literature, by an emergency medicine specialist) on hazing. It was published in 2002, but I'll post it now since I just came across it (again) in my files- re-reading it reminded me of what an excellent review of the issue it is, and the professional (dispassionate) language required makes the points, examples and analysis an even more powerful statement. Note author's referencing of Hank Nuwer (several times) - it's not often a journalist is cited so prominently in a med lit article - that the author does so is a testimony to how sparse the med lit is on hazing (true in 2002, and still true) and on how important to this issue Hank Nuwer (the leading anti-hazing advocate) has been.

Hazing 2002 Finkel

(2/08): Articles I've recently read/reviewed but don't have time to describe here. Abstracts, some fuller reprints and the refs are here - all are from the Pediatrics lit, three major journals. And one older article I like, a statement by the Society for Adolescent Medicine - useful to distribute to medical audiences.

Peds refs 2-08

SAM statement

(1/08): Yet another important new study, this one just published in Journal of Pediatrics. The study, by well-known researchers (e.g., Katon), finds associations between 'involvement in bullying' (including those bullying, those bullied and 'bully-victims') and grades (all groups), attitudes toward weapon-carrying (among the 'victim' groups), and sadness and sense of belonging in the school. The study is large (over 5,000 kids) and well-done. Here's the abstract.

J Peds 1-08 bullying and school safety

(12/07): An important article by Brown, Chesney-Lind and Stein and colleagues on the importance of gender in teen violence. Specifically, the article addresses an issue Nan Stein has been raising for years: whether construing sexual harassment and other gender-specific forms of violence as 'bullying' obscures or minimizes the important role gender and cultural attitudes and structures around gender play in the violence. Going further, this article argues that using even the best anti-bullying programs (e.g., the Olweus approach) may not be appropriate in addressing the violence toward women (girls) which is such a big part of what constitutes bullying at school. These are very important issues. Here's the article (abstract and ref):

Gender article 12-07

(12/07):  A bunch of new studies on cyberbullying, published in Journal of Adolescent Health (Dec 07), with link provided by the NY Times. 

Link to the journal is: http://www.jahonline.org/content/suppl07

(Clicking on each study PDF, at the site, should open full article)

(11/07): We often emphasize the role of adult modeling on bullying behavior in children, in particular the importance of the behavior of school staff on students, who are exquisitely observant of (essentially 'on the lookout' for) adult behavior which varies from what such adults would have children do. As just one example (of very many) of the potency of school staff modeling on many behaviors, not only bullying, here's a study mentioned in this week's JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association). The article (Barnett TA, Gauvin L, Lambert M, et al. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. 2007:161:842-8) is a (Canadian) study of the relationship between children's tobacco use (smoking, in this case) and staff behavior. Aside from finding concerning (but unsurprising) rates of daily smoking among kids (e.g., 25% of 16 yo girls smoking daily, 21% of 16 yo boys), the authors found that 13 yo girls were "almost 5 times more likely to be daily smokers if they attended schools at which staff were permitted to smoke ... ." (It was also surprising to learn that huge percentages of (Canadian) schools allow both staff and students to smoke, including indoors.)

(10/07): Here's a study which is signifcant because of its authors (Craig and Pepler, who have done early and important past work on bullying) and, more to the point, because of what the study indicates. Craig and Pepler study 2007 The study supports the extremely important idea that children - especially those most targeted - have only limited personal capacity to end their bullying, and that some of the strategies children may use can prolong or worsen the situation. We are still not at the point at which we can reliably distinguish which sub-populations of targeted children can develop and use which strategies in which situations to effectively address their bullying. What this leaves is essentially a philosophical issue, of importance: We already have evidence that adult actions (especially school staff and leaders) can effectively prevent and address most school bullying. We do not have evidence that targeted children can effectively address their own bullying (though children generally can be effective in helping prevent bullying and protect others who are bullied, given appropriate adult structure and support). We understand bullying to arise primarily through adult modeling of bullying behavior and inadequate action to prevent bullying or address it effectively when it occurs. We also know that from the point of view of the bullied child, bullying is an assaultive (often traumatic, persistently damaging) experience. Given these points, why would we expect bullied children (in most cases) to effectively address or prevent their own bullying? Such approaches inevitably convey to bullied children that they (their characteristics, vulnerability, social skills and situation, etc.) are primarily responsible for what has happened to them. Would we say or imply the same to an adult who has been mugged, or in a case of sexual assault? This is the issue.

- Stuart Green

(8/07): There's been a lot of studies published in the past year, but no time to comment or post. However ... (here's one). There's been a line of work going on in Finland which certainly merits comment. I just received an email about the work and replied to it. (see link, below) ...

Comment- Re: article

(8/06): There have been a number of published studies of importance

in the past few months, but time limitations make it impossible to keep an updated posting. However, it's fair to say that the studies generally continue to support our existing understanding of the high prevalence of bullying, its importance as a traumatic and limiting experience of childhood, its basis in school functioning, its adult (long-term) effects and the importance of bystanders to its occurrence. Here's an example of a recent study which supports, in addition, another element of the picture (which we have also come to understand over the past several years) - how early bullying starts. The study: Perren S & Alsaker FD (2006). Social behavior and peer relationships of victims, bully-victims, and bullies in kindergarten. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 47, 45-57. According to a summary published in this month's edition of Clinician's Research Digest, the article supports - among others - the following points, which we consider especially important: (1) that 'uninvolved' (in bullying) students are more likely to befriend other uninvolved students than 'bullies', 'victims' and 'bully-victims'; (2) 'bullies' were more likely to have leadership skills, 'larger social circles' (which was more likely to include other bullies); and (3) that these pattersn were evident in kindergarten.

(5/06): Do bullied children get ill, or do ill children get bullied? A prospective cohort study on the relationship between bullying and health-related symptoms.

Pediatrics 1 May 2006 117(5): p. 1568.


Verbal abuse by the teacher and child adjustment from K - 6.

Pediatrics 1 May 2006 117(5): p. 1585.



Bullying Keeps Overweight Kids From Exercise
05.14.06, 12:00 AM ET

SUNDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- Overweight kids who could benefit from sports and regular exercise are often discouraged from doing so by taunts and bullying, a U.S. study finds.

"We found that as rates of peer victimization among overweight kids went up, rates of physical activity went down," lead author Eric Storch, assistant professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the University of Florida, Gainesville, said in a prepared statement.

"When you speak to overweight kids, one of the things you often hear is just this. Kids are targeting them. Kids are picking on them," Storch said. "You're going to end up avoiding these types of situations. The problem clinically is, if kids are avoiding PE (physical education) class or playing sports because of fears of negative peer relationships, their health status is affected."

He and his colleagues studied 100 children, ages 8 to 18, who were overweight or at risk of being overweight.

About a quarter of the children reported significant problems with bullying in the two weeks before the start of the study.

Not only does bullying make overweight children want to avoid gym class, sports or other situations where they face ridicule, it also can lead to depressed feelings that keep these children from wanting to take part in activities.

"When you think about it, it makes intuitive sense, when you consider the hallmark signs of depression -- sadness, fatigue, lack of interest in things you used to like," Storch noted. "When kids are having a tough time with peers, and struggling with depression, then this can translate to reduced rates of physical activity."

The study appears in the April online edition of the Journal of Pediatric Psychology.

(2/05): New (3/06 pub. date) article reviewing previously published evidence for programs addressing youth violence, including bullying. The article organizes effective approaches into two broad domains, making a useful distinction: 'universal skills training' (e.g., social skills training for all students) and 'ecological' (focus on changing the culture of a school). In the ecological category, the Olweus bullying prevention program is - as we would expect, given the evidence - strongly endorsed. The article provides a very useful brief description of a solid range of effective programs, of which Olweus' is the most specific (and most effective) for bullying.

Review of approaches to youth violence

(2/05): Article by Michael Greene and Randy Ross on U.S. anti-bullying laws.

Analysis of US anti-bullying laws

(11/05): Newest study (Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine) supporting link between bullying and school achievement/academic performance. Here's the Reuters write-up, which is a good description. We'll post the full text of the study shortly.

bullying and academics - Archives study

(10/05): There just hasn't been time to post the continuing cascade of bullying-related studies, even the most notable ones. 'Most notable' would include a recent European study of adolescent depression in which the key finding was that prevalence of depression varied significantly according to the school the adolescent (Dutch girls, if I recall) attended. This notion - that problems traditionally considered an expression of a particular child's individual pathology/condition could instead (as the study implicitly suggests) be a function of the characteristic of the social setting, school in this case - seems common sense at one level. But it is a tremendously underexplored and uncredited notion, in both academic and clinical/educational circles. However, it is the most critical underlying notion of our modern understanding of childhood bullying. In the traditional (and inaccurate) understanding of bullying, it was the particular child's individual pathology which was the key (sociopathy, or low self-esteem, etc. in the bullying child; social skills deficits, shyness, etc. in the bullied child). In the modern, evidence-based understanding of bullying, thanks to Olweus' original work and many others since, we see the powerful impact of social institutions (schools, led and shaped by adults) on child behavior. This social context-depression study is actually a new development in the literature. One might think it might not have been proposed if not for what studies of childhood bullying have shown. (Article will be posted here shortly.)

(8/05): Latest evidence-based overview of school violence. Michael Greene's latest article, "Reducing Violence and Aggression in Schools" (published in the July 2005 issue of Trauma, Violence and Abuse ) is a terrific look at the evidence, including an expert distillation of common and distinguishing factors in school violence and in programs which address it. The article is especially useful in identifying what is needed to make approaches work, e.g., the paragraph on p.242 about essential factors in disciplinary approaches. The article is authoritative, places bullying and anti-bullying approaches in its necessary context and would be a useful read (and starting point for review and planning of school programs) for all senior school administrators and professionals. Highly recommended!

"Reducing Violence and Aggression in Schools" by Dr. Michael Greene

(7/05): On bullying and ... school performance, unemployment.

Here are recent publications from the academic literature (the abstracts are provided below; on-line versions of the articles will be posted shortly). The first is yet another study about bullying's negative effects on school performance (London). The evidence continues to build that paying attention to childhood bullying is critical to learning and academic achievement.

Bullying and School Performance

The second study is about bullying's long-term (to adulthood) negative impact on employment (Finland).Studying the adult implications of childhood bullying is still uncommon and much needed: It may be that much which is of concern in adult life has its origins in exposure to childhood bullying.

Bullying and Unemployment

(6/05): New evidence that bullying affects school performance

Juvonen and associates in California have recently published a study which provides more evidence for the impact of bullying on academic performance in school. Juvonen is a well known researcher on the topic, editor of an important book on peer harassment and violence. The study is well down and provides new support for an idea which should be critical in convincing school leaders to (finally) focus adequately on bullying. In Coalition presentations, we typically say that if school leaders stopped 'teaching to the test' and instead effectively addressed bullying in their schools, test scores would 'rise like a rocket'. This should no longer be considered only a speculation, though much further research is of course needed. The paper is also interesting in that the term 'bullying' is never used - Juvonen prefers the term 'peer harassment' for the phenomenon. This may be a trend; it's true that some parents and children seem to associate the term 'bullying' only with younger children (as one parent said just yesterday). But the term 'bullying' is in wide use around the world (in different languages of course), is applied to adult situations as well, and is the standard current usage. We'll have to see if the language changes ... Another interesting point in the paper is that in the introduction, Juvonen uses the figure 75% to refer to the percentage of children who have experienced bullying, on the high end of figures commonly found and cited. Here's the study, so you can read it for yourself: nishina juvonen witkow 2005 - jccap

(5/05): Friendships affect bullying - new study

A recently published study worth noting, in Journal of Interpersonal Violence (6/05), out of University of Kentucky, indicates that friendships of 'high quality' (a best friend, in this case, the relationships characterized by being high on closeness, security, helping, etc., as perceived by a bullied child) are associated with less victimization. This would no be surprise to most of us - encouraging (even creating - through such means as 'friendship circles') friendships for bullied children (who tend to be more isolated, perhaps because they are bullied) is already a recommended strategy. But continuing study and accumulating evidence for what may work is of great importance. So the study is welcome. Something new the study adds is the finding that if a bullying child had a high quality best friend (again, as perceived by the one child of the pair who was involved in the study) they bullied less. Among the study's limitations are its reliance on surveys filled out by child and parents, rather than observation, characterizing friendship quality based on one child's (in the pair) report, etc. (there are always limitations in studies, which is why more studies are always needed ... ) Nonetheless, the study adds to our knowledge and helps affirm the importance of friendships. To the extent possible, adults in a school (as well as parents and community) must help ensure that bullied children have such friendships and - as this study suggests - bullying children do also. Here's the study, so you can read it for yourself:

bollmer jiv paper


(4/05): Bullying and tv-watching linked: but wait ...

There's been a lot of national mention about a study which just appeared in the academic journal Child Development.

The media coverage universally gives the impression that bullying in school (and specifically the behavior of those who bully) occurs because of the early (through age 4) home environment, and specifically (the headlines) the amount of tv watching allowed in the home: the more tv, the more bullying. This is misleading.

First, the study has some flaws (as all studies do, including individual ones we cite to support the whole school model of bullying prevention. In this case, the study did not use - as the authors acknowledge - a definition of bullying which included imbalance of power as one of the two key elements.

Second, mothers of children self-reported the extent of bullying, a problematic method. And there were some other issues.

But even if the study findings were completely valid , the issue is that children's problems and dispositions to behave certain ways are only the starting point for what occurs (and especially continues to occur) in schools.

That is, the school environment (as created and managed by the adults in charge) is the primary determinant of what occurs between children. That is, as much evidence (including the positive results of school-based bullying prevention models) suggests, a child who is inclined to bully, for whatever reason (and home environment may certainly be one factor for some children), will do so or not to the extent the school environment ('school culture', as it sometimes called) is conducive to the behavior (ignoring it, inadequately addressing it, subtly encouraging it through over-emphasizing sports and victories, under-supporting isolated or non-athletically-inclined children, etc. etc.) The Child Dev study is attached, here, so you can read it for yourself, rather than only relying on the (in this case, as is not uncommon) somewhat distorted media takes on the study. Child Development study 4/05


This article - from Teachers' College Record - was published in '03 but posted this week (12/05) on an Equity listserv. It's a nice essay on the relationship between school performance/learning and bullying, with some good references. The only negative is that the starting reference point for the article is the (then) recently enacted No Child Left Behind law, without indicating any of its problems. Taking that with the deserved 'grain of salt' the article is good to have.

S. Mickens - Teachers College article









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