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JAMA. 2001 Apr 25;285(16):2094-100.

Bullying behaviors among US youth: prevalence and association with psychosocial adjustment.

Author information

  • 1Division of Epidemiology, Statistics, and Prevention Research, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 6100 Executive Blvd, Room 7B05, MSC 7510, Bethesda, MD 20892-7510, USA. nanselt@mail.nih.gov

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Although violence among US youth is a current major concern, bullying is infrequently addressed and no national data on the prevalence of bullying are available.

OBJECTIVES:

To measure the prevalence of bullying behaviors among US youth and to determine the association of bullying and being bullied with indicators of psychosocial adjustment, including problem behavior, school adjustment, social/emotional adjustment, and parenting.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS:

Analysis of data from a representative sample of 15 686 students in grades 6 through 10 in public and private schools throughout the United States who completed the World Health Organization's Health Behaviour in School-aged Children survey during the spring of 1998.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Self-report of involvement in bullying and being bullied by others.

RESULTS:

A total of 29.9% of the sample reported moderate or frequent involvement in bullying, as a bully (13.0%), one who was bullied (10.6%), or both (6.3%). Males were more likely than females to be both perpetrators and targets of bullying. The frequency of bullying was higher among 6th- through 8th-grade students than among 9th- and 10th-grade students. Perpetrating and experiencing bullying were associated with poorer psychosocial adjustment (P<.001); however, different patterns of association occurred among bullies, those bullied, and those who both bullied others and were bullied themselves.

CONCLUSIONS:

The prevalence of bullying among US youth is substantial. Given the concurrent behavioral and emotional difficulties associated with bullying, as well as the potential long-term negative outcomes for these youth, the issue of bullying merits serious attention, both for future research and preventive intervention.

Comment in

PMID:
11311098
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2435211
Free PMC Article
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