Bullying Linked to Domestic Violence, Alcohol, Drugs

Article excerpt

Bullying may be connected to factors including family violence, alcohol and drug use, and increased suicidal tendencies, according to results from the 2009 Massachusetts Youth Health Survey.

The randomized population-based survey was administered during one class period to 138 middle schools and high schools (2,859 middle school students and 2,948 high school students). Through the paper-and-pencil survey, students were asked about their experience being bullied or bullying their peers (MMWR 2011; 60:465-71).

Those who responded that they had been bullied during the last 12 months were categorized as victims; those who responded that they had bullied or pushed someone around in the last 12 months were categorized as bullies. Students who responded that they had experienced both were categorized as bully-victims.

The most striking finding was the frequency by which bullies and bully-victims had been exposed to domestic violence, said Dr. Robert Sege, chief of ambulatory pediatrics at Boston Medical Center.

In the survey, 23% of bully-victims in middle school and 20% of high school bully-victims reported they'd been physically hurt by a family member in the last 12 months. This compared with 19% for bullies and 14% for victims in middle school; the figures for high school were 14% and 13%, respectively. …

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