Magazine article USA TODAY

Untangling Effects of Bullying on Depression

Magazine article USA TODAY

Untangling Effects of Bullying on Depression

Article excerpt

In a study that examines bullying among African-American youth, researchers at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, identify risk and protective factors associated with symptoms of depression and point the way to further study.

"By removing race/ethnicity from the current analysis, we examined intraracial behavior among youth in a way unlike the majority of bullying research has over the past several decades," the researchers wrote. Furthermore, they concluded that the study "has clearly helped to disentangle the effects of bullying behavior on the mental health of an understudied population."

Kevin Fitzpatrick, professor of sociology, and his colleagues examined the relationship among symptoms of depression, group membership, and risk and protection among African-American youth. The researchers note the need for "culturally sensitive, age-appropriate, and multifaceted programs that recognize the link between exposure to violence and depressive symptoms." Both exposure to violence and symptoms of depression have been linked to serious problems in school--absences, poor grades, and dropping out--that have serious negative implications during adolescence and on into adulthood.

The researchers grouped students into four categories: bullies, victims, bully-victims, and noninvolved. Elevated levels of symptoms of depression were found among all four student groups as compared to national benchmarks. Among the youth in this study, the relationship between bullying and symptoms of depression varied across groups: "While victims and victim-bullies self-reported more depressive symptoms than the nonbullied or nonvictimized groups, bullies did not," points out Fitzpatrick. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.