FORT MYERS, Fla. – Bullying is in the news this week with two articles looking at it’s association with obesity and mental health. Here to discuss this and more is Dr. Annette St. Pierre-MacKoul.
Childhood bullying ‘worse for mental health’ than maltreatment by adults:
5300 participants in two studies:
UK – Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC):
maltreatment between 8 weeks and 8.6 years old.
bullying at ages 8, 10, 13.
mental health outcomes at age 18.
US – Great Smoky Mountain Study:
maltreatment and bullying from 9-16 years old.
mental health outcomes from 19-25 years old.
Bullied = > mental health problems than maltreated children
Bullied and maltreated = > mental health, anxiety and depression
Other studies occurred simultaneously.
Bullied = serious depression, suicide, obtained weapons.
11% HS students experience dating violence.
20% HS students report being bullied.
There are long term consequences of being bullied!
Study of 1200 students finds obesity link with bullying:
Direct association between feeling safer and being less likely to be overweight.
Youths who experience chronic poverty felt less safe at school, less activity, overweight.
Youths who felt safe at school spent less time in front of the ‘screen.’
Feeling unsafe was associated with poverty and obesity.
Victimization at school is linked to obesity, more screen time and less activity.
Feeling unsafe and victimized perpetuates obesity.