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1.What is bullying? 2.Is being bullied associated with later mental health problems in young children? 3.Does being bullied lead to mental health problems.

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Presentation on theme: "1.What is bullying? 2.Is being bullied associated with later mental health problems in young children? 3.Does being bullied lead to mental health problems."— Presentation transcript:

1 1.What is bullying? 2.Is being bullied associated with later mental health problems in young children? 3.Does being bullied lead to mental health problems in young children, after taking into account previous mental health problems? 4.Does being bullied lead to mental health problems in young children, after taking into account family-wide factors? 5.How does these findings contribute to helping reduce mental health problems in young children? Mental health outcomes of young children involved in bullying Louise Arseneault Associate of Kings College London January 31th, 2008

2 We say a student is being bullied when another student, or a group of students, say or do nasty and unpleasant things to him or her. It is also bullying when a student is teased repeatedly in a way he or she doesnt like. But it is not bullying when two students of about the same strength quarrel or fight. Health Behaviour of School-aged Children (HBSC), JAMA 2001 Bullying

3 Involvement in Bullying Not involved: 66% Pure bullies: 16% Pure victims: 12% Bully/victims: 5% M=626, F=761 M=145, F=127 M=216, F=162 M=78, F=59

4 Regression coefficient Being bullied lead to age-7 internalising problems when prior internalising problems are controlled for

5 Regression coefficient Being bullied lead to age-7 externalising problems when prior externalising problems are controlled for

6 Standardised mean scores of internalising problems among MZ twin pairs discordant for having been bullied Internalising problems age 10 (z-scores) Bullied twin (N=114) Not bullied twin (N=114)

7 Conclusions Being bullied is associated with later mental health problems in young children. Bullying involves repeated hurtful actions between individuals where an imbalance of power exists. These types of social interactions, where it is difficult for the ones being bullied to defend themselves, are frequent among school-aged children. Being bullied contributes to mental health problems (e.g., internalising and externalising problems) in childrens lives over the course of their early school years, over and above prior mental health problems.

8 Conclusions Being bullied leads to internalising problems independently of other risk factors common to members of the family in which bullied children grew up, including genetic makeup. Reducing bullying behaviour in schools and in communities, by designing programs to support victims of bullying, we may be able to decrease rates of childhood internalising disorders and possibly later anxiety and depression disorders

9 Further reading … Arseneault, L., Milne, B.J., Taylor, A., Adams, F., Delgado, K., Caspi, A., Moffitt, T.E. (2008). Evidence that bullying victimization is an environmentally-mediated contributing factor to childrens internalizing problems: A study of twins discordant for victimization. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. Coming in the February issue. Arseneault, L., Walsh, E., Trzesniewski, K., Newcombe, R., Caspi, A., & Moffitt, T.E. (2006). Bullying victimization uniquely contributes to adjustment problems in young children: A nationally representative cohort study. Pediatrics, 118,


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