Title: Peer Victimization in Fifth Grade and Health in Tenth Grade
Researchers: Laura M. Bogart, Marc N. Elliott, David J. Klein, Susan R. Tortolero, Sylvie Mrug, Melissa F Peskin, Susan L. Davies, Elizabeth T. Schink, Mark A. Schuster
Student: Tabitha Biesinger
The research question: “How does bullying, both current and past, affect the physical and mental health of youth in elementary and high school?” This was the question and they were in search of an answer. The researchers state that there were only few studies that have been conducted to determine how children are affected in the long run. This was their reason to go forward with their research.
The team began by analyzing data from 4,297 children that were surveyed in fifth, seventh, and tenth grade from three different cities. The researchers used multivariable regressions to test the longitudinal associations of bullying with the physical and mental health by comparing children how have been bullied in the past, in the present, in the past and present, or not at all. The results, “Bullying was associated with worse mental and physical health, greater depression symptoms, and lower self-worth over time.” From the results they were able to find that health is worst in children who are have both present and past bullying experience and best health in children with no bullying experience. The conclusion is that both chronic and current bullying are linked to substantially worse health. A key finding is that youth who have been bullied have worse health and lower self worth. Their recommendation is that if clinicians recognize bullying early enough, they might be able to intervene and prevent a a downward health spiral for children who are repeatedly targeted.
This research project really highlights the major risks of being bullied. I think everyone should be aware of the real issues it can cause.