Category Archives for Risk Factors
Posted: May 12, 2015
It was time for everyone in my 6th grade class to line up in the school gym for our annual weight/height measurements by the school nurse. My stomach was already churning, because, if past experiences taught me anything, I would need to brace for the bullying that would ensue after my weight was called out within earshot of my classmates.
Sure enough, after my weight was announced, I heard laughing and whispers. In both the halls and classrooms, I was called names like “whale,” “heavy chevy” (a shortened version of my name), and “cow.” Even my best friends called me names while we played together on the playground.
That happened almost 40 years ago, but I can remember it plain as day, as if the words were permanently seared into my skin as reminders.
I can also remember choking back tears all the way home and slinking upstairs to my room. I locked the door behind me and pried up a... Continue Reading
Posted: April 21, 2015
Bullying is defined as unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Studies suggest that this type of peer victimization is a pervasive issue — 28% of children and youth reported being bullied at school during the 2011 school year. Research since the 1990s shows that children who are bullied are more likely than their peers to develop mental and physical health problems. Now, new neurobiological research shows the negative... Continue Reading
Posted: December 30, 2013
In the past decade, headlines reporting the tragic stories of a young person’s suicide death linked in some way to bullying have become regrettably common. There is so much pain and suffering associated with each of these events, affecting individuals, families, communities and our society as a whole. There is an increasing national outcry to “do something” about the problem of bullying and suicide.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other violence prevention partners are conducting research to learn more about the relationship between these two serious public health problems with the goal of using what we have learned to save lives and prevent future suffering. One example of this work is in September 2010, the CDC brought together a panel of experts who presented research focusing on this... Continue Reading
Posted: July 1, 2013
Although bullying can occur among individuals of any weight, overweight and underweight children tend to be at higher risk for bullying. Targets of verbal bullying based on weight, sometimes referred to as “weight teasing,” can experience a number of negative consequences, including a change in body perception.
Weight teasing by both family and peers has been associated with high levels of anxiety and low self-esteem among adolescents. Having low self-esteem because of peer criticism can change an individual’s body image. Body image is the positive or negative feelings you have about the way you look. Continue Reading
Posted: February 27, 2013
Recent media publicity around suicides by youth who were bullied by their peers has led many to assume that bullying often leads directly to suicide. Although youth who are involved in bullying are more likely to have suicidal thoughts and attempt suicide than those who are not involved in bullying, research indicates that other risk factors play a larger role in suicidal behavior.
What do we know about suicide and its causes? Continue Reading
Posted: February 21, 2013
Bullying can happen anywhere. It can happen in person, online, or behind your back. But there are some groups that are at higher risk.
Erin Reiney is the Director of Injury and Violence Prevention at the Health Resources and Service’s Administration (HRSA) Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB). She leads HRSA’s Bullying Prevention efforts, and serves as project officer for the MCHB Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) Resource Center Consortium and the Children’s Safety Network National Resource Center.... Continue Reading
Posted: January 29, 2013
On the surface, bullying and youth substance use may seem like separate problems. However, from research, we know that kids who use drugs or alcohol are at risk for other problem behaviors during their teen years. Recent findings confirm previous studies that found links between bullying and substance use. In a recent article, researchers found that middle and high school students who bully their peers or are bully-victims (bully others and are also bullied) are more likely than students who aren’t involved in bullying to use alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana. Continue Reading
Posted: November 9, 2012
Bullying can affect everyone—those who are bullied, those who bully, and those who witness bullying. Bullying is linked to many negative outcomes including impacts on mental health, substance use, and suicide. Although kids who are bullied are at risk of suicide, bullying alone is not the cause. Many issues contribute to suicide risk, some of which include depression, substance abuse, problems at home, and trauma history. James Wright is at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in the Suicide Prevention Branch. Mr. Wright is the project officer for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and works with states receiving funding for youth suicide prevention through the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act.
... Continue Reading
Posted: October 30, 2012
From a very early age, we pick up on important social cues that benefit us throughout school, and even into our working lives. These cues include standing at an appropriate distance, not touching the person in front of you, and even using the right volume when speaking. These basic skills are essential for functioning socially. Children with autism often do not pick up on the same cues as other children can, which can make them vulnerable to bullying.
Posted: September 14, 2012
Bullying can affect everyone—those who are bullied, those who bully, and those who witness bullying. Bullying is linked to many negative outcomes including impacts on mental health, substance use, and suicide. It’s important to talk to kids to determine whether bullying—or something else—is a concern. Kids who are bullied can experience negative physical health, school, and mental health issues. Marci Hertz is at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the Prevention Practice and Translation Branch of the Division of Violence Prevention. Marci oversees CDC’s efforts related to youth violence prevention, including the STRYVE initiative (Striving to Reduce Youth Violence Everywhere). ... Continue Reading