Category Archives for Health
Posted: March 4, 2014
In my 27 years as a school psychologist, I have seen an increase in how many students and families are concerned about bullying. I have witnessed first-hand the damage it can cause –not only to the children being bullied, but also to those who witness bullying, and even to kids who bully. Thankfully, I have also seen this issue go beyond what many used to think of as an acceptable “rite of passage,” to one that is seen for what it actually is: an important public health issue that merits community prevention and response.
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Posted: November 6, 2013
The Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention, a group of representatives from across the federal government came up with a great way of having youth and adults partner to hold a dynamic bullying prevention initiative. Continue Reading
Posted: October 23, 2013
“That kid is a bully.”
We have all heard someone utter these words at one time or another, but is it fair to label a child?
The labels bully, victim, and target are used often by media, researchers and others to refer to children who bully others and children who are bullied. Yet, you won’t find these terms used in this way on StopBullying.gov. For... Continue ReadingPosted in Response
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: June 3, 2013
Duke University professors recently published research that shows the degree to which bullying can affect someone’s mental health.
Authors Copeland, Wolke, Angold, and Costello discovered that victims of childhood bullying have a higher risk of developing mental health problems later in life. The study followed more than 1,000 youth, starting at the ages of 9, 11, and 13. The youth were interviewed each year until they turned 16. Follow-up interviews were then conducted into adulthood.
... Continue ReadingPosted in Response
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: January 15, 2013
Late one Tuesday night, I received a text from the mother of my son’s friend. She told me that we needed to talk NOW; would I call her? Two weeks earlier, my 15-year-old son had broken down in tears over the harassment he was receiving at school. What I did not know, but learned from the mother who contacted me, was that my son had come very close to attempting suicide the night before. The actions of friends may indeed have saved my son’s life. My husband and I knew “Jake” was hurting inside. Continue ReadingPosted in Warning Signs
Posted: December 12, 2012
Nikki Allinson is a great example of how some students who have been bullied can turn their experience into a passion for helping others. Nikki, currently 23 years old, experienced bullying in middle school and is now an advocate and leader for the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a non-profit organization working to reduce biased-based bullying in schools.
Nikki’s story begins in middle school, where she said that her peers lacked an understanding about her Jewish heritage. When she asked for a day off from school for religious reasons, kids made fun of her for being Jewish both in person and through instant messenger. When the bullying got worse, she tried to avoid school but eventually told her parents about what was going on. Her parents gave her the support that she needed to get through the year, but the bullying continued. She notes that her... Continue ReadingPosted in Profiles/Voices from the Field
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.
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Posted: October 9, 2012
October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and it’s important to remember that bullying can threaten students’ physical and emotional safety at school, and can adversely impact their ability to learn. The best way to address bullying is to stop it before it starts.
On October 24th, the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention will host “School-Based Health Professionals Respond to Bullying” a webinar focused on bullying in school settings. This webinar, developed in collaboration with the National Association of School Nurses and the National Assembly of School-Based Health Care, will showcase on-the-ground perspectives from clinicians and students along with best practices for bullying prevention and response.
There are a number of things school-based networks can do to make schools safer and... Continue Reading