Bullied Students More Likely to Be Depressed, Bring Weapons

Bullied Students More Likely to Be Depressed, Bring Weapons
Bullied Students More Likely to Be Depressed, Bring Weapons

HealthDay News — Bullied high school students have greater odds for depression and suicidal thoughts than others, and they're also more likely to take weapons to school, according to three new studies.

Researchers analyzed data from a 2013 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey of teens in grades 9-12, and found that depression and suicidal thoughts are much more common among teens who have been bullied electronically or at school.

Those risks were highest among teens who experienced both forms of bullying, according to one1 of the three studies. All were scheduled for presentation Monday at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting in San Diego.

"Although cyberbullying may not pose the same physical threat that face-to-face bullying does, it can be far more hurtful since it can spread like wildfire throughout a student body and take on a life of its own," Andrew Adesman, MD, of Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y., said in a hospital news release.

Another study2 found that bullying and physical and/or sexual violence on dates were associated with teens carrying weapons to school or not going to school.

The third study3 found that among teens who were victims of bullying in the past 12 months, girls were more likely to carry weapons to school than girls who were not victimized. But it's not clear if girls who have been victimized carry weapons for self-defense or revenge.

The studies only show a link, not a direct cause-and-effect relationship, between bullied teens and developing mental health problems. Also, data and conclusions presented at meetings are usually considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

References

  1. Pham T, et al. Relative Risks of Depression and Suicidal Tendency among Victims of School- and Electronic-Bullying With Co-Risk Factors. Presented at: Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting; April 25-28. San Diego.
  2. Tchaconas A, et al. Victimization of High School Students: Impact on School Attendance and Weapon Carrying Behaviors. Presented at: Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting; April 25-28. San Diego.
  3. Pham T, et al. Gender Differences in Risk of Weapon-Carrying By Adolescents Who Are Victims of Bullying. Presented at: Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting; April 25-28. San Diego.
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