Lack of Practitioner Screening Roadblock For Bullied Teens

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Less than 25% of adolescents who are victims of bullying ever receive help, according to a new study that was presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition.

Statistics show that one out of every three adolescents has been bullied, placing them at higher risk for several mental disorders, including depression, self-harm, anxiety and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

Amira El Sherif, MD, a private practitioner with Kidzcare Pediatrics in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and colleagues surveyed 440 high and middle school students in North Carolina. About 29% said they had been bullied in the past. Fifty-four percent of 11- to 14-year-olds reported being bullied, while 46% of those 15 to 18 years old said they were.

The researchers identified 28 barriers to mental health treatment, 11 of which were specific to those who had experienced bullying. At the top of the list was lack of appropriate screening and counseling my practitioners. Other factors were school related, such as inaction by school officials, poor enforcement in investigating incidents, and lack of communication with parents.

Schools also need training programs in regards to bullying, El Sherif noted. She added tghat improving communication between medical providers, school officials and parents would allow for a team approach to bullying, which would improve access to services.

Lack of Practitioner Screening Roadblock For Bullied Teens
Less than 25% of adolescents who are bullied every receive appropriate help.

Nearly one in three U.S. adolescents are affected by bullying, placing them at risk for health problems including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, depression and self-harm. Unfortunately, fewer than a quarter of these teens receive help, and new research identifies some of the reasons why.

A study to be presented Oct. 24 at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference & Exhibition in Washington, DC, surveyed 440 students in high school and middle school in Cumberland County, North Carolina. Mirroring national trends, an average of 29 percent of the respondents reported being bullied in the past. Among 11- to 14-year-olds, 54% reported being bullied, compared with 46% of those 15 to 18 years old.

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