Author(s): van der Wal MF, de Wit CA, Hirasing RA
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To assess the association between bullying (both directly and indirectly) and indicators of psychosocial health for boys and girls separately. STUDY DESIGN: A school-based questionnaire survey of bullying, depression, suicidal ideation, and delinquent behavior. SETTING: Primary schools in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 4811 children aged 9 to 13. RESULTS: Depression and suicidal ideation are common outcomes of being bullied in both boys and girls. These associations are stronger for indirect than direct bullying. After correction, direct bullying had a significant effect on depression and suicidal ideation in girls, but not in boys. Boy and girl offenders of bullying far more often reported delinquent behavior. Bullying others directly is a much greater risk factor for delinquent behavior than bullying others indirectly. This was true for both boys and girls. Boy and girl offenders of bullying also more often reported depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation. However, after correction for both sexes only a significant association still existed between bullying others directly and suicidal ideation. CONCLUSIONS: The association between bullying and psychosocial health differs notably between girls and boys as well as between direct and indirect forms of bullying. Interventions to stop bullying must pay attention to these differences to enhance effectiveness.
This article was published in Pediatrics
and referenced in Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior