Study explores why children with asthma are more likely to be bullied

New research has uncovered several factors which could explain why children with asthma are at an increased risk of being bullied.

The study, presented today at the European Respiratory Society's Annual Congress in Vienna, highlights the need for doctors to talk to children with asthma about bullying, as well as the impact the disease could be having in other areas of their life.

Bullying or teasing of children with any is common, yet it is not always clear what factors contribute to this. Researchers from the Derbyshire Children's Hospital, in the UK, used data from the large six-country "Room to Breathe" survey of , to look at the factors associated with an increased risk of bullying.

Parents and children aged 7 years and above were interviewed as part of the study. Data was collected from 943 which asked questions about conditions at home, lifestyle of parents and children and their overall experience of their condition.

The results revealed a number of factors associated with an increased risk of bullying. Factors such as a reduced participation with sport and of were significantly associated with an increased risk of bullying. Additionally, factors that could be improved, such as poor asthma control, parental smoking and parents' on-going about their child's health, were also associated with bullying.

Dr Will Carroll, from the Derbyshire Children's Hospital, said: "Our findings emphasise the need for doctors and nurses to speak to their patients about the effects their condition has on all aspects of their life. We know that bullying is associated with asthma and these findings can help us understand why this is case.

"A number of the factors identified are things that can be changed, such as participation in sport, asthma control and parental worry over their child's health. As doctors, we must work with families to ensure these are removed and work with schools and teachers to ensure children with asthma are able to participate in sports at a level that is safe for them."

David Supple, the parent of an asthma sufferer, said: ""When you have a child with exercise-induced it can be really hard to get them to participate. You can be scared to push them - but the health and social benefits far outweigh the fear, and can help build a lifetime of confidence against bullying. We have made a real effort to include our son, Alex in as much sport as we can to ensure that he isn't excluded from different groups and to keep a wide balance of friends."

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Children's asthma affected by parental expectations

Oct 06, 2008

Asthmatic children whose parents have high expectations for their ability to function normally are less likely to have symptoms than other children dealing with the condition, according to a new study. Children also are more ...

Parental involvement key to preventing child bullying

May 03, 2010

Communities across the United States are developing programs to address child bullying. New research shows that parents can play an important role in preventing their children from becoming bullies in the first place.

New research reveals extent of family and sibling bullying

Jun 29, 2011

Children who are slapped and shouted at by their parents are more likely to bully their brothers and sisters. Findings from 'Understanding Society', a study of 40,000 UK households funded by the Economic and Social Research ...

Recommended for you

Suddenly health insurance is not for sale

Apr 18, 2014

(HealthDay)— Darlene Tucker, an independent insurance broker in Scotts Hill, Tenn., says health insurers in her area aren't selling policies year-round anymore.

Study: Half of jailed NYC youths have brain injury (Update)

Apr 18, 2014

About half of all 16- to 18-year-olds coming into New York City's jails say they had a traumatic brain injury before being incarcerated, most caused by assaults, according to a new study that's the latest in a growing body ...

Autonomy and relationships among 'good life' goals

Apr 18, 2014

Young adults with Down syndrome have a strong desire to be self-sufficient by living independently and having a job, according to a study into the meaning of wellbeing among young people affected by the disorder.

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

theskepticalpsychic
not rated yet Sep 02, 2012
Bullying happens because in the microcosm of the school playground, among a hierarchical species like ours, jockeying for alpha troupe position is common. Anyone perceived as weak -- which asthma sufferers commonly are -- is fair game. Now give me $160,000.