Children with mental health disorders more often identified as bullies

Children diagnosed with mental health disorders were three times more likely to be identified as bullies, according to new research presented Oct. 22 at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans.

is a form of defined as repetitive, intentional aggression that involves a disparity of power between the victim and perpetrator. A 2011 nationwide survey found 20 percent of U.S. were bullied during the preceding 12 months. And while it is well-established that victims of bullying are at increased risk for mental health illness and suicide, few studies have investigated the mental health status of those who do the bullying.

In the study, "Association Between and Bullying in the United States Among Children Aged 6 to 17 Years," researchers reviewed data provided by parents and guardians on mental health and bullying in the 2007 of Children's Health, which included nearly 64,000 children.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.
Children diagnosed with mental health disorders were three times more likely to be identified as bullies, according to new research presented Oct. 22 at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans. Bullying is a form of youth violence defined as repetitive, intentional aggression that involves a disparity of power between the victim and perpetrator. A 2011 nationwide survey found 20 percent of US high school students were bullied during the preceding 12 months. And while it is well-established that victims of bullying are at increased risk for mental health illness and suicide, few studies have investigated the mental health status of those who do the bullying. Video features comments by study author Frances G. Turcotte-Benedict, MD, a Brown University master's of public health student and a fellow at Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence, RI. Credit: Frances G. Turcotte-Benedict, MD

In 2007, 15.2 percent of U.S. children were identified as bullies by a parent or guardian. Overall, children with mental health disorders were three times more likely to bully other children. A sub-analysis by type of disorder found that children with a diagnosis of depression were three times more likely to bully, while a diagnosis of Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) was associated with a six fold increase in the odds of being identified as a bully.

"These findings highlight the importance of providing psychological support not only to victims of bullying, but to bullies as well," said study author Frances G. Turcotte-Benedict, MD, a Brown University master's of public health student and a fellow at Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence, RI."

"In order to create successful anti-bullying prevention and intervention programs, there certainly is a need for more research to understand the relationship more thoroughly, and especially, the risk profile of childhood bullies."

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

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.

How to raise a child who doesn't bully

May 01, 2011

With all of the media attention on young people being tormented by bullies and cyberbullies, parents may wonder what they can do to protect their children. The question they may want to ask instead is how can they prevent ...

Recommended for you

Social ties matter beyond bushfires

26 minutes ago

In the first major release of findings from the Beyond Bushfires study of the aftermath of the Black Saturday bushfires, researchers from the University of Melbourne have been able to show the social element ...

Mom's prenatal hardship turns baby's genes on and off

56 minutes ago

In January 1998 five days of freezing rain collapsed the electrical grid of the Canadian province of Québec. The storm left more than 3 million people without electricity for anywhere from a few hours to ...

Smoking rates high among people with psychotic illness

1 hour ago

The rate of smoking among people in Adelaide's northern suburbs who suffer from a psychotic illness is much greater than the national average and is contributing to other major health problems, according to new research from ...

EEG test to help understand and treat schizophrenia

18 hours ago

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have validated an EEG test to study and treat schizophrenia. The findings, published in two separate studies, offer a clinical test that could be used ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.