Exploring Causes and Consequences of Teenage Bullying
|May 27, 2011||Posted by M. P. under Behavorial Health, Children and Family, Drug and Alcohol, Health, Juvenile Delinquency, Research, Youth Development||
From the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) of April 22, 2011 comes the report Bullying Among Middle School and High School Students — Massachusetts, 2009, which examines the risk factors associated with involvement in bullying.
The report, based on analysis of data from the 2009 Massachusetts Youth Health Survey, found:
- among middle school students over ¼ reported being a victim of bullying, 7.5 percent reporting bullying peers and 9.6 percent reported being involved in bullying as both a perpetrator and a victim (the bully-victim);
- among high-schoolers, 15.6 percent were victims, 8.4 bullies and 6.5 percent bully-victims.
- Bullies were more likely to be male in both middle and high schools, while victims were more likely to be female.
- Compared with students not involved in bullying, bully-victims were exponentially more apt to indicate they had:
- considered suicide,
- purposefully hurt themselves,
- been physically injured by a family member, or
- witnessed violence within their family.
Data indicate that bully-victims reported experiencing or witnessing episodes of family violence more than bullies, and both groups reported the occurrence of family violence more than the victim group.This report confirms past research that linked bullying with alcohol and drug use, suicide, mental health challenges and the possibility of a pattern of future aggression. Unfortunately (and perhaps ironically), as this research has emerged, fiscal austerity measures have lead to a significant decrease in the funding for school-based bullying prevention programs.
How can the nonprofit sector mobilize to fill the need for evidence-based violence prevention services, including anti-bullying programs? Can (and should) nonprofits partner with similar organizations such as churches, youth groups, scouts, sports leagues, etc., to address this troubling trend in youth behavior?