Bullying Behaviors Among US Youth
Prevalence and Association With Psychosocial Adjustment
Tonja R. Nansel, PhD Mary Overpeck, DrPH Ramani S. Pilla, PhD W. June Ruan, MA Bruce Simons-Morton, EdD, MPH Peter Scheidt, MD, MPH
ULLYING AMONG SCHOOL-AGED youth is increasingly being recognized as an important problem affecting well-being and social functioning. While a certain amount of conflict and harassment is typical of youth peer relations, bullying presents a potentially more serious threat to healthy youth development. The definition of bullying is widely agreed on in literature on bullying.1-4 Bullying is a specific type of aggression in which (1) the behavior is intended to harm or disturb, (2) the behavior occurs repeatedly over time, and (3) there is an imbalance of power, with a more powerful person or group attacking a less powerful one. This asymmetry of power may be physical or psychological, and the aggressive behavior may be verbal (eg, name-calling, threats), physical (eg, hitting), or psychological (eg, rumors, shunning/exclusion). The majority of research on bullying has been conducted in Europe and Australia. Considerable variability among countries in the prevalence of bullying has been reported. In an international survey of adolescent healthrelated behaviors, the percentage of students who reported being bullied at least once during the current term ranged from a low of 15% to 20% in
Context Although violence among US youth is a current major concern, bullying is infrequently addressed and no national data on the prevalence of bullying are available. Objectives To measure the prevalence of bullying behaviors among US youth and to determine the association of bullying and being bullied with indicators of psychosocial adjustment, including problem behavior, school adjustment, social/emotional adjustment, and parenting. Design, Setting, and Participants Analysis of data from a representative sample of 15686 students in
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