VOLUME 25 #2

Current cover


an illustration of a girl being bullied

Bullying's last harm

OUR UD | Bullied students are at greater risk for depression and substance abuse, according to new UD research that examined 4,297 students over the course of seven years.

“Students who experienced more frequent peer victimization in fifth grade were more likely to have greater symptoms of depression in seventh grade, and a greater likelihood of using alcohol, marijuana or tobacco in 10th grade,” says the study’s lead author, Valerie Earnshaw, a social psychologist and assistant professor in UD’s College of Education and Human Development.

Among the study’s findings: Boys, sexual minority youth and youth living with chronic illness reported more frequent peer victimization in fifth grade. Age, obesity, race/ethnicity, household educational achievement and family income were not related to more frequent peer victimization. Twenty-four percent of 10th graders in the study reported recent alcohol use, 15.2 percent reported marijuana use and 11.7 reported tobacco use.