Bullying and school safety.J Pediatr 2008; 152(1):123-8, 128.e1JPed
To identify an association between involvement in bullying and problems in school.
This was a cross-sectional study of 5391 students in grades 7, 9, and 11 in an urban public school district. The main outcome measure was involvement in bullying. Secondary outcomes included attendance, grade point average, psychosocial distress, and perceived acceptability of carrying guns to school.
Of the 5391 children surveyed, 26% were involved in bullying either as victim, bully, or both (bully-victim). All 3 groups were significantly more likely than bystanders to feel unsafe at school and sad most days. Victims and bully-victims were more likely to say they are "no good." Victims were more likely to feel that they "do not belong" in their school. The odds of being a victim (vs a bystander) were 10% lower for every 1 point increase in grade point average. Bully-victims were more likely to say that it is "not wrong" to take a gun to school.
Associations between involvement in bullying and academic achievement, psychological distress, and the belief that it is not wrong to take a gun to school reinforce the notion that school environment is interrelated with mental health and school success.