Gender differences in the relative impact of physical and relational bullying on adolescent injury and weapon carrying.J Sch Psychol 2010; 48(6):511-32JS
Using structural equation modeling, concurrent associations were assessed among physical bullying, relational bullying, physical victimization, relational victimization, injury and weapon carrying using data from the population of 1300 adolescent girls and 1362 adolescent boys in grades 7-12 in a Colorado school district. For both genders, being a relational bully was a significantly stronger predictor of weapon carrying than being a physical bully, and both bullying types were significant predictors of more weapon carrying. For both genders, being a victim of physical bullying, a victim of relational bullying, or being a relational bully significantly predicted more injury. In latent means comparisons, adolescent girls reported more relational victimization and adolescent boys reported more physical bullying and victimization, more weapon carrying, and more injury. The relative strength of relational bullying on weapon carrying, and the health-related consequences of bullying on interpersonal violence and injury support concerted efforts in schools to mitigate these behaviors. Attention to differences related to age and gender also is indicated in the design of bullying mitigation programs.