High school students' experiences of bullying and victimization and the association with school health center use.J Sch Health. 2015 May; 85(5):318-26.JS
Bullying and victimization are ongoing concerns in schools. School health centers (SHCs) are well situated to support affected students because they provide crisis intervention, mental health care, and broader interventions to improve school climate. This study examined the association between urban adolescents' experiences of school-based bullying and victimization and their use of SHCs.
Data was analyzed from 2063 high school students in 5 Northern California school districts using the 2009-2010 California Healthy Kids Survey. Chi-square tests and multivariate logistic regression were used to measure associations.
Students who were bullied or victimized at school had significantly higher odds of using the SHCs compared with students who were not, and were also significantly more likely to report confidentiality concerns. The magnitude of associations was largest for Asian/Pacific Islander students, though this was likely due to greater statistical power. African American students reported victimization experiences at approximately the same rate as their peers, but were significantly less likely to indicate they experienced bullying.
Findings suggest that SHCs may be an important place to address bullying and victimization at school, but confidentiality concerns are barriers that may be more common among bullied and victimized youth.