Victimization from Mental and Physical Bullying and Substance Use in Early Adolescence

Published In: Addictive Behaviors, v. 34, Nos. 6/7, June/July 2009, p. 561-567

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2009

by Shannah Tharp-Gilliam, Amelia Haviland, Elizabeth J. D'Amico

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Logistic regression analyses were used to assess the association between victimization from mental and physical bullying and use of alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, and inhalants among middle school students. Self-report data were analyzed from 926 ethnically diverse sixth through eighth grade students (43% White, 26% Latino, 7% Asian American/Pacific Islander, 3% African American, 14% mixed ethnic origin, and 5% gbsothergcs) ages 11-14 years from southern California. Substance use was collected at two time points (fall 2004 and spring 2005) during an academic year. Models were run for each substance separately. Results supported an association between victimization from bullying and substance use. Youths who experienced each type of bullying (mental or physical) separately or in combination were more likely to report use of each substance in spring 2005. This finding held after controlling for gender, grade level, ethnicity and substance use in fall 2004.

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