Bullying and Being Bullied in Childhood Are Associated With Different Psychosocial Risk Factors for Poor Physical Health in Men

Karen A. Matthews, J. Richard Jennings, Laisze Lee, Dustin Pardini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Bullying and being bullied in childhood are both linked with later adjustment problems. The impact of childhood bullying on risk for poor physical health in adulthood is understudied. Black and White men (n = 305; mean age = 32.3 years) enrolled in the Pittsburgh Youth Study since the first grade underwent a comprehensive assessment of psychosocial, behavioral, and biological risk factors for poor health. Indices of bullying and being bullied were created by averaging annual ratings collected from participants and their caregivers when the participants were 10 to 12 years old. Results showed that being a bully in childhood was associated with greater stress and aggression and poorer health behaviors in adulthood, whereas being a victim of bullies in childhood was associated with lower socioeconomic resources, less optimism, and greater unfair treatment in adulthood. Unexpectedly, neither bullying nor being bullied in childhood was related to inflammation or metabolic syndrome. Bullying and being bullied in childhood were associated with distinct domains of psychosocial risk in adulthood that may later lead to poor physical health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)808-821
Number of pages14
JournalPsychological Science
Volume28
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017

Keywords

  • bully
  • cardiovascular risk
  • longitudinal
  • race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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