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Link between bullying and drug, alcohol, tobacco use in later life

17 February 2021

Compared to their non-bullying peers, bullying children and adolescents have higher risk of drug, alcohol, and tobacco use later in life. An analysis by UG researchers also found that childhood bullies have more risk of alcohol and tobacco use later in life than adolescent bullies.

Alcohol and tobacco included

The study “Childhood and Adolescent Bullying Perpetration and Later Substance Use: A Meta-Analysis” will be published in the March 2021 issue of Pediatrics. It notes that previous meta-analyses have substantially contributed to the understanding of increased drug use risk in bullies, but they only included research up to 2014 and only reported on drug use, not on alcohol and tobacco.

Risk factor

For the meta-analysis, peer-reviewed articles and dissertations in English were used that reported original empirical studies on associations between bullying in childhood or adolescence and later use of drugs, alcohol, or tobacco. For future research, it would be interesting to investigate bullying as a so-called causal risk factor, as this type of research may provide the basis for preventive interventions, the authors conclude.

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Last modified:22 February 2021 12.30 p.m.
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