School bullies more likely to be into drugs

March 6th, 2012 - 1:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, March 6 (IANS) Middle and high school bullies are more likely to be into cigarettes, drugs and alcohol than their victims and others.

“Our findings suggest that one deviant behaviour may be related to another,” said Kisha Radliff, assistant professor of school psychology at Ohio State University, who led the study.

“For example, youth who bully others might be more likely to also try substance use. The reverse could also be true in that youth who use substances might be more likely to bully others,” said Radliff, the journal Addictive Behaviours reports.

Among high school students, 13.3 percent of those not involved in bullying were marijuana users - compared to 31.7 percent of bullies, 29.2 percent of bully victims, and 16.6 percent of victims, according to an Ohio statement.

Researchers didn’t find as strong a link between victims of bullying and substance use. Radliff conducted the study with Joe Wheaton, associate professor in Special Education, and Kelly Robinson and Julie Morris, both former graduate students, all at Ohio State.

Data for the study came from a survey of 74,247 students enrolled in all public, private and Catholic middle and high schools in Franklin County, Ohio (which includes Columbus).

Among the 152 questions on the survey were eight that involved bullying, either as a victim or perpetrator. Students were asked about how often they told lies or spread false rumours about others, pushed people around to make them afraid, or left someone out of a group to hurt them. They were also asked how often they were the victims of such actions.

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