Research on the topic of bullying has revealed that a substantial number of youth are bullied each year. Even so, a complete understanding of the origins of bullying behaviors remains elusive. In the current study, we propose that poor nutrition may constitute an important modifiable risk factor for bullying behaviors during adolescence, and that behavioral sensitivity to nutrition may vary across deviant and non-deviant youth. We employ data from the US sample of youth (52% male) ages 10–17 from the 2009–2010 Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) study to examine our hypothesis (N = 8753). The results reveal that poor nutrition significantly increases the odds of persistent bullying among youth, and that this relationship is particularly pronounced for non-deviant youth. The findings suggest that efforts to improve the nutrition of non-deviant youth may have the added benefit of reducing their likelihood of engaging in persistent bullying behaviors.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health