The aim of this study was to examine the psychiatric correlates of bullying behavior in the United States. Data were derived from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, a nationally representative sample of US adults. Structured psychiatric interviews (N = 43,093) were completed by trained lay interviewers between 2001 and 2002. Six percent of US adults reported a lifetime history of bullying others. Respondents who were men, 18 to 34, Asian/Native American, earned ≤$35,000 annually, were born in the US, and received no college education had significantly higher rates of bullying. Multivariate logistic regression analyses identified significant associations between bullying and bipolar disorder, lifetime alcohol and marijuana use disorders, nicotine dependence, conduct disorder, antisocial, paranoid, and histrionic personality disorders, and family history of antisocial behavior. Prevention and treatment targeting bullying behaviors, comorbid conditions, and their precursors could potentially reduce the prevalence and consequences of bullying.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Kevin M. Beaver, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University. He is the recipient of the American Society of Criminology’s Ruth Shonle Cavan Young Scholar Award and the National Institute of Justice’s Graduate Research Fellowship.
Acknowledgment NESARC was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism with additional support provide by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The authors are greatful for support from NIH grants: DA021405 (Dr. Howord) and K0CA104119 (Dr. Fu). The authors report no conflicts of interest.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health