Print Email Facebook Twitter Do bullied children get Ill, or do Ill children get bullied? A prospective cohort study on the relationship between bullying and health-related symptoms Title Do bullied children get Ill, or do Ill children get bullied? A prospective cohort study on the relationship between bullying and health-related symptoms Author Fekkes, M. Pijpers, F.I.M. Fredriks, A.M. Vogels, T. Verloove-Vanhorick, S.P. TNO Kwaliteit van Leven Publication year 2006 Abstract OBJECTIVES. A number of studies have shown that victimization from bullying behavior is associated with substantial adverse effects on physical and psychological health, but it is unclear which comes first, the victimization or the health-related symptoms. In our present study, we investigated whether victimization precedes psychosomatic and psychosocial symptoms or whether these symptoms precede victimization. DESIGN. Six-month cohort study with baseline measurements taken in the fall of 1999 and follow-up measurements in the spring of 2000. SETTING. Eighteen elementary schools in the Netherlands. PARTICIPANTS. The study included 1118 children aged 9 to 11 years, who participated by filling out a questionnaire on both occasions of data collection. OUTCOME MEASURES. A self-administered questionnaire measured victimization from bullying, as well as a wide variety of psychosocial and psychosomatic symptoms, including depression, anxiety, bedwetting, headaches, sleeping problems, abdominal pain, poor appetite, and feelings of tension or tiredness. RESULTS. Victims of bullying had significantly higher chances of developing new psychosomatic and psychosocial problems compared with children who were not bullied. In contrast, some psychosocial, but not physical, health symptoms preceded bullying victimization. Children with depressive symptoms had a significantly higher chance of being newly victimized, as did children with anxiety. CONCLUSIONS. Many psychosomatic and psychosocial health problems follow an episode of bullying victimization. These findings stress the importance for doctors and health practitioners to establish whether bullying plays a contributing role in the etiology of such symptoms. Furthermore, our results indicate that children with depressive symptoms and anxiety are at increased risk of being victimized. Because victimization could have an adverse effect on children's attempts to cope with depression or anxiety, it is important to consider teaching these children skills that could make them less vulnerable to bullying behavior. Copyright © 2006 by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Subject HealthBullyingLongitudinal studyPeer victimizationPsychosocialSchool healthAbdominal painAnxiety disorderAppetite disorderChild healthCohort analysisControlled studyFatigueFollow upHeadacheMajor clinical studyNetherlandsPrimary schoolPriority journalSychosocial disorderPsychosomatic disorderQuestionnaireSchool childSleep disorderVictimLongitudinal studyPsychological aspectAbdominal PainAggressionAnxietyChildChild PsychologyCohort StudiesDepressionEnuresisFemaleHealth StatusHumansLongitudinal StudiesMalePsychophysiologic Disorders To reference this document use: http://resolver.tudelft.nl/uuid:7a4cf62a-e6d3-4e18-b126-a0eede7c9f99 DOI https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2005-0187 TNO identifier 239233 ISSN 0031-4005 Source Pediatrics, 117 (5), 1568-1574 Document type article Files To receive the publication files, please send an e-mail request to TNO Library.