Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Children Who Are Bullied and Their Psychosomatic Problems: Is There an Association?

We certainly worry that a child who has been the victim of bullying behavior may have after-effects —perhaps in terms of an increase in somatic complaints in the months and years that follow—but does the literature provide the evidence to support that worry?  Gini and Pozzoli (doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-0614) review the evidence for an association between bullying and psychosomatic problems in a meta-analysis being released this week in our journal.  30 studies met criteria for analysis, 6 longitudinal and 24 cross-sectional, and confirm a relatively strong association not just in the US, but around the world.

If you never realized that bullying and its after-effects represent a public health problem given how wide spread these effects can be, then please read this important meta-analysis, and in turn, monitor your own patients for their psychosomatic concerns, especially in the setting of their having been bullied.