Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Two Studies on Bullying Share New Information on This Tough Topic

By: Lewis First, MD, MS; Editor-in-Chief 

Photo by tamckile via Flickr
There has been much written and studied about bullying and victimization of being bullied, and this week we share two studies that shed even more new light on this important topic.

The first by Bowes et al. (doi:10.1542/peds.2014-0832) discusses the mental health harm incurred when a sibling turns out to be the bully also. The authors ran a longitudinal study of more than 6,900 subjects—all in a community birth cohort in the UK—and then followed those children bullied by their siblings over 12 years. The results are sad ones given the higher frequency of mental health and self-harm issues in children who were bullied by siblings compared to those who were not.

The second study by Wolke et al. (doi:10.1542/peds.2014-1295) looked at sleep problems in those who were bullied by peers. More specifically, the authors collected interview data on children longitudinally to identify bulling and then, several years later, asked about nightmares, night terrors and sleep-walking in those who had been bullied. The findings are eye-opening and should suggest inquiring about sleep behaviors in those who have been bullied—but even more importantly, asking about bullying in those experiencing parasomnias.

Have you found the same findings in either or both of these studies are true for your patients who may be victims of bullying? Share your thoughts on sibling bullying or sleep disorders in those being bullied via a response to this blog, an eLetter at our journal site, or on Facebook or Twitter.

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