Girls who are bullied 'are at risk for substance use'

Washington, Jan 20 (ANI): A new study has found that adolescent girls who are victims of bullying are more likely to engage in substance use as a result of bullying-related depression.

As schools reopen following the holidays, the message to parents of adolescent girls is that bullying can have serious consequences: "If your daughter is a victim of bullying, take it seriously, do all possible to prevent recurrence, and attend to possible depression and substance use. For parents of boys who are bullied: depression is still an issue, but it may not explain the relation between victimization and substance use," according to Jeremy Luk of the University of Washington.

His study is the first to identify depression as a possible link to the relation between victimization and substance use among adolescents. The findings are generalizable because they are based on data from a nationally representative sample of 1,495 tenth graders.

The study was based on data on bullying from the 2005/2006 U.S. Health Behavior in School-aged Children (HBSC).

"Bullying is a serious problem among adolescents. Previous research has shown that it is associated with loneliness, depression and suicide. But no previous national studies have identified depression as an explanation for the relationship between victimization from bullying and substance use," Luk said.

The findings have been published in the Prevention Science, a journal of the Society for Prevention Research. (ANI)

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