Study Finds Alcohol Use as a Common Link Between Bullies and their Targets
A new study out of the University of Cincinnati finds that both school bullies and their victims are likely to abuse alcohol after a bullying episode.
The study examined bullying, recent alcohol use and heavy drinking episodes among more than 54,000 7th-through-12th grade students in schools across Greater Cincinnati, including the Tristate regions of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.
Results of the analysis found that more than 38 percent of students were involved in school violent victimization, defined as ranging from verbal intimidation to threatening with and using a weapon.
The study found that school violent victimization was associated with increased odds of recent alcohol use and heavy drinking among males and females and across 7th-12th grades.
Further, the study found junior high and high school students were one-and-a-half times more likely to have abused alcohol if they had been bullied.
"Bullies and their victims are reporting similar types of activity in relation to their drinking patterns. We believe the alcohol abuse may often be an effort to escape problems and to self-medicate," said Keith King, a University of Cincinatti professor and a lead author of the study.