Psychiatric correlates of bullying in the United States: Findings from a National sample

Michael G. Vaughn, Qiang Fu, Kimberly Bender, Matt Delisi, Kevin M. Beaver, Brian E. Perron, Matthew O. Howard

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70 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to examine the psychiatric correlates of bullying behavior in the United States. Data were derived from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, a nationally representative sample of US adults. Structured psychiatric interviews (N = 43,093) were completed by trained lay interviewers between 2001 and 2002. Six percent of US adults reported a lifetime history of bullying others. Respondents who were men, 18 to 34, Asian/Native American, earned ≤$35,000 annually, were born in the US, and received no college education had significantly higher rates of bullying. Multivariate logistic regression analyses identified significant associations between bullying and bipolar disorder, lifetime alcohol and marijuana use disorders, nicotine dependence, conduct disorder, antisocial, paranoid, and histrionic personality disorders, and family history of antisocial behavior. Prevention and treatment targeting bullying behaviors, comorbid conditions, and their precursors could potentially reduce the prevalence and consequences of bullying.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-195
Number of pages13
JournalPsychiatric Quarterly
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Sept

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Kevin M. Beaver, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University. He is the recipient of the American Society of Criminology’s Ruth Shonle Cavan Young Scholar Award and the National Institute of Justice’s Graduate Research Fellowship.

Funding Information:
Matthew O. Howard, Ph.D. is currently Frank A. Daniels, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Human Services Policy at the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Howard has published 135 articles, received three grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. His research interests involve adolescent substance abuse and delinquency.

Funding Information:
Acknowledgment NESARC was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism with additional support provide by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The authors are greatful for support from NIH grants: DA021405 (Dr. Howord) and K0CA104119 (Dr. Fu). The authors report no conflicts of interest.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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