Background: The primary purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of bullying among a sample of African American adolescents and the risk factors associated with odds that a student engages in bullying behavior. Methods: Using a self-report school-based survey, 1542 African American adolescents from a single school district (grades 5-12) living in a midsized, Southern metropolitan region, were asked questions regarding bullying behavior and risk behaviors. A response rate of nearly 80% was obtained. Results: Our results indicate that bullying behavior was higher among this group of African American adolescents than reported for other general student populations (8-12%). In addition, age, family violence, negative peer relationships, and behavioral risks all contributed to increased odds of students reporting bullying behavior. Conclusions: Our findings underscore the importance of intervention at an early age. Whether the intervention is in a formal or nonformal setting, specialists along with teachers, parents, and siblings need to begin a multipronged approach (data collection, training/education of school personnel, curriculum development, etc) to address the causes and consequences of bullying among adolescents.
- African American
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health