Bullying and peer victimization among children with special health care needs

Jeanne Van Cleave*, Matthew M. Davis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

150 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND. The association between bullying, being bullied, or being a bully/victim and having a special health care need has not been well described in a national sample of children with a broad variety of special needs. OBJECTIVE.We aimed to determine the prevalence of bullying, being bullied, or being a bully/victim in children with special health care needs and associations of behaviors with particular types of special needs. DESIGN.We performed a secondary data analysis using the National Survey of Children's Health, a nationally representative telephone survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics of >102 000 US households. METHODS.We measured associations between having a special health care need and being a victim of bullying, bullying other children, and being a bully/victim in children and adolescents aged 6 to 17 years. Multiple logistic-regression models were used to examine the association of children with special health care needs overall, and of particular special needs, with the bullying measures. RESULTS. Overall, children with special health care needs were 21% of the population. In multivariate models adjusting for sociodemographic factors, being a child with special health care needs was associated with being bullied but not with bullying or being a bully/victim. Having a chronic behavioral, emotional, or developmental problem was associated with bullying others and with being a bully/victim. CONCLUSIONS. Having a special health care need generally is associated with being bullied, and having a behavioral, emotional, or developmental problem is associated with bullying others and being a bully/victim. These findings may help pediatricians, mental health providers, and schools use targeted screening and interventions to address bullying for children with special health care needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1212-e1219
JournalPediatrics
Volume118
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2006

Keywords

  • Bullying
  • Chronic conditions
  • Peer victimization
  • Special health care need

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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