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NCJ Number: 221635 Find in a Library
Title: Antibullying Legislation: A Public Health Perspective
Journal: Journal of Adolescent Health  Volume:42  Issue:1  Dated:January 2008  Pages:11-20
Author(s): Jorge C. Srabstein M.D.; Benjamin E. Berkman J.D.; Eugenia Pyntikova M.S.
Date Published: January 2008
Page Count: 10
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined bullying as a health problem and antibullying statutes enacted in the United States.
Abstract: Estimates based on data obtained in 1990 indicate that 30 percent of U.S. adolescents in grades 6 through 10 were involved in bullying incidents, sometimes several times per week, as bullies and/or victims; 13 percent of students were implicated as bullies; almost 11 percent indicated that they were victims of bullying, and 6 percent were both victims and bullies. There is significant documented evidence indicating that children and adolescents who participate in bullying as bullies and/or victims, are more prone to illness then their classmates who are not involved in this form of mistreatment. Furthermore, adolescent bullies and/or victims are at higher risk for injuries, suicide attempts, and mortality. As of June 2007, 35 States have enacted antibullying legislation; however, only 16 of those States had enacted statutes that incorporated comprehensive basic public health antibullying principles. As a matter of public health principle, anti-bullying legislation should prohibit school bullying, while requiring that each school district implement ongoing research-based bullying prevention programs. This intervention should involve all students, school staff, parents, and community in facilitating a school and home environment where there is a warm and positive interaction with adults. Any antibullying program should promote understanding of bullying and its health risks, prohibit bullying through clear rules, and provide protection to victims. Antibullying statutes should allocate the necessary funds to support bullying prevention programs. Federal legislation should recognize the public health risks of bullying and provide guidance to the implementation of local prevention programs. Antibullying laws should request the participation of public health officials to promote community understanding of the health problems associated with bullying and provide guidelines for detection. Data were collected by reviewing all State statutes addressing school bullying, harassment, and/or intimidation enacted in the United States from the beginning of 1990 through the end of June 2007. Tables, references, appendix
Main Term(s): Adolescents at risk; Bullying; Public schools
Index Term(s): Acting out behavior; Behavior patterns; Behavioral and Social Sciences; Child victims; Individual behavior; Problem behavior
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