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Childhood Bullying Victimization and Overweight in Young Adulthood: A Cohort Study

Baldwin, JR; Arseneault, L; Odgers, C; Belsky, DW; Matthews, T; Ambler, A; Caspi, A; ... Danese, A; + view all (2016) Childhood Bullying Victimization and Overweight in Young Adulthood: A Cohort Study. Psychosomatic Medicine , 78 (9) pp. 1094-1103. 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000388. Green open access

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Abstract

Objective: To test whether bullied children have an elevated risk of being overweight in young adulthood and whether this association is: (1) consistent with a dose-response relationship, namely, its strength increases with the chronicity of victimization; (2) consistent across different measures of overweight; (3) specific to bullying and not explained by co-occurring maltreatment; (4) independent of key potential confounders; and (5) consistent with the temporal sequence of bullying preceding overweight. // Method: A representative birth cohort of 2,232 children was followed to age 18 years as part of the Environmental Risk Longitudinal Twin Study. Childhood bullying victimization was reported by mothers and children during primary school and early secondary school. At the age-18 follow-up, we assessed a categorical measure of overweight, body mass index, and waist-hip ratio. Indicators of overweight were also collected at ages 10 and 12. Co-twin body mass and birth weight were used to index genetic and fetal liability to overweight, respectively. // Results: Bullied children were more likely to be overweight than non-bullied children at age 18, and this association was (1) strongest in chronically bullied children (odds ratio = 1.69; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.21–2.35); (2) consistent across measures of overweight (body mass index: b = 1.12; 95% CI = 0.37–1.87; waist-hip ratio: b = 1.76; 95% CI = 0.84–2.69); (3) specific to bullying and not explained by co-occurring maltreatment; (4) independent of child socioeconomic status, food insecurity, mental health, and cognition, and pubertal development; and (5) not present at the time of bullying victimization, and independent of childhood weight and genetic and fetal liability. // Conclusion: Childhood bullying victimization predicts overweight in young adulthood.

Type: Article
Title: Childhood Bullying Victimization and Overweight in Young Adulthood: A Cohort Study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000388
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0000000000000388
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Adolescent, Antisocial-behavior, Association, Bullying, Bullying, Child, Child Abuse, Children, Crime Victims, Early Life Stress, Female, Follow-up Studies, Humans, Inflammation, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Longitudinal Study, Male, Neighborhood, Obesity, Overweight, Overweight, Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychology, Multidisciplinary, Representative Cohort, Risk, School, Science & Technology, Social Sciences, Victimization, Weight
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10076605
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