Bullying may lead to substance abuse

Bullying may lead to substance abuse

Based on new research from The Ohio State University, middle and high school students who bully others may be more likely to develop substance abuse problems than those who do not engage in this aggressive behavior.

The researchers behind this study found that not only are bullies more likely to use cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana, but youths who have started to use any of these substances may also start bullying others. These findings are based on survey responses from 74,247 students attending middle and high schools in Franklin County, Ohio.

It was discovered that 31.7 percent of high school bullies were marijuana users, compared to marijuana use by 13.3 percent of non-bullying high schoolers. Among middle school students, 11.4 percent of bullies used the drug, while only 1.6 percent of those who did not partake in this aggressive behavior used marijuana.

"Our findings suggest that one deviant behavior may be related to another," said Kisha Radliff, the study’s lead author.

Due to these findings, parents may want to have their children take a personality test to identify any aggressive traits they may possess before they begin to bully others.

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