Childhood bullying involvement predicts low-grade systemic inflammation into adulthood.

Loading...
Thumbnail Image

Date

2014-05-27

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Repository Usage Stats

321
views
529
downloads

Citation Stats

Abstract

Bullying is a common childhood experience that involves repeated mistreatment to improve or maintain one's status. Victims display long-term social, psychological, and health consequences, whereas bullies display minimal ill effects. The aim of this study is to test how this adverse social experience is biologically embedded to affect short- or long-term levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of low-grade systemic inflammation. The prospective population-based Great Smoky Mountains Study (n = 1,420), with up to nine waves of data per subject, was used, covering childhood/adolescence (ages 9-16) and young adulthood (ages 19 and 21). Structured interviews were used to assess bullying involvement and relevant covariates at all childhood/adolescent observations. Blood spots were collected at each observation and assayed for CRP levels. During childhood and adolescence, the number of waves at which the child was bullied predicted increasing levels of CRP. Although CRP levels rose for all participants from childhood into adulthood, being bullied predicted greater increases in CRP levels, whereas bullying others predicted lower increases in CRP compared with those uninvolved in bullying. This pattern was robust, controlling for body mass index, substance use, physical and mental health status, and exposures to other childhood psychosocial adversities. A child's role in bullying may serve as either a risk or a protective factor for adult low-grade inflammation, independent of other factors. Inflammation is a physiological response that mediates the effects of both social adversity and dominance on decreases in health.

Department

Description

Provenance

Citation

Published Version (Please cite this version)

10.1073/pnas.1323641111

Publication Info

Copeland, WE, D Wolke, ST Lereya, L Shanahan, C Worthman and EJ Costello (2014). Childhood bullying involvement predicts low-grade systemic inflammation into adulthood. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 111(21). pp. 7570–7575. 10.1073/pnas.1323641111 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/8868.

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.

Scholars@Duke

Copeland

William Everett Copeland

Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Costello

Elizabeth Jane Costello

Professor Emerita in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Developmental epidemiology applies the research methods of findings of developmental science to epidemiology--the study of patterns of disease distribution in time and space. Developmental epidemiology can cover the life span, but my own work concentrates on childhood and adolescence. I study change and continuity in psychiatric disorders, in the context of change and
continuity in the risk factors for those disorders.

An important application of the work of the Developmental Epidemiology Program, of which I am Co-Director, is examining the need for, and use of, mental health services for children. This work sets the study of the mental health care system for children and adolescents within a conceptual framework which permits use of estimate unmet needs as well as identifying appropriate areas for preventive interventions. I am carrying out a longitudinal study based on 4,500 randomly selected children and adolescents living in the Appalachian mountains of western North Carolina. Findings from this study provide important information for federal and local policy makers, while at the same time testing ideas about the development of risk and resilience.


Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.