Suboptimal Maternal and Paternal Mental Health are Associated with Child Bullying Perpetration

Shetgiri, Rashmi; Lin, Hua; Flores, Glenn
June 2015
Child Psychiatry & Human Development;Jun2015, Vol. 46 Issue 3, p455
Academic Journal
This study examines associations between maternal and paternal mental health and child bullying perpetration among school-age children, and whether having one or both parents with suboptimal mental health is associated with bullying. The 2007 National Survey of Children's Health, a nationally-representative, random-digit-dial survey, was analyzed, using a parent-reported bullying measure. Suboptimal mental health was defined as fair/poor (vs. good/very good/excellent) parental self-reported mental and emotional health. Of the 61,613 parents surveyed, more than half were parents of boys and were white, 20 % were Latino, 15 % African American, and 7 % other race/ethnicity. Suboptimal maternal (OR 1.4; 95 % CI 1.1-1.8) and paternal (OR 1.5; 95 % CI 1.1-2.2) mental health are associated with bullying. Compared with children with no parents with suboptimal mental health, children with only one or both parents with suboptimal mental health have higher bullying odds. Addressing the mental health of both parents may prove beneficial in preventing bullying.


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