Recent research has found that repeated bullying victimization increases the risk of developing several unhealthy habits later in life including periodic substance use. Comparatively less research, however, has examined whether the association between bullying victimization and developmental growth in substance use is different for males and females. The present study addressed this gap in the literature by analyzing data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997. Results from a series of sex-specific latent growth curve models reveal that bullied males experience faster increases in cigarette and marijuana use from adolescence to young adulthood compared to non-bullied males, while bullied females experience faster increases in cigarette use compared to non-bullied females. Bullied males also experience slower declines in cigarette and marijuana use from adolescence to middle adulthood, while bullied females experience slower declines in alcohol and cigarette use. Implications of these findings for research on sex differences in bullying victimization and developmental patterns of substance use are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health