This paper investigates the extent to which social support can have a buffering effect against the potentially adverse consequences of bullying on school achievement and mental health. It uses a representative multiethnic sample of adolescents attending East London secondary schools in three boroughs. Bullied adolescents were less likely to achieve the appropriate academic achievement benchmark for their age group and bullied boys (but not girls) were more likely to exhibit depressive symptoms compared to those not bullied. High levels of social support from family were important in promoting good mental health. There was evidence that high levels of support from friends and moderate (but not high) family support was able to protect bullied adolescents from poor academic achievement. Support from friends and family was not sufficient to protect adolescents against mental health difficulties that they might face as a result of being bullied. More active intervention from schools is recommended.
Copyright © 2010 The Foundation for Professionals in Services for Adolescents. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.