Bullying at elementary school and problem behaviour in young adulthood: a study of bullying, violence and substance use from age 11 to age 21

Crim Behav Ment Health. 2011 Apr;21(2):136-44. doi: 10.1002/cbm.804.


Aim: The main aim of this paper is to investigate to what extent self-reported bullying at Grade 5 predicts later violence, heavy drinking and marijuana use at age 21.

Method: Univariate and multivariate associations between bullying and later outcomes were examined based on a longitudinal community sample of 957 young people from the Raising Healthy Children project.

Results: Childhood bullying was significantly associated with violence, heavy drinking and marijuana use at age 21. These associations held up after controlling for prior risk factors.

Conclusions: Childhood bullying had unique associations with risk of later violence and substance use among young adults. Early intervention to prevent childhood bullying may also reduce other adverse outcomes later in life.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Alcoholism / psychology*
  • Bullying / psychology*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Marijuana Abuse / psychology*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Schools
  • Students
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Violence / psychology*
  • Young Adult