Weight- and race-based bullying: health associations among urban adolescents

J Health Psychol. 2015 Apr;20(4):401-12. doi: 10.1177/1359105313502567. Epub 2013 Oct 22.


Stigma-based bullying is associated with negative mental and physical health outcomes. In a longitudinal study, surveys and physical assessments were conducted with mostly Black and Latino, socioeconomically disadvantaged, urban students. As hypothesized, greater weight- and race-based bullying each was significantly indirectly associated with increased blood pressure and body mass index, as well as decreased overall self-rated health across 2 years, through the mechanism of more negative emotional symptoms. Results support important avenues for future research on mechanisms and longitudinal associations of stigma-based bullying with health. Interventions are needed to reduce stigma-based bullying and buffer adolescents from adverse health effects.

Keywords: bullying; emotional symptoms; health; race; weight.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / ethnology*
  • Black People / ethnology*
  • Body Weight*
  • Bullying*
  • Child
  • Connecticut / ethnology
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Hispanic or Latino / ethnology*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Urban Population*