Bullies should be targeted for teenage pregnancy prevention


A birth cohort study carried out by researchers in Finland has discovered a predictive association between being a bully in childhood and becoming a mother in adolescence.

The Finnish 1981 birth cohort study included 2,867 Finnish girls at baseline in 1989. Information, both on the main exposure and outcome, was available for 2,507 girls.

Both bullies and victims had an increased risk of becoming a teenage mother independent of family-related risk factors. When controlled for childhood psychopathology, however, the association remained significant for bullies (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.2-4.1) and bully-victims (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.05-3.2), but not for pure victims.

Reports of bullying and victimisation from the girls themselves, their parents and their teachers were all associated with becoming a teenage mother independent of each other.

Lehti V, Sourander A, Klomek A, Niemelä S, Sillanmäki L, Piha J, Kumpulainen K, Tamminen T, Moilanen I, Almqvist F. Childhood bullying as a predictor for becoming a teenage mother in Finland. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2011 Jan;20(1):49-55. [PubMed abstract]

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Andre Tomlin

Andre Tomlin

André started the Mental Elf website in May 2011. He has worked as an Information Scientist in Mental Health since the late nineties; initially at Oxford University's Centre for Evidence-Based Mental Health and since 2002 as the Managing Director of Minervation Ltd. He loves blogging, social media and elves! He also has established interests in evidence-based healthcare, usability testing and web design.

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