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

André Tomlin is an Information Scientist with 20 years experience working in evidence-based healthcare. He's worked in the NHS, for Oxford University and since 2002 as Managing Director of Minervation Ltd, a consultancy company who do clever digital stuff for charities, universities and the public sector. Most recently André has been the driving force behind the Mental Elf and the National Elf Service; an innovative digital platform that helps professionals keep up to date with simple, clear and engaging summaries of evidence-based research. André is a Trustee at the Centre for Mental Health and an Honorary Research Fellow at University College London Division of Psychiatry. He lives in Bristol, surrounded by dogs, elflings and lots of woodland!

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