The Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grants to States Program has established 15 National Performance Measures for the 2015-2017 grant cycle. Performance Measure 9 is the percent of adolescents, ages 12-17 years, who are bullied. This evidence brief points to a selection of resources for state MCH programs about bullying prevention, with emphasis on evidence-based information.
The Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant to States Program guidance1 defines the significance of this goal as follows:
Bullying, particularly among school-age children, is a major public health problem. Current estimates suggest nearly 30% of American adolescents reported at least moderate bullying experiences as the bully, the victim, or both. Specifically, of a nationally representative sample of adolescents, 13% reported being a bully, 11% reported being a victim of bullying, and 6% reported being both a bully and a victim. Studies indicate bullying experiences are associated with a number of behavioral, emotional, and physical adjustment problems. Adolescents who bully others tend to exhibit other defiant and delinquent behaviors, have poor school performance, be more likely to drop-out of school, and are more likely to bring weapons to school. Victims of bullying tend to report feelings of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and isolation; poor school performance; suicidal ideation; and suicide attempts. Evidence further suggests that people who are the victims of bullying and who also perpetrate bullying (i.e., bully-victims) may exhibit the poorest functioning, in comparison with either victims or bullies. Emotional and behavioral problems experienced by victims, bullies, and bully-victims may continue into adulthood and produce long-term negative outcomes, including low self-esteem and self-worth, depression, antisocial behavior, vandalism, drug use and abuse, criminal behavior, gang membership, and suicidal ideation.
Read More about Performance Measure 9
Performance Measure 9
Percent of adolescents, ages 12-17 years, who are bullied
To reduce the number of adolescents who are bullied
Numerator: Parent report on adolescents (in NSCH), and adolescent report (in YRBSS), for adolescents ages 12-17 years, who were bullied
Denominator: Number of adolescents, ages 12-17 years
Healthy People 2020 Objectives
Related to Injury and Violence Prevention (IVP) Objective 35: Reduce bullying among adolescents. (Baseline: 19.9%, Target: 17.9%)
Data Sources and Data Issues
Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), and the National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH). States can use data from the 2013 YRBSS and/or from the 2011-2012 NSCH as a baseline. (The state will be able to use both data sources as the YRBSS is reported by the adolescents and the NSCH is reported by the parents. The YRBSS is available every other year, and the NSCH will be available annually).
Data and Statistics
National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH). Funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA's) Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), this survey provides national and state-level data on the physical and emotional health of American children 0 - 17 years old. Information is collected on factors related to the health and well-being of children, including access to and utilization of health care, receipt of care in a medical home, family interactions, parental health, school and after-school experiences, and neighborhood characteristics.
Since 2003, the NSCH has provided both national and state-level prevalence estimates for a variety of child health and health care indicators. MCHB also fielded the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs (NS-CSHCN) in 2001, 2005-2006, and 2009-2010. Its purpose was to assess the prevalence and impact of special health care needs among children and their families in the U.S. The 2016 NSCH underwent significant redesign and administration changes and differs greatly from the prior survey cycles. From 2016 onward, the purpose of the NSCH remains the same, but the two individual surveys were combined into a single survey conducted every year.
Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development. Registry of evidence-based positive youth development programs designed to promote the health and well-being of children and teens and reduce negative behaviors. Includes criteria for selection as a model or promising program and publications about replicating model programs.
Safe Communities ~ Safe Schools (SCSS). Planning guide, assessment tools, fact sheets, and other materials to assist schools with creating and maintaining a positive and welcoming school climate, free of drugs, violence, intimidation, and fear.
Understanding bullying. (2013). This fact sheet includes promising elements of school-based bullying prevention programs.
STRYVE: Striving to Reduce Youth Violence Everywhere. Tools to plan, implement, and evaluate sustainable adolescent-violence-prevention strategies that are based upon the best available evidence. Includes online training modules, data, research documents, educational materials, and success stories.
Office of Justice Programs: CrimeSolutions.gov. Research on the effectiveness of programs and practices as reviewed and rated by expert reviewers to provide practitioners and policy makers with information about what works in criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victim services. To identify effective and promising programs and practices, type bullying in the Keyword field of the search form and click on Search to get your results.
Cassidy W, Faucher C, Jackson M. 2013. Cyberbullying among youth: A comprehensive review of current international research and its implications and application to policy and practice. School Psychology International 34(6):575-612. View abstract.
Langford R, Bonell CP, Jones HE, Pouliou T, Murphy SM, Waters E, Komro KA, Gibbs LF, Magnus D, Campbell R. 2014. The WHO Health Promoting School framework for improving the health and well-being of students and their academic achievement. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 4. View abstract.
Leff SS, Waasdorp TE. 2013. Effect of aggression and bullying on children and adolescents: Implications for prevention and intervention. Current Psychiatry Reports 15(3):343. View abstract.
Polanin JR., Espelage DL, Pigott TD. 2012. A meta-analysis of school-based bullying prevention programs' effects on bystander intervention behavior. School Psychology Review 41:47-65. View abstract.
Vreeman RC, Carroll AE. 2007. A systematic review of school-based interventions to prevent bullying. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine 161(1):78-88. View abstract.
Waasdorp TE, Bradshaw CP, Leaf PJ. 2012. The impact of schoolwide positive behavioral interventions and supports on bullying and peer rejection: A randomized controlled effectiveness trial. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine 166:149-156. View abstract.
Lhamon CE. 2014. Dear colleague letter: Responding to bullying of students with disabilities. Washington, DC: Department of Education Office of Civil Rights. This guidance, issued in the form of a letter to educators, details public schools' responsibilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act regarding the bullying of students with disabilities.
1 Health Resources and Services Administration. 2014. Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant to States Program: Guidance and Forms for the Title V Application/Annual Report, Appendix F, p. 82.