International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 57, Issue 3, pp 505–512

Bullying as a mediator of relationships between adiposity status and weapon carrying

  • Atif Kukaswadia
  • Wendy Craig
  • Ian Janssen
  • William Pickett
Original Article



Although evidence links increased adiposity status with bullying involvement, it is unknown whether this leads to behaviors such as weapon carrying. The purpose of this study was to: (1) analyze relationships between adiposity status and risks for weapon carrying among Canadian school children, and (2) whether this relationship was mediated by reports of bullying.


We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of the health experiences of 7,877 Canadian children. Relationships between adiposity status and weapon carrying were evaluated. Evidence of mediation by bullying involvement was assessed.


Overweight (OR: 1.45, 95% CI 1.04–2.02) and obese (OR: 2.19, 95% CI 1.43–3.35) males reported higher odds of weapon carrying relative to normal weight males. There was partial mediation of this relationship by physical and relational bullying, both as a perpetrator or a victim. No evidence of a relationship was identified for female students.


Overweight and obese male students appear to be more likely to carry weapons for defensive and offensive purposes, a behavior mediated partially by bullying involvement. However, other factors may play a role as mediators in these etiological relationships.


Obesity Adolescence Delinquency Interpersonal violence Bullying 

Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Atif Kukaswadia
    • 1
  • Wendy Craig
    • 2
  • Ian Janssen
    • 1
    • 3
  • William Pickett
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Community Health and EpidemiologyQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  3. 3.School of Kinesiology and Health StudiesQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  4. 4.Clinical Research Centre, Kingston General HospitalKingstonCanada

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