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