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

DOI: 10.1007/s00038-011-0329-6

Cite this article as:
Kukaswadia, A., Craig, W., Janssen, I. et al. Int J Public Health (2012) 57: 505. doi:10.1007/s00038-011-0329-6



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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