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

Abstract

Objectives

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.

Methods

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.

Results

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.

Conclusions

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.

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Acknowledgments

Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children is a World Health Organization/European Region collaborative study. International Coordinator of the 2005–2006 study: Candace Currie, University of Edinburgh, Scotland; Data Bank Manager: Oddrun Samdal, University of Bergen, Norway. The Canadian data bank manager is Matthew King, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. This publication reports data solely from Canada (2006 Principal Investigator: Dr. William Boyce). The study was supported by research agreements with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (operating grant: 2004MOP-CHI-128223-C) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (contract: HT089-05205/001/SS) which funds the Canadian version of the Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children survey.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Atif Kukaswadia.

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Kukaswadia, A., Craig, W., Janssen, I. et al. Bullying as a mediator of relationships between adiposity status and weapon carrying. Int J Public Health 57, 505–512 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00038-011-0329-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00038-011-0329-6

Keywords

  • Obesity
  • Adolescence
  • Delinquency
  • Interpersonal violence
  • Bullying