Funded by: NHMRC Early Career Fellowship (Holly Erskine – APP1137969)

In Partnership with: Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington

Lead Investigators: Dr Holly Erskine and Dr Hannah Thomas

Project Team: Dr Damian Santomauro, Prof James Scott, Dr Alize Ferrari, Prof Harvey Whiteford, Prof Theo Vos (IHME)

Overview

Being bullied during childhood and adolescence is associated with an increased risk of mental disorders, both concurrently and later in life. Bullying victimization is one of the few identifiable, quantifiable, and modifiable risk factors for mental disorders. The aim of this project is to have bullying victimization included as a risk factor for major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders in the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017.

The project involves comprehensive global systematic reviews of the prevalence of bullying victimization and longitudinal studies reporting the association between bullying victimization and major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders. It also requires to development of specific methodology for calculating population-attributable fractions (PAFs) and modelling within the GBD machinery.

The lack of risk factors for mental disorders and the lack of psychosocial risk factors has been an ongoing criticism of GBD. The inclusion of bullying victimization will represent both a significant improvement of the scope of GBD and an important step forward in gaining recognition of bullying victimization as a global public health issue.

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