Published Papers - Abstract 919

Townsend N, Powers J & Loxton D. Bullying among 18 to 23-year-old women in 2013. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 2017; :

Objective: To identify the prevalence of bullying among women aged 18–23 in 2013, and to describe the demographic characteristics, health and risk factors of those who experienced bullying.Methods: Cross-sectional analysis using data from the 1989–95 cohort of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health, a nationally representative cohort (n=16,801).Results: More than one-quarter of women (28.4%) indicated they had never been bullied, 53.4% reported experiencing bullying in the past and 18.2% indicated that they were recently bullied. Women who had experienced bullying were more likely to have lower levels of education, less likely to be studying or employed, and had more difficulty managing on their income. Women who experienced bullying were more likely to use tobacco or illicit drugs, be overweight or obese and to be sedentary. Even after adjusting for these factors, women who had experienced bullying were at risk of poor physical health, psychological distress, suicidal thoughts and self-harm.Conclusions: This is the first nationally representative study to demonstrate the strong association between being a victim of bullying and health outcomes in a post-school-age population.Implications for public health: The findings highlight the need for interventions for women who have already experienced bullying and are past school age.

Open Access Article