Presentation Abstract

Title: Bullying of Food-Allergic Youth: Results from a Parent and Child Survey
Presentation Time: Saturday, Mar 03, 2012, 9:45 AM -10:45 AM
Author Block: M. Ambrose1, R. Annunziato2, N. Ravid1, K. Chuang1, C. Mullarkey1, E. Shemesh1, S. H. Sicherer1;
1Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, 2Fordham University, New York, NY.
Abstract: RATIONALE: Parents’ reports suggest that bullying of food-allergic (FA) youth is prevalent (Lieberman et al., 2010), but child reports are lacking.
METHODS: Following an IRB-approved consent, we separately surveyed patients (children and adolescents), and their parents, for bullying, teasing and harassment. We examined bullying both generally and specific to FA, using questions from the Olweus bullying questionnaire. All families with children ages 8 to 17 were invited to participate during outpatient allergy clinic visits.
RESULTS: A planned interim analysis of 111 cases found that 28.8% of children said that they were “bullied, harassed or teased” due to FA, and 43.8% reported having had those experiences for any reason. Among respondents in the age range of 6th-10th graders, 32.6% reported having been bullied, harassed, or teased due to FA while 48.8% reported having had those experiences for any reason (compared with 17% of bullying in 6th-10th graders in a national survey; Nansel et al., 2001). Parents did not know about 32% of the child-reported FA-related cases. In a subgroup of 11 children who reported being bullied at least 2-3 times per month due to FA, parents were unaware that the child was bullied in 64% of the cases. Offenses were most likely to occur at school.
CONCLUSIONS: Children with FA are vulnerable to bullying, harassment, and teasing. At least one third of the incidents do not come to parents’ attention. Practitioners should consider specifically asking about bullying in this vulnerable population and provide anticipatory guidance about it even if it is not initially disclosed.

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