Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bullies and Victims: Boys will be boys or a symptom of distress? - by Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD, October 14, 2010 - Child Psychology Research Blog

Several months ago I reported on a series of studies regarding the long term effects of bullying. See for example a discussion on factors that are associated with being a victim or a bully, or this discussion on the effects of bullying on children with special needs. I also reported on a very interesting study that examine the long term consequences of bullying. Data from that study showed  that being a victim of bullying in middle childhood almost double the odds of having psychotic symptoms during adolescence. In that post I discussed one major limitation of that study. While the data seem to imply that experiencing bullying could play a role (‘a causative’ role) in the eventual emergence of psychotic symptoms, it was also possible that those “children who were on path to developing psychotic disorders also engaged in behaviors during early childhood that made them more likely to be victims of bullying.”
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Nestor L. Lopez-Duran, PhD.
I'm a clinical child psychologist and researcher, currently working as an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan. In my research I examine a series of physiological and cognitive factors that contribute to the development of mood disorders in children and adolescents. I teach courses in clinical assessment and childhood mood disorders. I'm also the editor of Child-Psych, a research-based blog where I discuss the latest research findings on parenting, child disorders, and child development. Contact me at

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by  Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD,
October 11, 2010 
Child Psychology Research Blog

Gay Teen Suicides Pervasive, A 'Hidden Problem': Expert 
by Lucia Graves, 
October 22, 2010 
The Huffington Post

LGBT Ally Week: Take a Stand for LOVE!
by Jason Mannino, October 22, 2010
The Huffington Post

It gets better: 
A video campaign featuring hundreds of videos 
by people standing up for gay youth
by Dr. Brian Mustanski
October 8, 2010
Psychology Today

Video campaign to gay youth says, "It gets better."

In September several LGBT young people tragically took their own lives. In the media it was reported that they had experienced bullying, victimization, and harassment. While the reasons why someone chooses to take their own life are very complicated, we do know that things do get better and that suicide is not the answer. To help tell the story of how things get better famous syndicated columnist Dan Savage launched a YouTube channel that allows gay adults to upload videos of themselves describing the bullying they might have experienced in high school, but also talking about how much better their lives are now.It is a rare opportunity for gay adults to speak directly to gay youth and explain that while sometimes you may feel isolated, that life gets better.  Many celebrities joined in and shared their words of encouragements with the simple message that "it gets better."

If you are struggling with a difficult time and need someone to talk to I encourage you to call the Trevor Project 24 hour hotline designed specifically for LGBT young people at 1-866-4-U-TREVOR.  We also have a lot of resources for LGBT and questionning youth on our website at the IMPACT LGBT Health and Development Program.

I encourage all youth to think about how great your life can be in the future.  This can be a powerful way to cope with some of the tough times you might be experiencing right now. It will get better and you can have an amazing life! 
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Dr. Brian Mustanski is an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago's Institute for Juvenile Research and is an expert in LGBT health and development.

Discussing all things related to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) health and development: from the biology of sexual orientation to talking to your family about sexuality to the pros and cons of the Internet in our romantic lives.
by Dr. Brian Mustanski

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