Adolescent bullies, victims and bully-victims - those who are simultaneously both bullies and victims - are more likely to carry weapons than their peers, according to a new study.
Previous research has suggested that adolescents involved in bullying are more likely to carry weapons than peers who are not involved in bullying.
Mitch van Geel of Leiden University, the Netherlands, and colleagues reviewed medical literature and analysed 22 studies for victims, 15 studies for bullies and eight studies for bully-victims.
The studies indicated that bullies, victims and bully-victims were more likely to carry weapons.
Studies conducted in the US found stronger associations between being a bully-victim and weapon-carrying than studies in other countries.
"The current meta-analysis suggests that bullying is related to weapon carrying among adolescents and further establishes bullying as a risk factor for adolescent problem behaviour," the authors concluded in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.
"Given the wide range of negative implications bullying may have, it is important that schools endeavour to reduce bullying among their students, preferably by using evidence-based methods," they said.
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