En la superficie, el acoso y el consumo de sustancias por parte de jóvenes parecen ser problemas independientes. Sin embargo, investigaciones indican que los niños que consumen drogas o alcohol tienen mayor riesgo de mostrar comportamientos problemáticos durante la adolescencia. Recent findings confirm previous studies that found links between bullying and substance use. En un recent article, researchers found that middle and high school students who bully their peers or are bully-victims (bully others and are also bullied) are more likely than students who aren’t involved in bullying to use alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana.
Bullying and substance use among kids have shared risk and protective factors. Prevention efforts can lessen these risk factors and strengthen protective factors in a child’s life. If a problem has already surfaced, learn to recognize the warning signs of bullying and being bullied, underage alcohol use, and drug use to intervene before the problem becomes worse.
But let's rewind: how do you know which risk and protective factors to focus on? Continúe leyendo.
Close parent-child relationships are vital for a child's well-being. When families can talk openly, kids can talk about their problems more easily. Además, una disciplina clara y coherente (sin ser extremo ni tener que recurrir a la fuerza física) ayuda a los niños a comprender que ciertos comportamientos, como el acoso escolar y el consumo de sustancias, son inaceptables y acarrean consecuencias. Finally, showing empathy and helping kids form positive values helps keep them from bullying others and using drugs or alcohol. Children whose parents use drugs and alcohol are also at risk.
Peers and friends are important for social and personal growth. However, kids who spend time with other kids who bully or use alcohol and drugs are more likely to engage in those activities. The same goes for children who have trouble interacting with their peers.
La supervisión y la participación de los padres, como conocer a los amigos de sus hijos, pueden ayudar a un joven a evitar problemas de comportamiento mediante la toma de decisiones apropiadas sobre las personas con las que se relaciona.
Doing well in school and being enthusiastic about learning are protective factors for youth substance use and bullying. Poor grades and disinterest in school are just the opposite-they put a child at risk for those same behaviors.
Parents and teachers should be on the lookout for aggressive behavior, especially if they see it at an early age, because it's an indicator that a child could become involved in drugs, alcohol, and/or bullying. Teachers and families should also seek opportunities to recognize and reinforce children's abilities and accomplishments-self-esteem, competencies, and skills are characteristics that "protect" a child.
Our environments play an important part in shaping who we become. Los jóvenes rodeados de consumo de sustancias, delito, pobreza y violencia en el hogar o en el barrio tienen más probabilidades de participar en comportamientos de acoso y de consumir alcohol o drogas. Community and policy initiatives are essential to remove and prevent environmental risk factors that affect youth. Explore prevention resources and tools, and take the first step toward tackling these issues in your community.