Suboptimal Maternal and Paternal Mental Health are Associated with Child Bullying Perpetration

Rashmi Shetgiri, Hua Lin, Glenn Flores

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


This study examines associations between maternal and paternal mental health and child bullying perpetration among school-age children, and whether having one or both parents with suboptimal mental health is associated with bullying. The 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health, a nationally-representative, random-digit-dial survey, was analyzed, using a parent-reported bullying measure. Suboptimal mental health was defined as fair/poor (vs. good/very good/excellent) parental self-reported mental and emotional health. Of the 61,613 parents surveyed, more than half were parents of boys and were white, 20 % were Latino, 15 % African American, and 7 % other race/ethnicity. Suboptimal maternal (OR 1.4; 95 % CI 1.1–1.8) and paternal (OR 1.5; 95 % CI 1.1–2.2) mental health are associated with bullying. Compared with children with no parents with suboptimal mental health, children with only one or both parents with suboptimal mental health have higher bullying odds. Addressing the mental health of both parents may prove beneficial in preventing bullying.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-465
Number of pages11
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 6 2014



  • Bullying
  • Health surveys
  • Mental health
  • Parents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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