Life Style

One in three kids with food allergies are bullied: Study

ANI | October 07, 2021 12:25 PM
Representative image

Washington [US], October 7 (ANI): A new study has attempted to determine the size and scope of bullying that kids with food allergies experience by offering them a multi-question assessment.

The findings of the study were published in the 'Journal of Pediatric Psychology'.

Living with a food allergy can greatly impact a child's everyday life -- from limiting participation in social activities to being treated differently by peers.

When asked a simple "yes" or "no" question about food allergy-related bullying, 17 per cent of kids said they'd been bullied, teased or harassed about their food allergy.

But when asked to reply to a multi-item list of victimisation behaviours, that number jumped to 31 per cent.

Furthermore, Children's National Hospital researchers found that only 12 per cent of parents reported being aware of it. The reported bullying ranged from verbal teasing or criticism to more overt acts such as an allergen being waved in their face or intentionally put in their food.

Researchers said identifying accurate assessment methods for this problem are critical so children can get the help they need.

"Food allergy-related bullying can have a negative impact on a child's quality of life. By using a more comprehensive assessment, we found that children with food allergies were bullied more than originally reported and parents may be in the dark about it," said Linda Herbert, PhD, director of the Psychosocial Clinical and Research Program in the Division of Allergy and Immunology at Children's National and one of the study's researcher.

"The results of this study demonstrate a need for greater food allergy education and awareness of food allergy-related bullying among communities and schools where food allergy-related bullying is most likely to occur," Herbert added.

The study looked at food allergy-related bullying among a diverse patient population and evaluated parent-child disagreement and bullying assessment methods. It included 121 children and 121 primary caregivers who completed questionnaires.

The children ranged in age from 9 to 15-years-old and were diagnosed by an allergist with at least one of the top eight IgE-mediated food allergies -- peanut, tree nut, cow's milk, egg, wheat, soy, shellfish and fish.

Of the 41 youth who reported food allergy-related bullying:

1. 51 per cent reported experiencing overt physical acts such as an allergen being waved in their face, thrown at them or intentionally put in their food.

2. 66 per cent reported bullying experiences that are categorised as non-physical overt victimisation acts including verbal teasing, remarks or criticisms about their allergy and verbal threats or intimidation.

3. Eight reported relational bullying, such as rumours being spread, people speaking behind their back and being intentionally ignored or excluded due to their food allergy.

The researchers also noted that food allergy bullying perpetrators included, but were not limited to, classmates and other students, and bullying most commonly occurred at school.

The authors found that only 12 per cent of parents reported that their child had been bullied because of their food allergy and of those, 93 per cent said their child had reported the bullying to them. Some parents reported they had been made fun of or teased themselves because of concerns about their child's food allergy.

"It's important to find ways for children to open up about food allergy-related bullying. Asking additional specific questions about peer experiences during clinic appointments will hopefully get children and caregivers the help and support they need," Herbert concluded. (ANI)

Have something to say? Post your comment
Must Read
Capt Amarinder is proof of Congress’ and BJP’s double-standard: Jarnail Singh
Capt Amarinder is proof of Congress’ and BJP’s double-standard: Jarnail Singh
Punjab: 36 IPS and 14 PPS officers transferred, Find the complete list here
Punjab: 36 IPS and 14 PPS officers transferred, Find the complete list here
Karnataka bill seeks to ban online gambling ‘vice’, even skill games will not be spared
Karnataka bill seeks to ban online gambling ‘vice’, even skill games will not be spared
CAPT AMARINDER SLAMS CONG LEADERS OVER PREPOSTEROUS LIES TO COVER UP MISHANDLING OF PARTY CRISIS IN PUNJAB
CAPT AMARINDER SLAMS CONG LEADERS OVER PREPOSTEROUS LIES TO COVER UP MISHANDLING OF PARTY CRISIS IN PUNJAB
Punjab Cong row: There's resentment in MLAs against CM, says Pargat Singh
Punjab Cong row: There's resentment in MLAs against CM, says Pargat Singh
Five IAS officers transferred in Punjab (See list attached)
Five IAS officers transferred in Punjab (See list attached)
Immediately stop police deployment from BJP ruled states to WB: TMC to Chief Electoral Officer
Punjab: 24 DSP officers Transferred
Two IAS officers transferred in Punjab (See list attached)
Black Lives Matter: If we kill men...with whom will we live???
India 2020: The story of marching millions
Four PCS officers transferred in Punjab