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English to Chinese: Bullied Kids More Likely to Become Psychotic Preteens General field: Social Sciences Detailed field: Education / Pedagogy
Source text - English May 8, 2009 — Children who are bullied are more likely to develop psychotic symptoms in early adolescence — and there is a dose effect, with repeated bullying associated with greater risk.
In the first prospective study to examine the relationship between childhood bullying and psychotic symptoms in early adolescence, investigators at the University of Warwick, in Coventry, the United Kingdom, found the risk for psychotic symptoms nearly doubled among children who were victims of bullying at age 8 or 10 years, independent of other psychiatric illness, family adversity, or the child's IQ, and increased nearly 4-fold when victimization was chronic or severe.
Study coauthor Dieter Wolke, PhD, told Medscape Psychiatry the findings have clear clinical implications.
"If children present with physical or mental health problems, also explore their peer relationships. Being victimized, in particular chronically or severely, can make you ill," Dr. Wolke, told Medscape Psychiatry.
The study is published in the May issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.
Significant Dose Effect
The researchers studied 6437 individuals in early adolescence (average age, 12.9 years) who were part of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). Parents had completed regular mailed questionnaires about their child's health and development since birth, and the children underwent yearly physical and psychological assessments from the age of 7 years.
At each visit, trained interviewers rated the children on whether they had experienced psychotic symptoms, including hallucinations, delusions, or thought disorders, during the previous 6 months.
Children, parents, and teachers also reported on whether the child had experienced peer victimization, defined as negative actions by 1 of more other students with the intention to hurt.
The researchers categorized 46.2% of participants as victims and 53.8% as not victimized at either age 8 or 10 years. Dr. Wolke pointed out that this includes being victimized at any time in childhood, not just during the year in question.
At age 12.9, 13.7% of subjects had broad psychosislike symptoms with 1 or more symptoms suspected or definitely present; 11.5% had intermediate symptoms with 1 or more symptoms suspected or present at times other than going to sleep, waking from sleep, fever, or after substance use; and 5.6% had 1 or more symptoms definitely present.
The odds ratio for psychotic symptoms was 1.94 among victims of bullying at ages 8 and/or 10 years and jumped to 4.60 for repeated or severe victimization.
Victims Often Less Socially Skilled
Dr. Wolke said it is doubtful that being a target of peer victimization was the result rather than the cause of an underlying predisposition to psychotic symptoms.
"This is the issue of reverse causality," Dr. Wolke said. "We are fairly certain that this is not the case, as victimization reported by mothers from 4 years onward also related to psychotic symptoms. Also, it is not possible to measure psychotic symptoms before 8 years — believing in Santa Claus or fairies is not a delusion but part of appropriate development until that age."
"However," Dr. Wolke added, "we know victims show a reaction to bullying more often — by crying for example — are less socially skilled, and have no or few friends who can protect them. Thus, while the children may not have had psychotic symptoms, they may be socially awkward and were more likely to become targets. However, monozygotic twin studies that are discordant for bullying show that the victimized twin is more likely to develop depression and behavioral symptoms."
The researchers suggest further research is needed to sort out whether repeated victimization experiences alter cognitive and affective processing or reprogram stress response or whether psychotic symptoms are more likely due to genetic predisposition.
"Social victimization by peers is a severe stress. It may lead to reprogramming of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis or a different cognitive style, both found in those with psychosis. It may be more severe in those with genetic susceptibility. However, these are speculations that require more research,” Dr. Wolke said.
"A major implication is that chronic or severe peer victimization has nontrivial, adverse, long-term consequences. Reduction of peer victimization and of the resulting stress caused to victims could be a worthwhile target for prevention and early intervention efforts for common mental health problems and psychosis," the authors conclude.
Cause and Effect Not Demonstrated
David Fassler, MD, from the University of Vermont College of Medicine, in Burlington, told Medscape Psychiatry that bullying is a common experience for many young people.
"Surveys indicate that over half of all children are bullied at some time during their school years, and at least 10% are bullied on a regular basis,” Dr. Fassler said.
According to Dr. Fassler, previous research suggests bullying may increase the risk of developing psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia or depression later in life. In this regard, the results of the current study are consistent with previous reports and demonstrate that children who are bullied during childhood are more likely to show "psychoticlike" symptoms by early adolescence.
"Due to the design of the study, the authors can't actually prove that these symptoms are a direct result of the bullying. However, they do demonstrate a significant association," said Dr. Fassler. He warned that the results of this study should be interpreted with caution due to a number of methodological issues.
"For example, the authors experienced a significant dropout rate over the course of the study. They were ultimately able to follow less than half their original sample. In addition, they didn't have access to baseline data on 'psychoticlike' symptoms for the children. However, despite these limitations, the article represents a useful addition to the literature on bullying.
"Hopefully, subsequent studies will help us identify kids who are particularly vulnerable, so we can intervene as early as possible to minimize the risk of lasting emotional consequences," Dr. Fassler said.
The UK Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, and the University of Bristol provide core support for ALSPAC. This study was funded by a grant from the Wellcome Trust. The authors report no conflicts of interest.
Translation - Chinese 2009年5月8日﹣小時候曾受校園惡霸欺負的兒童較容易在青春期早期出現精神病症狀，這種狀況存在劑量效應，即反覆受到欺壓的兒童出現症狀的機率更高。
Chinese to English: 發揚心靈環保 祈求世界和平 General field: Social Sciences Detailed field: Religion
Source text - Chinese 由近六十個國家共同參與的「第二屆世界佛教論壇」，三月二十八日至四月一日期間，分別在台灣、大陸兩地舉行。其中，由法鼓山佛教基金會承辦，本校負責籌備的「佛教的心靈環保」分論壇，則於3月31日在法鼓山德貴大樓召開，論壇中探討的範圍包括了節能減碳、心六倫運動、水陸法會、素食護生、自殺防治及金融海嘯..等議題，共計提出了38篇論文，而每位論文發表人，幾乎也都是親力親為的心靈環保實踐者，所以當天的與會人士均就此議題，熱烈討論。
Translation - English Promoting Spiritual Environment Protection and Praying for World Peace
The Second World Buddhist Forum, in which nearly 60 countries participated, was held in Mainland China and Taiwan from March 28 to April 1. Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Foundation was responsible for holding the sub-forum, “Spiritual Environment Protection in Buddhism,” which was organized by Dharma Drum Buddhist College. It took place in the Dharma Drum Dequi Academy on March 31. The issues being discussed in the sub-forum included “Energy Conservation and Carbon Reduction,” “Six Ethics of the Mind,” “Liberation Rite of Water and Land,” “Vegetarian Diet and Life Protection,” “Suicide Prevention” and “Financial Tsunami.” A total of 38 theses were presented. Almost all presenters of the theses are practitioners of spiritual environment protection; therefore, the issue aroused a heated discussion among the attendees.
Venerable Master Sheng Yen, the founder of Dharma Drum Buddhist College, proposed and promoted the concept of spiritual environment protection in 1992. Now it has become a consensus in Taiwan’s religious world. Venerable Guo Dong, the Abbot President of Dharma Drum Mountain, stated in his speech that spiritual environment protection transcended races, religions and national borders, and that it was also the core belief of the whole DDM system. He expressed his wish that the forum would serve as a platform to offer modern societies the rich philosophical resources provided by Chinese Buddhism as well as practices and experiences that would induce people in today’s world to improve themselves and take on social responsibilities. “Spiritual Environment Protection” should be made our guiding principle. Starting from the heart, we can extend our care to the society, the whole humanity and natural environment, and achieve the goal of creating a pure land on earth. In the conclusion of the sub-forum, the Principal of DDBC, Master Hui Min, led the attendees to make suggestions for the above-mentioned eight issues, hoping all the groups in the Buddhist world would disregard the differences, focus on the similarities, reach agreement and collaborate with one another in order to set a good model for future propagation of Buddhism.
After the forum ended, all of the attending scholars were invited to visit the DDM World Center for Buddhist Education to experience the ambience of the Buddhist practice center built on the spirit of “Spiritual Environment Protection” and to understand the current development of Chinese Buddhism in Taiwan. It was also an opportunity to let them understand how DDM has realized the conception of “Uplifting Human Character
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