Koneng Lor


June 2008

Document Type


Degree Name



Dept. of Public Health and Preventive Medicine


Oregon Health & Science University


Background Excessive exposure to television (TV) among preschool and school aged children is associated with adverse health outcomes, including aggressive behaviors. Bullying is associated with negative health outcomes. Being a bully victim is associated with school absenteeism and social isolation; being a bully perpetrator is associated with criminal activities. This study investigates whether TV viewing hours is significantly associated with bullying behaviors by: (1) assessing the unadjusted and school-adjusted association, (2) assessing the gender association, and (3) assessing the association adjusted for school, grade and gender. Methods This secondary data analysis utilizes the Oregon Elementary Schools Health Behavior Survey (OESHBS) 2004-05, which was administered to students from 5 elementary schools in Oregon. Self-reported bullying behaviors in the previous month (physical bully, physical victim, rumor perpetrator, and rumor victim) were used to predict self-reported TV viewing on the previous day (< 2 hours vs. > 2 hours). Descriptive statistics, inferential tests, and logistic regression models were conducted using SPSS statistical analysis sohare. Results Overall, 36.2 % (199 of 554) participants reported watching 2 or more hours of TV on the previous day, and 12% reported being perpetrators of physical bullying in the previous month. Girls and boys equally reported having watched 2 or more hours of TV on the previous day (36.5% vs. 36.0%). Perpetrators of physical bullying (unadjusted odds ratio (OR) = 3.04,95% confidence interval (CI) = 1. 79-5.17) and students who were physically victimized (OR = 1.58, CI = 1.10-2.27) in the previous month were significantly more likely to watch 2 or more hours of TV on the previous day. The relationship between TV viewing hours and physical bully perpetrator persisted when stratified by gender (male-specific OR = 2.98, CI = 1.57-5.66, female-specific OR = 2.57, CI = 1.28-9.95); however, the association between TV viewing hours and physical bully victim was significant only among males (OR = 2.42, CI = 1.45 4.05). After simultaneously adjusting for school, grade, and gender, TV viewing hours was significantly associated with physical bully perpetrator (aOR = 2.84, C1= 1.15-5.1 8); with male physical bully victim (aOR = 1.99, CI = 1.14-3.49); and with grade 6 (aOR = 3.00, CI = 1.56-5.76). Discussion/Public Health Implications Among both boys and girls, TV viewing hours was significantly associated with being perpetrators of physical bullying. TV viewing hours was associated with physical victimization among boys. Although causality was not able to be concluded, both directions of the association need to be considered in program recommendations. The findings support decreasing TV viewing among children and increasing children, families, caretakers and community's awareness about the adverse effects of television and bullying behavior. Conclusion This study illustrates that many elementary children in Oregon continue to watch more than 2 hours of TV each day, exceeding AAPYs recommendation for daily TV viewing hours. Results of this thesis support a plan to decrease television viewing among elementary school children, and to raise awareness about the importance of bullying prevention in elementary schools. Acting upon these results stands to promote the health and education of elementary school children in Oregon.




School of Medicine



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