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The economic cost of child and adolescent bullying in Australia

The economic cost of child and adolescent bullying in Australia

Jadambaa, Amarzaya, Brain, David, Pacella, Rosana ORCID: 0000-0002-9742-1957 , Thomas, Hannah J., McCarthy, Molly, Scott, James G. and Graves, Nicholas (2020) The economic cost of child and adolescent bullying in Australia. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 60 (3). pp. 367-376. ISSN 0890-8567 (doi:

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This study conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis and estimated the economic costs attributable to child and adolescent bullying victimization in Australia.

The costs of bullying victimization were measured from a societal perspective which accounts for costs associated with healthcare, education resources and productivity losses. A prevalence-based approach was used to estimate the annual costs for Australians who experienced bullying victimization in childhood and adolescence. This study updated a previous systematic review summarizing the association between bullying victimization and health and non-health outcomes. Costs were estimated by calculating population attributable fractions to determine the effects of bullying victimization on increased risk of adverse health outcomes such as anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, intentional self-harm and tobacco use. A top-down approach to cost estimation was taken for all outcomes of interest, except for costs incurred by educational institutions and productivity loss of victims’ caregivers where a bottom-up cost estimation was applied.

Annual costs in 2016 on health and non-health outcomes attributable to child and adolescent bullying victimization were estimated at AUD $763 million: AUD $750 million for health system costs with AUD $147 million for anxiety disorders, AUD $322 million for depressive disorders, AUD $57 million for intentional self-harm and AUD $224 million for tobacco use; AUD $7.5 million for productivity losses of victims’ caregivers; and AUD $6 million for educational services.

The findings from this study suggest a substantial annual cost to Australian society results from bullying victimization within more than 8% of annual mental health expenditure in Australia estimated to be attributable to bullying victimization.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: cost of bullying, social cost, childhood bullying
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Institute for Lifecourse Development
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2021 13:46

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