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Jeremy Horwood, Andrea Waylen, David Herrick, Cathy Williams, Dieter Wolke; Common Visual Defects and Peer Victimization in Children. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2005;46(4):1177-1181. doi: 10.1167/iovs.04-0597.
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purpose. To investigate whether wearing glasses, having manifest strabismus, or having a history of wearing an eye patch predisposes preadolescent children to being victimized more frequently at school and whether the impact may be different on boys than on girls.
methods. Data were examined on 6536 children from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) based in the United Kingdom. At 7.5 years, the children undertook a detailed eye examination by orthoptists, including a cover test and visual acuity assessment. At 8.5 years, trained psychologists assessed the children’s bullying involvement as either victim or perpetrator for overt and relational bullying, in a standard interview.
results. Children currently wearing glasses or with a history of wearing eye patches were 35% to 37% more likely to be victims of physical or verbal bullying, even after adjustment for social class and maternal education. No interactions were found between sex and visual problems in the prediction of bullying.
conclusions. For those children who require glasses, opticians should be aware of the risks of bullying, and strategies should be developed and discussed that help reduce their vulnerability.
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