Adolescents victims of bullying were more likely to report poor psychological function and desire cosmetic surgery, according to recent findings.
The researchers conducted a two-stage study to determine the extent of interest in cosmetic surgery among these adolescents, and whether there was a sex-specific effect driving it. The first stage included 2,782 adolescents aged 11 to 16 years who underwent screening to determine if bullying had occurred. This was determined via self-report and peer nomination, according to the findings. The second stage comprised 752 adolescents, including bullies, victims, bully-victims, and those uninvolved one way or the other. The researchers queried this diverse group on whether cosmetic surgery interested them.
Self-esteem and emotional problems were assessed in the first stage of the trial, while body esteem scores were assessed in the second. The researchers created a composite psychological functioning assessment from these data.
Results indicated that involvement in bullying in any role was significantly associated with a desire for cosmetic surgery compared with adolescents who were uninvolved. Victims, bully-victims and girls carried the greatest desire for cosmetic surgery. While desire for cosmetic surgery was highest among adolescent girls, no interaction between sex and bullying role was observed.
Victimization was associated with poor psychological function, which carried a subsequent association with desire for cosmetic surgery. Conversely, however, no association was observed between desire for cosmetic surgery and psychological functioning in bullies.
The researchers suggest that cosmetic surgeons should screen candidates for bullying-related adverse psychological outcomes prior to surgery. – by Rob Volansky
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.