UNM researchers use brain measures to examine bullying in Latino youth

As more than 20 percent of students nationwide will experience bullying, researchers at The University of New Mexico are examining the unique risk factors that may leave a child vulnerable to bullying victimization, particularly among Latino youth.

UNM Psychology Doctoral Candidate Isabel Solis say they are using an electroencephalogram (EEG), a tool that measures brain waves, and other neuropsychological measures, including attention and memory tasks to help provide answers.

The study, Neurobehavioral Signatures of Social Interactions in Children, is currently seeking participants who are:

  • Latino youth who have been a victim of bullying and those who have not
  • 9 to 16 years of age
  • Female and male
  • First or second-generation immigrant children
  • Fluent in English

According to Solis, there is also little research surrounding bullying victimization among racial/ethnic minorities, and currently no evidenced-based interventions for children who are victimized. She says, researchers hope this study starts to bridge that gap as previous studies have shown that early childhood bullying victimization may lead to long-term negative consequences in adolescence and adulthood including, higher rates of depression, anxiety and other psychiatric disorders. Solis says bullying has also been linked to sleeping difficulties, physical problems (e.g., headaches, stomachaches), lower academic achievement and in some cases suicidal ideation and attempts.

“This research is so important,” Solis said. “We may also have the opportunity to learn about protective factors among Latino youth that may be implemented in treatments or prevention programs.”

Families interested in this study may call 505-750-1129.

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