Effects of Peer Victimization on Child and Adolescent Physical Health.
Peer victimization is recognized as a pressing public health issue, affecting ∼1 in 5 youth. Although extensive research demonstrates the negative effects of peer victimization on youth mental health, considerably less is known about if and how peer victimization adversely impacts physical health. Focusing on studies published in the past 5 years, this state-of-the-art review synthesizes recent research examining the relationship between peer victimization and physical health outcomes among children and adolescents. In addition to reviewing evidence for associations between peer victimization and global subjective health indices (eg, somatic symptoms), I highlight several biological sequelae of victimization (eg, cortisol dysregulation, inflammation) that may increase long-term risk for illness and disease. I conclude by considering strengths and limitations of existing work and suggesting several key directions for future research. I also discuss implications for practitioners and the role primary care providers can play in promoting health among peer victimized youth.