Does bullying cause emotional problems? A prospective study of young teenagers

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  1. Assignment

Question 1                                                                                         

Bond, Carlin, Thomas, Rubin and Patton: Does bullying cause emotional problems? A prospective study of young teenagers

from the British Medical Journal 2001 ; Vol 323, 1st September page 480-484 (also available online through

http://www.bmj.com/cgi/reprint/323/7311/480 and answer the questions below.

Statement of objectives

  • What were the investigators’ aims and objectives? If they are not stated explicitly in the paper, what do you think they were?
  • What was the hypothesis that the authors were testing? If no hypothesis is stated, what do you think it was?

Study design

  • What type of study was carried out? The name of a study type as stated by the investigators (eg randomised controlled trial) is not sufficient, describe in your own words what they did. Do you think the study design is appropriate to the aims and objectives?
  • What other study designs could have been used? Discuss the advantage and disadvantages of each.

Target/reference population

  • What is an appropriate target/reference population for this study? (That is, to whom did the investigators want to generalise the results?)

Source/sampled population

  • Describe the source or sampled population from which sample was drawn. Is this an appropriate choice? Are there any potential biases introduced through specific groups being missed or under-presented?

Sample frame

  • Did the investigators use a sample frame? If so, describe the sample frame and comment on its appropriateness. If not, what would you recommend as a sample frame and why?

Sample selection

  • How was the study sample selected? Is this an appropriate sampling strategy? What, if any, are the potential biases in the sample selection?

Method of measurement

  • What method(s) was (were) used to obtain data from the sample? Comment on the appropriateness of the method(s). Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of other methods that could have been used.

Measurement instrument

  • How were the main variables of interest measured? Were valid and reliable measures obtained? What were the main outcome (dependent) variable(s) and study factors (or exposures or independent variables) of interest?

Statistical analysis

  • Suppose that you were assisting the authors with the data analysis and had to help them with the interpretation of the findings. Describe in your own words the results presented in Table 1 to Table 4.

Authors’ conclusions

  • What were the main conclusions drawn by the authors? Are they justified? Based on your reading of the paper, do you agree with them?
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