Happy New Year from Boston Children’s Hospital! We asked some of our leaders, surgeons and doctors to share their hopes for 2016. We hope that their words bring inspiration, peace and wellness to you for the new year.
In 2016, I hope — or more accurately, I know — we will work together as a team across our Boston Children’s Hospital to continue to provide the highest quality, state-of-the-art care to children in our community and across the globe, while striving toward the breakthroughs in science, innovation and care that will help us to build a brighter future for everyone.
Mark Schuster, MD, PhD, chief of General Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital, led a first-of-its-kind longitudinal study on the bullying of gay, lesbian and bisexual young people.
Fourteen-year-old Kenneth Weishuhn, 15-year-old Jadin Bell and 18-year-old Tyler Clementi were all teenagers who committed suicide after being bullied for being gay. There have been many similar stories reported around the country, but until now, little research has existed to help understand the backdrop to tragic outcomes like these.
A new study, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine and led by Mark Schuster, MD, PhD, chief of General Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital, who is also the William Berenberg Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, sheds light on the bullying and victimization experiences of sexual minority youth (that is, youth who are lesbian, gay or bisexual) from elementary school to high school. Bullying is generally defined as the intentional and repeated perpetration of aggression over time by a more powerful person against a less powerful person. The study, the only one on this topic to follow a representative sample of young people in the United States over several years, surveyed 4,268 students in Birmingham, Houston and Los Angeles in fifth grade and again in seventh and tenth grades.
Schuster and his colleagues found that girls and boys who were identified in tenth grade as sexual minorities were more likely than their peers to be bullied or victimized as early as fifth grade, and this pattern continued into high school.
We sat down with Dr. Schuster to discuss this important study and its implications.
Other children’s health stories we’ve been reading:
Vice President Joe Biden announced that nearly $1.2 billion in grants will go towards helping hospitals and doctors utilize electronic health records. The grants, funded by the $787 billion economic stimulus plan, will be available on October 1. …
Recently, the Boston Public Health Commission announced it will launch a new safer-sex campaign that will educate teens about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) through Facebook, You Tube, TV and street performances. The announcement comes after startling new data revealing an increase in STIs in and around Boston over the past couple of years. Children’s Chief of General Pediatrics, Mark Schuster, MD, PhD, weighs in on the increase in STIs and gives tips on how parents can address it with their children. …