Testing & Diagnosis for Bullying in Children

What can a pediatrician do to determine if a child is being bullied?

Asking children specifically about problems with bullying during routine office visits—“Is anyone being mean to you?”— is the first and most important step. Pediatricians should also be on the lookout for signs of stress, such as:

  • a sudden decline in grades
  • school refusal
  • an abrupt change in sleep patterns
  • unexplained weight loss or weight gain
  • frequent visits to the school nurse’s office