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Indian Pediatr. 2007 Jan;44(1):25-8.

Bullying in schools: prevalence and short-term impact.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences, Karad, India.



To estimate the prevalence of bullying in school children and to examine its association with common symptoms in childhood.


Prospective survey using a pre-tested questionnaire for conducting a semi structured health interview.


Randomly selected Public and private schools in a rural area.


Children aged 8-12 years studying in three schools and their parents.


Bullying was reported by 157 (31.4%) of the 500 children interviewed. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of bullying amongst boys and girls in co-education schools. However, it was significantly low in schools enrolling girls alone. Teasing and keeping names were the commonest forms noticed. Causing physical hurt was reported bv 25 (16%) students. Only 24 (24%) parents were aware that their children were being bullied. Feeling sad, preferring to stay alone and frequent tearing of clothes were almost exclusively noted in bullied children and bullied children were more likely to report symptoms such as school phobia, vomiting and sleep disturbances.


Bullying is a common phenomenon amongst school going children. Frequent bullying is associated with certain symptoms and school absenteeism. Healthcare professionals. should be aware of this phenmnenon so that they can diagnose the underlying cause when these symptoms are reported and plan for appropriate interventions.

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