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Medicina (Kaunas). 2008;44(3):232-9.

[School bullying and its association with health and lifestyle among schoolchildren].

[Article in Lithuanian]

Author information

  • 1Kauno medicinos universiteto Biomedicininiu tyrimu institutas. socped@kmu.lt

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to assess the association of bullying and being bullied with indicators of subjective health and problem behaviors among schoolchildren aged 11-15 years.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

The data of the anonymous survey of 5645 filth-, seventh-, and ninth-grade students (aged 11, 13, and 15 years, respectively), conducted in the spring of 2002, were analyzed. The students completed the World Health Organization's Health Behavior in School-aged Children questionnaire that included self-report of involvement in bullying and being bullied by others as well as subjective health and well-being estimates, health complains (headache, stomachache, back pain, anxiety, etc.), and problem behaviors (smoking, alcohol and drug use, suicidal ideation). The response rate was 95%.

RESULTS:

More than half (52.3%) of students were involved in bullying process at least two times per month: 17.9% were involved as bullies ("victims"), 18.3% were bullied ("aggressors"), and 16.1% bullied others and were bullied themselves. A significant association between experiencing bullying and adverse health outcomes was found. Perpetrating bullying increased the odds of smoking, alcohol and drug use. Perpetrating and/or experiencing bullying increased the risk of high suicidal ideation that had cumulative effect. The established associations varied between genders and groups of students defined as "victims," "aggressors," and "victims/aggressors."

CONCLUSIONS:

In Lithuania, school bullying is extremely prevalent and is associated with health disorders, poorer well-being, and problem behavior of schoolchildren. Urgent antibullying efforts, including both research and preventive measures, are needed in order to deal with this social phenomenon.

PMID:
18413991
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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