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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]

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  • 1Kauno medicinos universiteto Biomedicininiu tyrimu institutas.


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.


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%.


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."


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.

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