Send to

Choose Destination
Pediatrics. 2009 Mar;123(3):1059-65. doi: 10.1542/peds.2008-1215.

Association between bullying and psychosomatic problems: a meta-analysis.

Author information

Università di Padova, Dipartimento di Psicologia dello Sviluppo e della Socializzazione, Via Venezia, 8, 35131 Padova, Italy.

Erratum in

  • Pediatrics. 2009 Sep;124(3):1000.



In the last few years, there has been an increasing amount of research showing the concurrent and long-term consequences of bullying and being bullied by peers. OBJECTIVE. We performed a meta-analysis to quantify the association between involvement in bullying and psychosomatic complaints in the school-aged population.


We searched online databases (Embase, Medline, PsychInfo, Scopus) up to March 2008, bibliographies of existing studies, and qualitative reviews for studies that examined the association between involvement in bullying and psychosomatic complaints in children and adolescents. The original search identified 19 studies, of which 11 satisfied prestated inclusion criteria.


Three random-effects meta-analyses were performed for the following 3 groups of children aged between 7 and 16 years: victims, bullies, and bully-victims. Bully-victims, victims, and bullies had a significantly higher risk for psychosomatic problems compared with uninvolved peers.


The association between involvement in bullying and psychosomatic problems was demonstrated. Given that school bullying is a widespread phenomenon in many countries around the world, the present results suggest that bullying be considered a significant international public health issue.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center