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Epidemiol Psychiatr Sci. 2011 Dec;20(4):339-43.

Bullying behaviours among students in Pavia, Italy: prevalence and association with stress and cannabis use.

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Department of Health Sciences, Section of Psychiatry, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy.



This study examined the prevalence of students' reported experiences of bullying and victimization in primary and secondary schools and their association with levels of perceived stress and cannabis use.


We consecutively enrolled 407 students attending three secondary schools in Pavia (Italy). Bullying and victimization were measured using the retrospective bullying questionnaire (RQB). The 10-item perceived stress scale (PSS-10) was used to assess the degree to which situations in life were perceived as stressful. Data on demographic characteristics and cannabis use in the previous 6 months were also collected.


There were 328 victims (80.6%) and 221 bullies (52.1%). The results of the stepwise regression analysis with bullying as the dependent variable were significant with either male sex (R2 = 0.030, p = 0.024) or PSS-10 scores (R2 0.056, p = 0.036) in the model. With victimization as the dependent variable, only the PSS-10 scores were retained in the model as an independent predictor variable (R2 = 0.048, p<0.001).


The results from this study indicate that the level of perceived stress has an independent association with both bullying and victimization. Further studies are needed to clarify the psychobiological links between stress, cannabis use and bullying behaviours.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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