Bullying Among School Children: Prevalence and Association with Common Symptoms in Childhood
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To estimate the prevalence of bullying among girls and boys in school and examine its association with psychological and psychosomatic symptoms.
500 students aged between 8-14 yrs from 5 randomly selected schools as well as their parents and teachers were interviewed using a pretested questionnaire.
Bullying was reported by 302(60.4%) of the 500 children interviewed. Bullying was seen to be more prevalent among boys than girls, the commonest forms being calling names and making fun of one's looks. Physical abuse was reported by 38 students. Only 65 (39%) parents knew that their children were being bullied. Bullied children were more likely to report symptoms such as headache, loose motions, fever and depression. Teachers were found to be ignorant of the whole issue.
Bullying is a major problem among school children. Bullied children complained of psychosomatic symptoms which are potentially harmful for development. Teachers must be adequately trained to tackle this problem. Pediatricians should always consider bullying as a causative agent for illness and plan for appropriate interventions.
KeywordsBullying School children Violence Psychosomatic illness
I am grateful to ICMR for giving me an opportunity to do this research work as an undergraduate student.
I wish to thank Dr. Srinivas Masoor for lending his valuable time and support in guiding me in the right direction.
Dr. M L K; Concept and study design, critical appraisal of the study, analysis of data, critical revision of the draft, will act as guaranteer of the manuscript. Dr. R S G; Collection, analysis and interpretation of data, preparation of draft, drafting final script.
Conflict of Interest
Role of Funding Source
ICMR Short term Studentship No. 21/197/2007-BMS
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