Bullying and Victimization among Students Bears Relationship with Gender and Emotional and Behavioral Problems
Objective: Bullying and victimization are common and serious problems in schools resulting in development of emotional and behavioral disorders in adolescents. This study aimed at examining the prevalence of bullying behavior and some of its associated factors among students.
Method: This was a cross sectional analytic study involving junior high schoolers in grades seven, eight and nine. This study was part of an international study that used a questionnaire as a tool for data collection. The questionnaire investigated some of the characteristics and qualities possessed by most juveniles and some occasional problems which they may experience. Also, it was used to examine participants’ experiences with bullying and victimization. This questionnaire comprised of 15 sections on demographic characteristics, individual health, family status and types of bullying experiences at school and outside of school, along with the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), which is an instrument for screening emotional and behavioral problems in children and adolescents. A multistage cluster sampling from five regions, consisting of the north, south, west, east, and central regions of Tehran, was conducted and 1456 questionnaires were completed by the students.
Results: According to the results of this study, prevalence rate for bullying and victimization was 17.4% and 25.8%, respectively. The results indicated that gender had a significant relationship with bullying and victimization, with boys being more likely to be bullies and also more prone to victimization than girls (p < 0.001). Other parameters such as emotional, behavioral, and environmental influence also had a significant relationship with bullying and victimization.
Conclusion: Bullying is more prevalent in boys than in girls, and boys are more likely to be victimized as well. Emotional and behavioral problems are identified as risk factors, and future interventions should focus on these risk factors to develop preventive measures.
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