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Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry

Print version ISSN 1516-4446On-line version ISSN 1809-452X


REISEN, Andressa; VIANA, Maria C.  and  SANTOS-NETO, Edson T. dos. Bullying among adolescents: are the victims also perpetrators?. Braz. J. Psychiatry [online]. 2019, vol.41, n.6, pp.518-529.  Epub June 10, 2019. ISSN 1516-4446.


To analyze factors associated with the prevalence of maltreatment and bullying and to identify types of involvement (verbal, physical, social, sexual, cyberbullying) among high school students aged 15 to 19 years.


A cross-sectional, school-based epidemiological survey was performed. The sample included 2,293 adolescents from public and private schools in the Greater Vitoria area (state of Espírito Santo, Brazil). A modified version of the Brazilian Portuguese Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire was used.


Among maltreatment behaviors, 43.3% of adolescents reported having been victims vs. 40.4% reporting to be aggressors. Among bullying behaviors, 41% reported victimization and 29.1% aggression. The most frequent types of bullying were verbal (victim = 33.8%, bully = 23.1%), social (victim = 21.8%, bully = 16.9%), and physical bullying (victim = 15.1%, bully = 8.7%). Of those reporting to be victims, 37.5% stated that they did not react as frequently as they were attacked. Almost half of the students (50.9%) identified themselves as victims, without practicing any type of aggression against another schoolmate. School network (public or private) and gender were significantly associated with victimization and aggression behaviors.


The adolescents identified as victims did not generally attack other students, i.e., did not identify themselves as perpetrators. The high prevalence of maltreatment and bullying detected in this study, especially the verbal, social, and physical types, underscores the need for interventions addressing bullying in schools.

Keywords : Adolescent; bullying; adolescent behavior; schools; violence.

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