Prevalence and characteristics of victims and perpetrators of bullying

OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of bullying (victims and perpetrators) in a representative sample of sixth graders from schools located in the city of Caxias do Sul, RS, Brazil and to determine possible associations with maternal education, socioeconomic level, sedentary habits, nutritional status, dissatisfaction with body image, gender, and age. METHODS: This was a school-based epidemiological study. The target population consisted of sixth graders (11-14 years). A self-administered questionnaire and anthropometric measurements of weight and height were used for the assessment of nutritional status. Bullying was assessed through the Kidscape questionnaire, and body image through the Body Shape Questionnaire. Descriptive statistics and bivariate and multivariate analyses were used. RESULTS: 1,230 schoolchildren were evaluated, and the prevalences of victims and perpetrators of bullying were 10.2% and 7.1%, respectively. Those dissatisfied with their body image were three times more likely to be victims of bullying (PR = 3.24; CI = 1.99-5.28), and almost twice as likely to be aggressors (PR = 1.98; CI = 1.53-3.73) than those who were satisfied. Schoolchildren with sedentary habits (more than three hours a day) were 55% more likely to be victims of bullying (PR = 1.55; CI = 1.01- 2.36) and more than twice as likely (PR = 2.42; CI = 1.47-3.97) to be aggressors. Boys were more than twice as likely (PR = 2.45; CI = 1.42-4.24) to be aggressors. CONCLUSIONS: Body image and sedentary habits were associated with victims and perpetrators, and male gender was more prevalent among the perpetrators of bullying.

Bullying; Body image; Sedentary lifestyle

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