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A Journal on Psychiatry, Psychology and Psychopharmacology
Official Journal of the Italian Society of Social Psychiatry
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, e-psyche, PsycINFO, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index
Minerva Psichiatrica 2015 September;56(3):103-8
School bullying: an international public health emergency correlated to psychosomatic problems as long-term sequelae
Ferrara P. 1, Bottaro G. 2, Cutrona C. 2, Quintarelli F. 2, Spina G. 2, Amato M. 2, Sbordone A. 2, Chiaretti A. 1, Corsello G. 3, Riccardi R. 1
1 Institute of Pediatrics, Sacro Cuore Catholic University, Rome, Italy;
2 Campus Bio‑Medico University, Rome, Italy;
3 Operative Unit of Pediatrics and Neonatal Intensive Therapy, Mother and Child Department, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy
AIM: School bullying is a proactive, intentional and repeated form of aggression. Approximately 20% of youths report being involved in bullying as perpetrators and/or victims. The purpose of this research was to investigate bullying prevalence in a sample of school Italian children in Rome.
METHODS: A total of 721 children from 6th and 8th grades completed a self-report anonymous questionnaire adapted from the Revised Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire, including specific items to investigate about children bullying involvement at school.
RESULTS: Prevalence of relational, physical and verbal bullying events resulted similar for 6th and 8th grades (5%, 3.6% and 3.9% versus 5.2%, 3% and 5.1% respectively). Boys compared to girls resulted more likely involved in bullying events, particularly in physical ones (4.9% versus 1.7%). The prevalence of both bullies and bully-victims was similar in boys and girls, regardless of age (53% and 47.4% among males versus 47% and 52.6% among females respectively). The 39.4% and 41.2% of students reported lack of intervention on victim’s behalf by teachers and schoolmates respectively.
CONCLUSION: Data from our study support the importance of further education to provide effective prevention programming. Pediatricians can play an important role in detection of potential victims limiting long-term psychosomatic and psychosocial sequelae.