OBJECTIVES: Violence and bullying in the school setting are a serious social and health problem that have created great alarm in the last few years. We aimed to describe bullying and factors related to this phenomenon in students in the city of Barcelona.
METHODS: We performed a cross-sectional study of a representative sample of 2,727 students from 66 secondary schools in Barcelona. Bullying was defined as having been laughed at, hit or marginalized four or more times, or as having been the target of all three of these behaviors at least once, in the last 12 months. To analyze the associations among bullying and related factors including sociodemographic variables, attitudes and behaviors, we used bivariate and multivariate logistic regression.
RESULTS: The prevalence of bullying was 18.2%, 10.9% and 4.3% in boys and 14.4%, 8.5% and 4.5% in girls in the 8th, 10th and 12th grades, respectively. Factors associated with an increased likelihood of being bullied were negative mood states and violent behavior, while being older, alcohol consumption, cannabis use and going to bars and discos were negatively associated with being bullied.
CONCLUSIONS: This study confirms that bullying is a serious problem in our context and identifies certain factors, such as negative mood states and other risk behaviors. These factors should be further analyzed in longitudinal studies in order to design and implement appropriate prevention programs.
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