Bullying Among Tunisian Middle School Students: the Prevalence, Psychosocial Associated Factors and Perceived Involvement of Parents, Teachers and Classmates

Jihene Sahli, Menel Mellouli, Meriam El Ghardallou, Manel Limam, Mouna Gallas, Asma Ammar, Ali Mtiraoui, Thouraya Nebli Ajmi, Chekib Zedini

Abstract


Background: Bullying is a serious public health concern remarkably common among youth. Involvement in bullying can lead to deleterious effect on the emotional well-being of pupils. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of bullying, its psychosocial associated factors and the perceived involvement of parents, teachers, and classmates to counteract this behavior.

Study Design: A cross-sectional study.

Methods: We conducted this study in 2015 among a representative multistage sample of 1584 students enrolled in middle schools in the Region of Sousse using the revised Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire. It assesses the prevalence of bullying and covers qualitative details of bullying including psychosocial factors and perceived efforts of others to counteract bullying.

Results: 11.7% of respondents were classified as pure victims, 7.8% as pure bullies, 3.2% as bully-victims and 75.5% as bystanders. Compared to other groups, the bully-victims were less likely to report a feeling of empathy and liking school. They were more likely to be afraid of being bullied, aggressive and to have fewer friends in the class. Only 30.3% of the victims indicated that they told someone about being bullied. The majority of the middle school students perceived that classmates (54.1%) and teachers (39.5%) did nothing to counteract bullying.

Conclusions: Information about bullying is critical and must be gathered before effective intervention is planned. Parents, teachers and students should learn effective ways to handle the bullying problem since the most effective programs are comprehensive targeting students, schools, families and the community.

 


Keywords


Bullying; Psychosocial factors; Schools; Students

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