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Original Papers

Prevalence and factors associated with bullying in children attending mental health clinics: a case control study

Authors:

shiromi Karunaratne ,

LK
About shiromi
registrar,psychiatry
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Hemamali Perera,

Department of Psychological Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, LK
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Wijini Jayawardana,

LK
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Ahangamage Prabath,

LK
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Chandima Jeewandara

Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, Colombo, LK
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Abstract

Background Bullying leads to mental health problems and it is known to be more prevalent in those attending children’s mental health services.

Aims Compare the prevalence factors associated with bullying in children attending specialist mental health clinics with a group of children attending general paediatric clinics at a tertiary care children’s hospital in Sri Lanka.

Methods A working definition for a victim of bullying was identified. A descriptive analytical study was performed using a pre-tested interviewer administered questionnaire. The study population was selected from all children aged 5 to 12 years attending mental health clinics during a specified period. The control group was randomly selected during same period from children attending general paediatric clinics. Children with intellectual disability, physical disabilities and autism were excluded.

Results The prevalence of bullying was 39% and 33% in mental health clinics and general paediatric clinics respectively. The frequency of being bullied was significantly higher in the mental health clinic sample; with 22% experiencing bullying daily compared to 14% among paediatric clinic attendees (p value=0.031; p<0.05). Behavioural problems associated with bullying, experienced by 59% in the mental health clinic sample, were significantly higher in the mental health clinic sample (p value=0.001)

Conclusion Bullying was experienced by a third of the general paediatric clinic attendees and by a significantly higher number of mental health clinic attendees in this study. A significantly higher number of children attending mental health clinics were being bullied daily. A significantly higher number of behavioural problems associated with bullying were observed among mental health clinic attendees.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/sljpsyc.v2i2.3874

SLJPSYCH 2011; 2(2): 60-62

How to Cite: Karunaratne, . shiromi . et al., (2012). Prevalence and factors associated with bullying in children attending mental health clinics: a case control study. Sri Lanka Journal of Psychiatry. 2(2), pp.60–62. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljpsyc.v2i2.3874
Published on 27 Jan 2012.
Peer Reviewed

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