1 National Centre for Dual Diagnosis, Innlandet Hospital Trust, Sanderud, Norway and Faculty of Public health, Hedmark University College, Elverum, Norway
2 The Institute of Health and Society, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
Bullying among adolescents represents a major public health challenge. The aim of this study was to map the stability of bullying victimization across the transitional phase from lower to upper secondary school, and to describe the sociodemographic, academic and health-related characteristics of those bullied during the transition.
3674 Norwegian adolescents were followed longitudinally from the age of 15/16 until the age of 18/19, answering questionnaires about health, academic achievements, life events, lifestyle and sociodemography. The 337 participants reporting exposure to bullying victimization at age 15/16 were the target group, as we made comparisons between those reporting victimization only at the age of 15/16 (n=289) with the participants for whom the bullying had continued into later adolescence (n = 48).
14% of those victimized at age 15/16, reported continuation of bullying victimization into upper secondary school. These adolescents were significantly more likely to report having divorced parents, low parental educational level, poor self-perceived economy, muscle and skeletal pain, symptoms of mental distress, lower school marks in Norwegian and higher body-mass index (BMI) when group differences at age 18/19 were assessed through basic inferential statistical tests. However, the multivariate logistic regression analyses only revealed statistically significantly increased adjusted odds ratios for the variables mental distress and school-marks in Norwegian.
The persistence of exposure to bullying from 10th grade to 13th grade is associated with mental health complaints and poor school performance. Preventive measures to take care of students being continuously bullied should be in place in secondary schools.
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* Address correspondence to this author at the National Centre for Dual Diagnosis, Innlandet Hospital Trust, Sanderud, Norway, Faculty of public health, Hedmark University College, Elverum, Norway; Tel: 47 97040683, Fax: 47 62581448, E-mail: email@example.com