260569 Prevalence and risk factors for bullying among Puerto Rican secondary school students

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 9:00 AM - 9:15 AM

Hesmy Sánchez-Vega, MS , Department of Family Medicine, Universidad Central del Caribe, Bayamon, PR
Linnette Rodriguez-Figueroa, MS, PhD , Dept. of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Puerto Rico, Graduate School of Public Health, San Juan, PR
Margarita R. Moscoso-Alvarez, PhD , Foundations in Education, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, PR
Juan C. Reyes, EdD, MS , Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Puerto Rico, Graduate School of Public Health, San Juan, PR
Hector Colón, PhD , Center for Evaluation and Sociomedical Research, School of Public Health, San Juan, PR
Background: Bullying is the exposure to repetitive and long term negative actions involving injury or distress on another person through physical contact, words, or in other ways. Purpose: This study analyzes the prevalence of bullying among adolescents between 7th and 12th grade in Puerto Rican schools and investigates the associated socio-demographic, physical, and psychosocial factors. Significance: Knowing the risk factors for bullying can lead to the implementation of better prevention school programs. Methodology: We analyzed preliminary data from “Consulta Juvenil VIII", a cross-sectional self-administered survey conducted in 2011-12. A representative sample (n=4,002) was selected using a multi-stage stratified cluster sampling design. Prevalence and 95% confidence intervals(CI) were calculated for bullying. Multiple logistic regression models were fitted to estimate the prevalence odds ratios(POR) with 95%CI for bullying. Findings/Results: Student participants included 2,273(57%) females and 1,715(43%) males. Students reported being a bullying victim due to their physical appearance(11%), body weight(7%), good study habits(6%), talents(5%), homosexual orientation(3%), and religious beliefs(3%). Bullying due to physical appearance was significantly associated with low self-esteem(POR:2.72,CI:2.06-3.60), suicidal ideation(POR:1.71,CI:1.28-2.29), and depression(POR:1.64,CI:1.28-2.09). Weight-related bullying was significantly associated with gender(POR:1.34,CI:1.02-1.77), low self-esteem(POR:2.44,CI:1.79-3.31), and suicidal ideation(POR:1.59,CI:1.13-2.23). Conclusions/Recommendations: This study indicated variation among bullying victims according to the type of injury/distress suffered, but also revealed a profile of those likely to be bullied. It is necessary to intervene with the school community in the acceptance of students with physical conditions. Also, a mental health prevention program should be implemented in school to deal with the effects of bullying in their victims.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe socio demographic, physical, and psychosocial factors for school bullying. 2. Discuss how findings on sociodemographic, physical, and psychosocial risk factors can lead to the implementation of better prevention school programs.

Keywords: Violence, Violence Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been working as a data analyst for the last year for Consulta Juvenil Study, Department of Family Medicine, Universidad Central del Caribe, Puerto Rico. I contributed most to the work, including idea development, data analysis, interpretation of results and writing of the abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.