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Conference Paper
Callaghan, M., Kelly, C., Molcho, M.
An exploration of bullying among post-primary school children in Ireland
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CMNHS Annual Postgraduate Research Day
Bullying is a major cause of concern among parents, teachers and children as it has substantial effects on childrenÂ’s lives 1,2. It is defined as repeated negative behaviour with the intent to cause harm, within the context of an unequal power relationship 3. The negative effects of traditional bullying are well established, however there is limited research on cyber bullying. Traditional bullying victims are more likely to experience poor health 4 and poorer psychological outcomes 2, and bullies are more likely to report involvement in substance use such as drinking and taking drugs 5. The aim of this study was to explore the associations of bullying victimisation with self-reported health and life satisfaction, and to examine whether involvement in risk behaviours contributes to these health outcomes. Data were collected on involvement in traditional and cyber bullying, self-reported health, life satisfaction and risk behaviours from students aged 15 to 18 years old using classroom based paper surveys. In total, 318 students from 8 post-primary schools took part in the study. We found that children who reported being victims of bullying were more likely to report poor health, low life satisfaction and engaging in risky behaviours. Although not statistically significant, cyber victimisation was positively associated with increased reporting of poor health and low life satisfaction. Traditional bullying was the most common type of bullying reported among school children in this study, and overall, seems to have a stronger association with poor health. However, a sizable proportion of children reported being victims of cyber bullying or of both cyber and traditional bullying. Understanding the effects of all types of bullying is important to improve the health outcomes of children and prevent bullying among school children.
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