To examine the prevalence of school bullying and to investigate the behavioral, emotional, socio-economic and demographic correlates of bullying behaviors among Indian school going adolescents.
Self-reports on bullying involvement were collected from 9th to 10th class students (N = 209; Mean = 14.82 y, SD = 0.96) from Government and Private schools of a north Indian city. Four groups of adolescents were identified: bullies, victims, bully-victims, and non-involved students. The self concept of the child was measured by the Indian adaptation of the Piers Harris Children's Self Concept Scale (CSCS) and emotional and behavioral difficulties by the Youth self report measure of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire.
The overall prevalence of any kind of bullying behavior was 53 %. One-fifth (19.2 %) of the children were victims of bullying. Boys were more likely to be bully-victims (27.9 %) and girls were more likely to be victims (21.6 %). Bullying status was significantly related to the total self concept scores of the students (F = 5.12, P = 0.002). Victimized adolescents reported the lowest self concept scores. Bully-victims had a higher risk for conduct problems and hyperactivity and were the most likely to have academic difficulties. Bullies had relatively better school grades and high self esteem but had higher risk for hyperactivity and conduct problems as compared to controls.
Bullying and victimization was widespread among the Indian school going youth. Given the concurrent psychosocial adjustment problems associated with bullying, there is an urgent need for developing intervention programs and sensitizing school personnel.