A multi-country analysis of the prevalence and factors associated with bullying victimisation among in-school adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa: evidence from the global school-based health survey

Aboagye, Richard Gyan, Seidu, Abdul-Aziz, Hagan, John Elvis, Frimpong, James, Budu, Eugene, Adu, Collins, Ayilu, Raymond K., and Ahinkorah, Bright Opoku (2021) A multi-country analysis of the prevalence and factors associated with bullying victimisation among in-school adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa: evidence from the global school-based health survey. BMC Psychiatry, 21 (1). 325.

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Background: Over the past few years, there has been growing public and research interest in adolescents’ experiences with various forms of bullying victimisation because of their psychological, emotional, and/ or physical consequences. The present study examined the prevalence of bullying victimisation and its associated factors among in-school adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa.

Methods: Using data from the Global School-based Health Survey (GSHS) from 2010 to 2017 of eleven sub-Saharan African countries, a sample of 25,454 in-school adolescents was used for analysis. Statistical analyses included frequencies, percentages, Pearson chi-square and multivariable logistic regression. Results were presented as adjusted odds ratios (aOR) at 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Results: The overall prevalence of bullying victimisation among the respondents was 38.8%. The prevalence was lowest in Mauritius (22.2%) and highest in Sierra Leone (54.6%). Adolescents who felt lonely [aOR = 1.66, 95% CI = 1.53, 1.80], had history of anxiety [aOR = 1.53, 95% CI = 1.41, 1.66], suicidal ideation [aOR = 1.28, 95% CI = 1.17, 1.39], suicidal attempt [aOR = 1.86, 95% CI = 1.72, 2.02], current users of marijuana [aOR = 1.59, 95% CI = 1.38, 1.84], and truants at [aOR = 1.43, 95% CI = 1.34, 1.52] were more likely to be victims of bullying. Conversely, adolescents who had peer support were less likely to be victims of bullying [aOR = 0.78, 95% CI = 0.73, 0.82]. Adolescents aged 15 years or older had lower odds of experiencing bullying victimization compared to their counterparts aged 14 years or younger [aOR = 0.74, 95% CI = 0.69, 0.78].

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that age, loneliness, anxiety, suicidal ideation, suicidal attempt, and current use of marijuana are associated with increased risk of bullying victimisation. School-wide preventative interventions (e.g., positive behavioural strategies- Rational Emotive Behavioral Education, [REBE], peer educator network systems, face-face counseling sessions, substance use cessation therapy) are essential in promoting a positive school climate and reduce students’ bullying victimisation behaviours.

Item ID: 69967
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1471-244X
Keywords: Abuse, Bullying, In-school adolescents, Physical harm, Sub-Saharan Africa, Victimisation
Copyright Information: © The Author(s). 2021 This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2022 06:03
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