1Dipartimento di Pedagogia, Psicologia e Filosofia,
Università di Cagliari
2Dipartimento di Pedagogia, Psicologia e Filosofia, Università di Cagliari e Facoltà di Medicina e Psicologia, Università “La Sapienza”, Roma
Indirizzo per corrispondenza: firstname.lastname@example.org
Key words: Early adolescence, Bullying, Victimization, Depressive risk
Background - Cross-sectional and longitudinal international
studies have explored the relationship between bullying and
depression, showing a close link between victimization and depression.
In 2008 CENSIS data emphasized that in Italy
49.9% of parents indicate the occurrence of bullying in the
classes attended by their children.
Objectives - The aim of the present study was to evidence bullying in a sample of students in their early adolescence, to analyse bullying and victimization with respect to depressive risk and to evidence the relationship among bullying, victimization and depressive risk.
Materials and methods - 157 students in their early adolescence (mean age=12.5) filled in the Bullying Questionnaire by Olweus and the Children’s Depression Inventory by Kovacs. The questionnaires were handed out to the randomly selected class groups during a time agreed with the school teachers.
Results - The explored sample showed the presence of bullying (31.8% of bullying others, and 15.9% of being bullied); there were not significant differences with respect to the gender. 14.6% of the students in the investigated sample was at depressive risk for scores over the cut-off, 18% and 32% respectively of the bullies and the victims of bullying students were at depressive risk for scores over the cut-off. Therefore, the correlation between victimization and depression was positive and significant and the correlation between bullying and depression was also positive and significant, but moderate.
Conclusions - The results of the present study pointed out that bullies and victims are at increased risk for affective disorders. Moreover, the study highlighted the need for early assessment of bullying and victimization and for targeted interventions by health professionals and school personnel. Such interventions are likely to reduce human suffering and long-term health costs and provide a safer environment for children to grow up in.
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