J Affect Disord. 2021 Oct 13:S0165-0327(21)01076-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2021.10.010. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: School bullying has attracted worldwide attention for its adverse outcomes; however, there is still a lack of research among college students. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of school bullying victimization and the associated factors among Chinese college students.
METHODS: 8098 Chinese college students from two universities in Hunan province were recruited in this cross-sectional study, and data on participants’ demographic information, bullying history, suicidal behaviors, anxiety (Self-Rating Anxiety Scale) and depression (Self-reporting Depression Scale) were collected. Binary logistic regression was used to analyze the independent correlates of school bullying.
RESULTS: The prevalence of school bullying was 8.03% in our study. Gender (OR,0.792;95%CI[0.660,0.950];p=0.012); depression (OR,1.979; 95%CI[1.359,2.883];p<0.001); anxiety (OR,1.996; 95%CI[1.388, 2.869];p<0.001); suicidal ideation (OR,1.353;95%CI[1.087,1.684];p=0.007); suicide attempts (OR,1.772;95%CI[1.306,2.403];p<0.001); family income between 30,000 and 70,000 /year (yuan) (OR,0.763;95% CI[0.627,0.929];p=0.007) and family income more than 70,000/year (yuan) (OR,0.578;95%CI[0.461,0.725];p<0.001) were independent correlates of school bullying. The bullying score was positively correlated with physical or mental disorder history, family history of mental disorder, suicidal ideation, suicide plans, suicide attempts, anxiety, depression, smoking and drinking alcohol (all p<0.05), and negatively correlated with right-handedness, good relationship with parents and family income (all p<0.05).
LIMITATIONS: No causal relationship could be drawn due to the cross-sectional design.
CONCLUSION: School bullying is quite common among college students. In order to improve students’ mental health and prevent suicide, we should pay attention to the negative effects of bullying victimization such as depression, anxiety, suicidal behaviors and so on, apart from putting in place anti-bullying interventions.