Although bullying in South African schools remains a current public health and education discussion, the view has been limited to acts of criminality, and not much has been done to identify risk factors for being bullying perpetrators and victims in a school environment. This study used a cross sectional quantitative survey to determine the profile of bullying perpetrators and victims among high school learners in a township in Pretoria. The Illinois Bully Scale was used to screen for bullying perpetration and victimization, whilst the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 and the Beck Anxiety Inventory were used to screen for depression and anxiety symptoms, respectively, among the sample of learners. STATA version 14 was used for data analysis. The sample of 460 consisted of 69% females with a mean age of 15 years. The 73.91% of learners who fitted the categories of bullying consisted of 21.96% victims, 9.57% perpetrators, and 42.39% perpetrator–victims. The Pearson Chi2 test of association found a significant association between being a bullying victim and reported lack of people who loved and cared for the learner. Being a bullying perpetrator was associated with anxiety symptoms of the learner and home alcohol use, while being a perpetrator –victim was associated with lack of family love and care, the school attended, as well as depression and anxiety symptoms. Using multivariate logistic regression, being a perpetrator–victim was associated with depression symptoms, anxiety symptoms, and home use of alcohol whilst being a perpetrator was associated with lack of anxiety symptoms. The study concluded that anxiety, depression, and the home environment are strongly associated with bullying, and most learners fitted the category of being both perpetrators and victims.
|Journal||International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2023|
- South Africa
- bully victims
- high school learners
- peer violence