Bullying, health complaints, and self-rated health among school-aged children and adolescents

Erika Hansson*, Pernilla Garmy, Rúnar Vilhjálmsson, Guðrún Kristjánsdóttir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: The aim of the current study was to examine whether health complaints and self-reported health were associated with bullying victimization in a large cohort of Icelandic children and adolescents. Methods: In this study, we used data from a school-based cross-sectional survey, specifically, the Icelandic contribution to the international research network Health Behavior in School-aged Children (HBSC). The study population included all students throughout Iceland in grades 6, 8, and 10 (mean age 13 years, standard deviation 1.61). The participation rate was 84% (N = 11,018). Participating students completed an anonymous standardized questionnaire in their classrooms. Results: Bullying victimization was associated with feeling depressed (odds ratio 2.61), having difficulty falling asleep, dizziness, and low self-reported health. No differences were found between sex and age groups. Conclusions: Children and adolescents who are bullied appear to more often experience depression, difficulties falling asleep, dizziness, and poor health; however, health complaints were also relatively high among non-bullied children and adolescents. Bullying prevention measures must be implemented in children’s and adolescents’ social environments. In addition to assessing bullying interventions, further research should focus on methods of enhancing resilience in this population.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of International Medical Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020.

Other keywords

  • adolescents
  • Bullying
  • depressive symptoms
  • Dizziness
  • school-aged children
  • self-reported health
  • sleeping difficulties
  • Depression
  • Health Status
  • Iceland
  • Child
  • Schools


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