Association between bullying, mental health and school perfomance in form one pupils in secondary schools in Kisumu
Background: There is a high prevalence of bullying in schools both in developed and developing world. Bullying in schools is associated with serious mental health problems, physical injury as well as poor school performance. This study seeks to establish the association between bullying, mental health and school performance. Objectives: This study was aimed at determining the association between bullying mental health problems and school performance in the former Kisumu district (now Kisumu east, Kisumu west and Kisumu central sub counties). Methods: The study was carried out as a school survey among form two pupils in the randomly selected schools in Kisumu district. Validated self-administered bullying questionnaire and mental health survey tool was administered to collect data on bullying and status of mental health. A questionnaire was also administered to collect data on school performance and socioeconomic status. Results: The study was conducted in twenty two secondary schools in Kisumu. Four (4) schools were private while eighteen (18) were public. All the private schools were mixed. Of the eighteen (18) public schools, one (1) was a boy school, two (2) were girl schools while fifteen (15) were mixed schools. Four hundred and eleven (411) students were recruited, one hundred and ninety nine students (48.4%) were male while two hundred and twelve (51.6%) were female. Prevalence of bullying was noted to be 53% among all the participants. Bullying was higher among the females (57.5%) as compared to the males (48.2%). Bullying was more prevalent in public schools as compared to private school with a p value of < 0.01 and odds ratio of five(5). The most common form of bullying among the female was exclusion from group of friends at 75.92% (n=144) against a prevalence of 29.65% (n=65) among the male gender. There was no association between family size and bullying as well as family income and bullying. There was a strong association between bullying and poor mental health with a p value of < 0.01. The higher the frequency of bullying the higher the likelihood of the students exhibiting signs of poor mental health. There was a strong association between bullying and mental health with both bullies and the bullied performing poorly as compared to those who did not participate in the act with a p value of < 0.01 and < 0.01 respectively.
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