Background: Among school- attending adolescents, victimization from bullying is associated with anxiety, depression and poor academic performance. There are limited reports on victimization from bullying in Zambia; we therefore conducted this study to determine the prevalence and correlates for victimization from bullying among adolescents in grades 7 to 10 in the country in order to add information on the body of knowledge on victimization from bullying.
Methods: The 2004 Zambia Global School-based Health Survey (GSHS) data among adolescents in grades 7 to 10 were obtained from the World Health Organization. We estimated the prevalence of victimization from bullying. We also conducted weighted multivariate logistic regression analysis to determine independent factors associated with victimization from bullying, and report adjusted odds ratios (AOR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI).
Results: Of 2136 students who participated in the 2004 Zambia GSHS, 1559 had information on whether they were bullied or not. Of these, 1559 students, 62.8% (60.0% of male and 65.0% of female) participants reported having been bullied in the previous 30 days to the survey. We found that respondents of age less than 14 years were 7% (AOR=0.93; 95%CI [0.91, 0.95]) less likely to have been bullied compared to those aged 16 years or older. Being a male (AOR=1.07; 95%CI [1.06, 1.09]), lonely (AOR=1.24; 95%CI [1.22, 1.26]), worried (AOR=1.12; 95%CI [1.11, 1.14]), consuming alcohol (AOR=2.59; 95%CI [2.55, 2.64]), missing classes (AOR=1.30; 95%CI [1.28, 1.32]), and considering attempting suicide (AOR=1.20; 95%CI [1.18, 1.22]) were significantly associated with bullying victimization.
Conclusions: Victimization from bullying is prevalent among in-school adolescents in grades 7 to 10 in Zambia, and interventions to curtail it should consider the factors that have been identified in this study.