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Keywords:

  • bullying;
  • logistic regression;
  • odds ratio;
  • primary school;
  • southern Thailand

Abstract

Background  The purpose of this research was to examine risk factors that affect the likelihood of students in Pattani primary schools bullying other children. Risk factors investigated include school rural/urban location, age, gender, religion, family physical abuse and preference of cartoon type. Identifying students who are at high risk of bullying could assist educational authorities to introduce better strategies for reducing the problem.

Methods  A total of 1440 students at public and private primary schools in Pattani province were interviewed to collect relevant data. Pearson's chi-square test was used to assess the associations between the likelihood of bullying and possible risk factors. Logistic regression was used to investigate independent associations between the predictor variables and the outcome.

Results  We found that 32.9% reported that they had (ever) bullied other children. Bullying was significant associated with age (odds ratio 1.56 for 11+ years, 95% confidence intervals 1.23, 2.18) and family physical abuse (odds ratio 4.50, 95% confidence intervals 3.40, 5.89). In addition, Those students who preferred action cartoons tended to bully others 1.87 times more than those who preferred watching comedy cartoons.

Conclusions  There are significant differences in our population in rates of bullying others that vary according to age, preferred cartoon type and whether or not family (parental) physical abuse has been witnessed. The factor ‘preference for cartoon type’, not examined in previous research, remained significant after multivariable adjustment. Although there is an association, the cause of this is not clear but merits further examination.