A Comparative Assessment of Bullying Among in-school Adolescents in an Urban and Rural Setting in Southern Nigeria
Background: Bullying has become a growing public health burden globally with consequences linked to psychiatric morbidity in adulthood. In Nigeria, bullying is assuming a health threat with a prevalence as high as 78%. The role geographic variations play in determining the prevalence of bullying in Nigeria is largely unknown. The objective of this study is to assess and compare the knowledge, perception and practice of bullying amongst in-school adolescents in an urban and a rural setting in Edo State, Nigeria.
Methods: A comparative cross-sectional study design was utilized for this study. The study population comprised students in an urban and a rural secondary school in Edo State. Respondents were selected using a multi-stage sampling technique. Data was collected using pre-tested structured interviewer-administered questionnaire comprising both open and closed ended questions and analyzed using IBM SPSS version 21.0 software. The level of significance was set at p < 0.05.
Results: A total of 700 respondents took part in the study (350 urban and 350 rural) with a mean (standard deviation) age of 14.9 (1.9) years.The urban respondents had better knowledge (p<0.001), better perception (p=0.012) and higher prevalence of bullying (p<0.001) compared to the rural respondents.
Conclusion: The study showed a gap in knowledge and high prevalence of bulling in both schools. All stakeholders should focus on improving the knowledge and curbing the practice of bullying amongst secondary school students by employing targeted interventions.
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