Bullying among Greenlandic schoolchildren: Development since 1994 and relations to health and health behaviour

Christina Schnohr, Birgit Wolmer-Larsen Niclasen


Objectives. The objective was to examine the development in the prevalence of bullying behaviours among Greenlandic schoolchildren and the association with health outcome and health behaviour. Study design. The study was based on three school surveys among Greenlandic schoolchildren contributing to the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) survey, a WHO collaborative study. The surveys were carried out in Greenland in 1994, 1998 and 2002, with respective participations of 1322, 1648 and 891 pupils of 11, 13 and 15 years of age. Methods. The trends in bullying behaviours from 1994 to 2002 was analysed by means of descriptive statistics. The strengths of associations in the patterning of the bullying behaviours in their relation to health indicators (physical symptoms, psychological well-being and smoking and alcohol use) were analysed by means of logistic regression. Results. There has been an increase in the occurrence of bullying among Greenlandic schoolchildren since 1994, and significant changes have occurred in the different types of bullying behaviours. Consistent patterns were observed between types of bullying behaviours, and health behaviour, since pupils engaged in bullying were more likely to be smokers and to have been drunk several times. Strong associations were observed between disliking school and being engaged in bullying, whether this was as a victim, a bully, or both. There was no clear patterning of associations when it came to health indicators, except for significantly higher odds of stomach ache for the bullies, and sleeping difficulties and low self-rated health for pupils both being bullied and bullying others. Conclusions. Being engaged in bullying is widespread among Greenlandic schoolchildren and is found to be associated with disliking school and detrimental health behaviours.

(Int J Circumpolar Health 2006; 65(4): 305-312).

Keywords: bullying, victimisation, Greenland, health indicators.

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International Journal of Circumpolar Health eISSN 2242-3982 (print volumes from 1972–2011: ISSN 1239-9736)
Circumpolar Health Supplements eISSN 1797-237X, ISSN 1797-2361

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