Children who are bullied are at greater risk of developing psychosomatic and social adjustment problems than uninvolved children, according to the results of an Italian study. The cross-sectional study of 565 primary school children assessed responses to questionnaires measuring bullying, victimisation and psychosomatic complaints. Children were classified as “bullies”, “bully victims”, or “victims of bullying”. Teachers supplied ratings of each child on a strengths and difficulties scale. Victims and bully victims had a higher risk of conduct symptoms and hyperactivity, with victims also reporting more symptoms with peers. All groups of children involved in bullying had a higher risk of psychosomatic symptoms, but interestingly, bullies manifested the fewest adjustment problems. The author concludes that health assessments of paediatric patients should include evaluation of peer victimisation.
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