Bullying in schools and its relation with depressive symptoms, self-esteem, and suicidal ideation in adolescents.
Hesapcioglu, S., Yesilova Meraler, H., & Ercan, F.
Objective: Bullying, which has negative effects on teaching and learning environment in schools, may be associated with some psychiatric disorders causatively or consequentially. The purpose of this study was to examine the
suicidal ideation, depressive symptoms, and self-esteem in high school students with respect to their involvement in the cycle of bullying.
Methods: The study was conducted in students of five secondary schools in a city in Turkey, who were selected with simple random sampling method. Peer Bullying Questionnaire, Beck Depression Inventory, Coopersmith Self-Esteem Scale were applied.
Results: The data obtained from students in 1173, which were fullycompleted, were analyzed. Bullying victims, bullies, and people in the bullying cycle have higher depressive symptoms, lower self-esteem, and higher suicide tendencies than non-victims, non-bullies and people not involved in the bullying cycle, respectively. Being bullied increases the suicide ideation risk with an odds ratio of 1.447 and bullying increases the suicide ideation risk with an odds ratio of 1.663. Age, female sex, low self-esteem, victimization, and bullying are factors that increase the score of depressive symptoms.
Discussion: The individuals who are not involved in the bullying cycle have a lower rate of depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation, and a higher selfesteem. Although no causal connection can be established, the bullying, being a victim of bullying and involvement in the cycle of bullying are all associated with depression, suicidal ideation, and low self-esteem, which may indicate an impaired mental health status of these students. Therefore, this study reveals that there is a possible relationship between psychiatric disorders, suicidal ideation and bullying behavior.