Identifying Determinants of Bullying and Deciding on Measures through Engaging Adolescents in a Rural School in Sri Lanka
Keywords:Adolescents, Bullying, Determinants, Health promotion, Rural school
Bullying is a public health concern which generates a range of harmful physical, mental, and social health consequences for both its victims and perpetrators. Role of students in finding solutions for bullying has to be improved as they are affected from this issue. The aim of this study was to identify possible determinants of bullying and to decide measures, through engaging a group of adolescents in a rural school in Sri Lanka. Community-based health promotion approach was used for the study. The process was carried out for 3 months with grade nine students (n = 68) in a rural school in Anuradhapura district, Sri Lanka. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected through, a self-administered questionnaire and ten interactive group discussions which were conducted with the selected group of students. Quantitative and qualitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and thematic analysis respectively. Students were able to identify 16 possible determinants of bullying and they prioritized five determinants based on the importance and feasibility of changing. The prioritized determinants included lack of understanding of students on the range of harms of bullying, poor responses of students against bullying, poor relationships among students, students being in unhappy or angry mood throughout the day, and acceptance of bullying as a heroic act among students. Furthermore, seven measures to address the selected determinants were decided together with the students. Students are capable in identifying possible determinants of bullying and deciding on measures to address the selected determinants with comparatively small guidance.
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