Adolescent health

March 2011

FocusAdolescent health

Bullying

Effects, prevalence and strategies for detection

Volume 40, No.3, March 2011 Pages 98-102

Michael Carr-Gregg

Ramesh Manocha

Background

The mental, physical, social and academic consequences of bullying have an enormous impact on human and social capital.

Objective/s

This article describes the effects and prevalence of bullying on young people and presents strategies for its detection. Strategies for the facilitation of a multidisciplinary approach to bullying in adolescents are also presented.

Discussion

Given the existing high rate of bullying, assessment should be incorporated into a standard psychosocial screening routine in the general practitioner’s clinic. Effective management is a multidisciplinary effort, involving parents, teachers and school officials, the GP, and mental health professionals. Given the variable effectiveness of schools in tackling bullying, GPs play an important role in identifying at risk patients, screening for psychiatric comorbidities, counselling families about the problem, and advocating for bullying prevention in their communities.

Bullying is a form of aggression, characterised by repeated psychological or physical oppression, involving the abuse of power in relationships to cause distress or control another.1,2 It is a complex and serious problem, which expresses differently according to age, gender, culture and technology.

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Correspondence afp@racgp.org.au

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