Bullying in public secondary schools in Nairobi, Kenya

  • David M Ndetei Department of Psychiatry, University of Nairobi, PO Box 19676-00202, Nairobi, Kenya; Africa Mental Health Foundation, PO Box 48423-00100, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Francisca A Ongecha Africa Mental Health Foundation, PO Box 48423-00100, Nairobi, Kenya; Coast Provincial General Hospital, PO Box 91245-80103, Mombasa, Kenya
  • Lincoln Khasakhala Department of Psychiatry, University of Nairobi, PO Box 19676-00202, Nairobi, Kenya; Africa Mental Health Foundation, PO Box 48423-00100, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Judy Syanda Africa Mental Health Foundation, PO Box 48423-00100, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Victoria Mutiso Africa Mental Health Foundation, PO Box 48423-00100, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Caleb J Othieno Department of Psychiatry, University of Nairobi, PO Box 19676-00202, Nairobi, Kenya; Africa Mental Health Foundation, PO Box 48423-00100, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Gideon Odhiambo Department of Psychiatry, University of Nairobi, PO Box 19676-00202, Nairobi, Kenya; Africa Mental Health Foundation, PO Box 48423-00100, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Donald A Kokonya Africa Mental Health Foundation, PO Box 48423-00100, Nairobi, Kenya; Kakamega Provincial General Hospital, PO Box 72300-00200, Nairobi, Kenya

Abstract

Background: The prevalence and frequency of bullying in Nairobi public secondary schools in particular and in Kenyan schools in general is not known. Knowledge of the extent of the problem is essential in developing effective interventions.
Aim: To study the prevalence and frequency of bullying in Nairobi public secondary schools, Kenya. Methods: A self-report sociodemographic questionnaire and the Olweus Bullying Questionnaire of 1991 were administered to 1 012 students from a stratified sample of public secondary schools in Nairobi.
Results: Between 63.2% (640) and 81.8% (828) of students reported various types of bullying, both direct and indirect, with significant variations found for sex, age, class and year of study, whether in day or boarding school, and the place where bullied. Being bullied was significantly associated with becoming a bully, in turn.
Discussion: Bullying is highly prevalent in Kenyan schools. Further studies are needed to characterise bullies and victims in terms of personality and environmental factors that may be associated with or conducive to bullying, as well as to determine the long-term prognosis for both bullies and victims. Further research is also required to determine the most appropriate intervention.

Journal of Child and Adolescent Mental Health 2007, 19(1): 45–55
Published
2007-06-19
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 1728-0591
print ISSN: 1728-0583