Family interactions of students in bullying situations

ABSTRACT Objective To analyze the quality of the family interactions of adolescents and the involvement in situations of school bullying. Methods A population-based cross-sectional study involving 2,354 students (girls = 50.7%, mean age M = 14.5 years, SD = 2.0 years) of 11 primary schools in a city of the interior of Minas Gerais. The study sample was defined by stratum selection (schools), using the Probability Proportional to Size method. The data collection occurred through collective application of two scales, one to identify behaviors of bullying/victimization and another to measure the quality of family interactions of the adolescents. The analysis procedures included: descriptive statistical analysis, analysis of variance (ANOVA) and logistic regression. Results The study found a prevalence of 10.3% of the aggressors students, 10.1% of the victims and 5.4% of the victims-aggressors in the sample. It was found that students not involved in bullying situations had better family interactions when compared to students identified as aggressors, victims and victims-aggressors. Effects of the “rules and monitoring” aspect (OR: 1,21; p = 0,001) in the family context were identified as protective for bullying or victimization. The “physical punishment” (OR: 0,84, p = 0,001) and “negative communication” (OR: 0,53; p = 0,001) aspects were associated with a greater possibility of bullying or victimization among the students. Conclusions It was confirmed that the quality of family interactions influences the involvement of the students in bullying situations. Implications for the health area were discussed from identified risk and protection indicators.