1Department of Health Promotion and Education, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3Mental Health Research Department, Health Metric Research Center, Iranian Institute for Health Sciences Research, ACECR, Tehran, Iran
4Sina Trauma and Surgery Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Aim: School bullying is a worldwide problem and crosses national boundaries. Students involved in bullying have a greater chance of developing emotional and behavioral disorders, as well as a higher risk of engaging in criminal behavior later in their lives. This study aims to examine the prevalence of bullying behavior and some of its associated factors among male middle school students in Tehran, Iran. Methods: Overall, 1803 middle school students, aged 11 to 15, were enrolled in the study between January and March, 2012. Bullying behavior of and on participants was evaluated using Persian version of the revised Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire (OBVQ). Findings: More than 55% of students reported being involved in bullying behaviors in school, either as a victim (51%), a bully (31%) or both a bully and a victim (18%). The most common subtypes of bullying were verbal (61.3%), physical (47.6%), and indirect (50.3%) bullying. In a regression analysis, the number of students' close friends, their age, their father's education level and home atmosphere were the only significant predictors of bullying behavior. Conclusion: The prevalence of bullying among Iranian middle school students is highly concerning; hence, implementation of a comprehensive, school-based anti-bullying program is an urgent need because students, who are involved in bullying behavior, are at higher risk for developing psychosocial disorders and engaging in criminal behavior later in their lives.