Bullying in Rural Schools among Early Adolescents in Sri Lanka; Prevalence of Bullying Acts and Common Responses to Bullying

  • V. P. K. K Jayasinghe Institute for Research & Development
  • K. M. N Perera University of Kelaniya
  • G. N. D Guruge Rajarata University of Sri Lanka
Keywords: adolescents, bullying, school, prevalence


Prevalence of bullying among school going adolescents was estimated to be high (approximately 37%) in Sri Lanka according to the Global School based student Health Survey. However, limited number of studies were carried out in Sri Lanka on bullying among adolescents, specifically about early adolescents in rural settings. In this study, we aimed to fill the research gap in local literature. The objectives of this study were a) to describe prevalence of bullying acts and different types of bullying in schools, and b) to describe common responses to bullying among early adolescents in Galenbindunuwewa educational zone in Sri Lanka. A cross sectional study was carried out in three schools in Galenbindunuwewa educational zone. A multi-stage sampling method incorporated simple random sampling and a systematic sampling method was used. Three hundred seventy-two students in grade 7, 8, 9 (12-15 years of age) participated in the study. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 21 was used for data analysis. Descriptive statistics were employed. Bullying acts were reported as prevalent among early adolescents in schools in Galenbindunuwewa educational zone. Calling mean names, pushing, and hitting, disturbing learning processes were the most prevent bullying acts. The most common response of the victims for bullying were tolerating it and walking away.


Download data is not yet available.


World Health Organization. (2002). The world health report 2002: reducing risks, promoting healthy life. World Health Organization.

CDC, (2010). Fact Sheet 2010. Understanding School Violence: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Available at: https://www.hsdl.org/?view&did=831755

Whitted, K. S., & Dupper, D. R. (2005). Best practices for preventing or reducing bullying in schools. Children & Schools, 27(3), 167-175.

Nansel, T. R., Craig, W., Overpeck, M. D., Saluja, G., & Ruan, W. J. (2004). Cross-national consistency in the relationship between bullying behaviors and psychosocial adjustment. Archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine, 158(8), 730-736.

Craig, W., Harel-Fisch, Y., Fogel-Grinvald, H., Dostaler, S., Hetland, J., Simons-Morton, B., ... & Pickett, W. (2009). A cross-national profile of bullying and victimization among adolescents in 40 countries. International journal of public health, 54(2), 216-224.

Due, P., Holstein, B. E., Lynch, J., Diderichsen, F., Gabhain, S. N., Scheidt, P., & Currie, C. (2005). Bullying and symptoms among school-aged children: international comparative cross sectional study in 28 countries. European journal of public health, 15(2), 128-132.

Srabstein, J. C., & Leventhal, B. L. (2010). Prevention of bullying-related morbidity and mortality: a call for public health policies.

Olweus, D. (1994). Bullying at school (pp. 97-130).

Yen, C. F. (2010). School bullying and mental health in children and adolescents. Taiwanese Journal of Psychiatry (Taipei), 24(1), 3-13.

Kepenekci, Y. K., & Çınkır, Ş. (2006). Bullying among Turkish high school students. Child abuse & neglect, 30(2), 193-204.

Forero, R., McLellan, L., Rissel, C., & Bauman, A. (1999). Bullying behaviour and psychosocial health among school students in New South Wales, Australia: cross sectional survey. Bmj, 319(7206), 344-348.

Salmon, G., James, A., & Smith, D. M. (1998). Bullying in schools: self reported anxiety, depression, and self esteem in secondary school children. BMj, 317(7163), 924-925.

Fekkes, M., Pijpers, F. I., & Verloove-Vanhorick, S. P. (2004). Bullying behavior and associations with psychosomatic complaints and depression in victims. The Journal of pediatrics, 144(1), 17-22.

Klomek, A. B., Marrocco, F., Kleinman, M., Schonfeld, I. S., & Gould, M. S. (2007). Bullying, depression, and suicidality in adolescents. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 46(1), 40-49.

Kaltiala-Heino, R., Rimpelä, M., Marttunen, M., Rimpelä, A., & Rantanen, P. (1999). Bullying, depression, and suicidal ideation in Finnish adolescents: school survey. Bmj, 319(7206), 348-351.

Aluedse, O. (2006). Bullying in schools: A form of child abuse in schools. Educational Research Quarterly, 30(1), 37.

Dissanayake, D. S., Weeratunge, W. M. M. W. N. C., Gaspe, G. M. N. S., & Gamage, A. G. O. N. A. (2012). Peer pressure and bullying among school going adolescents in the district of Kandy. Journal of the College of Community Physicians of Sri Lanka, 17(1).

Bender, D., & Lösel, F. (2011). Bullying at school as a predictor of delinquency, violence and other anti‐social behaviour in adulthood. Criminal behaviour and mental health, 21(2), 99-106.

World Health Organization. (2009). Global school-based student health survey (GSHS). WHO CHP.

Wellappuli, N., Gunawardena, N. S., Mahesh, P. B., Gunawardena, S., Wickramasinghe, C., Lokubalasooriya, A., ... & Senanayake, S. (2020). Psycho-social wellbeing among in-school adolescents of Sri Lanka; prevalence of selected attributes and associated factors.

Perera, H., Jayawardana, W., Prabath, A., & Jeewandara, C. (2012). Prevalence and factors associated with bullying in children attending mental health clinics: a case control study. Sri Lanka Journal of Psychiatry, 2(2).

Hussain M. (2018). Three ugly stories of Sri Lankan cyber bullying. Available at: www.company.org/articles/news/11/6/16/2

Ariyadasa A. (2019). Harassment Beyod Borders; Can Victims Be Protected By Cyber Bullying In Sri Lanka?. Available at: https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/harassment-beyond-borders-can-victims-be-protected-by-cyber-bullying-in-sri-lanka/

Nazeer. I., Pathmeswaran. A. (2017). 130th Anniversary International Medical Congress, Sri Lanka Medical Association. Cyberbullying among adolescents in Colombo: prevalence, patterns and risk factors. Available at: http://repository.kln.ac.lk/handle/12345678

How to Cite
V. P. K. K Jayasinghe, K. M. N Perera, & G. N. D Guruge. (2021). Bullying in Rural Schools among Early Adolescents in Sri Lanka; Prevalence of Bullying Acts and Common Responses to Bullying. International Journal for Research in Applied Sciences and Biotechnology, 8(1), 32-39. https://doi.org/10.31033/ijrasb.8.1.4