Peer victimization among adolescents: Relational and physical aggression in Indian schools.


This study examined the prevalence of physical and relational victimization and its relationship with self reported depressive symptoms and emotional and behavioral problems. A sample of 376 adolescents studying in 9th to 12th class (Mean age = 14.82 years, SD = 96) from Government and Private Schools of a North Indian city participated in the study. They completed measures of experiences with bullying and victimization, depression, and emotional and behavior problems. Three groups of students were compared: victims of physical bullying, victims of relational bullying, and those who were neither victims nor perpetrators of bullying. Nearly one-fourth of the students were victims of bullying. Physical bullying was reported by 8 %, relational bullying by 12 %, and 4 % reported being victims of both physical and relational bullying. Boys reported more direct victimization while girls were more likely to be victims of relational bullying. Victimization status was significantly related to self reported depression (F = 9.48, P = 000) and total difficulties score (F = 17.38, P = 000). Victims of relational aggression had relatively higher depression scores and conduct problems, while physically victimized adolescents reported more peer problems. Given the concurrent psychosocial adjustment problems associated with victimization, there is need for designing preventive and intervention programs.