Injuries, Violence, and Bullying Among Middle School Students in Oman

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Objectives: Injuries account for a substantial proportion of the burden of disease in adolescents globally. This paper describes injury rates and associated exposures, and risk behaviors in Oman’s 2010 Global School-based Student Health Survey (GSHS). Methods: This study used complex samples analysis to examine nationally-representative data from 1 606 students in grades eight, nine, and 10 who participated in the 2010 Oman GSHS. Results: In total, 34.0% of the students reported having at least one injury in the past year that caused at least one full day abscence from usual activities or required medical treatment. The most common injury type reported was a broken bone or dislocated joint. The most common injury cause was falling. Additionally, 38.4% of the students reported being bullied in the past month, 38.8% reported being physically attacked in the past year, and 47.6% reported being in physical fights. Both injured boys and girls reported experiencing significantly more bullying, fights, and attacks (odds ratio > 2) than their non-injured classmates, even though only 9.6% of injured students reported that their most serious injury in the past year was the result of an assault, and students reporting assaults did not have significantly higher odds of exposure to these types of peer violence. More than half of the bullied students reported that the most frequent type of peer victimization they experienced was being made fun of with sexual jokes, comments, or gestures. Sexual bullying was the most common type of bullying reported by girls and boys. Conclusions: Promoting healthier peer relationships may help to reduce injuries in this age group as well as reducing the harmful effects of bullying.

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Copyright © 2017, Oman Medical Journal.