Bullying and School Attendance: A case study of Senior High School Students in Ghana

Dunne, Mairead, Bosumtwi-Sam, Cynthia, Sabates, Ricardo and Owusu, Andrew (2010) Bullying and School Attendance: A case study of Senior High School Students in Ghana. Project Report. CREATE,, Brighton.

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This paper focuses on senior high school students and the ways that bullying affects their
school attendance. Selected items from the 2008 Ghana Global School-based Student Health
Survey are analysed first to explore the relationships between the duration and type of
bullying and school attendance. Second, we investigate whether having emotional problems,
in addition to being bullied, incrementally affects the relationship between bullying and
school attendance. Third, we explore the mitigating influence of peer friendships on these
relationships. In all cases we provide a gender analysis.
The results show that bullying is associated with increased absenteeism for both boys and
girls. The analysis of reported emotional problems, however, shows distinct gender
differences. For boys, increases in emotional problems are not associated with increased
absenteeism for those who are bullied. On the other hand, for girls emotional problems were
strongly associated with absenteeism and more so for girls who had not reported being
bullied. The third strand of our analysis also showed gender differences in which absenteeism
associated with bullying was mitigated by the support of friends for boys but not to the same
degree for girls, especially those girls who had reported being psychologically bullied.
In addition to the threat to school access caused by bullying, the gender dimensions of the
latter two sets of findings suggest a school environment in which peer friendship and
emotional well-being are intertwined in complex ways. While there is little or no research
within the Ghanaian context, supported by research from elsewhere, we suggest that peer
friendships for girls may be comprised of more non-physical, social and verbal interaction
within which it might be more difficult to pinpoint bullying. That peer interactions might
include a mixture of support and bullying could explain why there is a strong influence on
girls’ emotional well-being and hence their school attendance.

Item Type: Reports and working papers (Project Report)
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Mairead Dunne
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:17
Last Modified: 07 Jan 2013 14:59
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/19906

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