Research Impact: Children with disabilities are subject to victimisation in and out of school setting. The Finnish anti-bully programme – KiVa has been around for over a decade, and was considered so successful that it has been exported to Wales. Yet, less is known if such programmes are actually effective for all children, particularly those with disabilities in the general school setting. In this study, the Health Behaviour in School-age Children study in Finland and Sweden were combined to investigate how psychosomatic complaints, family and bullying were associated with each other. Analyses were run separately for each country, yet noticeable similarities and differences were observed between children in Finland and Sweden. One common finding was that teachers play an important protective role for psychosomatic complaints of children with disabilities. In Sweden, parents were protective, but not in Finland. These results emphasis cultural differences and expectations of the roles of parents when it comes to psychosomatic complaints and bullying.
We know that physical activity can be protective of psychosomatic complaints and bullying, and if these results are transferable in the Irish context, then more physical activity may encourage to prevent adverse effects from psychosomatic complaints (like days of school, sickness, and chronic pains) and bully victimisation (like low mental health, anti-social behaviours, etc).
Bjereld, Y., Augustine, L., Turner, R., Löfstedt, P. and Ng, K., 2022. The association between self-reported psychosomatic complaints and bullying victimisation and disability among adolescents in Finland and Sweden. Scandinavian journal of public health, p.14034948221089769. DOI: 10.1177%2F14034948221089769