Background: The negative impact of school violence (bullying) on the child and adolescent development has been increasingly recognized worldwide. Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of school violence (having suffered physical aggression, verbal harassment and/or social manipulation), to verify if these events are related to the adolescent's perception of bullying exposure, to examine the proportion of adolescent's perception of bullying exposure that coincide with maternal perception, to investigate the condition of poly-victimization of adolescents (school violence possibly concomitant with violence exposure at home and/or in the community), and to identify the possible association of bullying exposure and mental health problems (emotional/behavioral problems, suicide ideation and attempt, symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder). Methods: The original project (longitudinal study) was conducted in Itaboraí city - Rio de Janeiro (2014-2016) and involved interviews with a population based sample of 680 adolescents at baseline which data will be analyzed by the present study. The original project randomly selected 107 out of 204 census units and these selected units were mapped to identify all eligible households (residence of children/adolescents aged 6-15 years). In each selected unit, 15 eligible households were randomly selected and 1412 subjects aged 6-15 years entered the study (response rate: 88.0%). In this initial sample, 721 were adolescents (11-15 years). Standardized questionnaires were individually applied in the household by trained interviewers to all mothers and 680 adolescents (response rate: 94.3%). Results: Bullying exposure among adolescents in the school environment is expected to be frequent in Brazil, and victims of bullying are expected to be at a greater risk for mental health problems. Study results will be helpful to guide the development of future intervention and prevention models concerning violence in the school context.
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