chapter  Twenty Four
6 Pages

Bullying

WithQuentin Spender, Niki Salt, Judith Dawkins, Tony Kendrick, Peter Hill, David Hall, Jackie Carnell

Bullying by children is the intentional, unprovoked abuse of power by one child or more in order to inflict pain on or cause distress to another child on repeated occasions. It can be either physical or psychological, or both. Bullying is a source of distress and may be particularly prevalent among children seeing doctors or even being a consequence of the child seeing the doctor. Victims may present in primary care with psychosomatic symptoms, and both bullies and victims may present with depression. Depending on local circumstances, the school's educational psychologist or school counsellor may also be helpful. Most schools have a head of pastoral care who should be responsible for the school's bullying policy. Referral to a paediatrician may be necessary if there is doubt about the relevance of somatic symptoms. Emotional or behavioural symptoms may need referral to a child and adolescent mental health service in their own right.