Adolescents' body image dissatisfaction has an adverse effect on peer relationships. It may lead to changes in behaviour (aggressive or passive) and consequently to bullying behaviour. Our aim was to assess the association between body image dissatisfaction and involvement in bullying and whether this differs by gender. We used data from the Slovak part of the 2010 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study. The final sample comprised 8050 adolescents aged 11 to 15 years old (mean age 13.57), less than half of whom were boys. The association between self-reported body image and involvement in bullying was determined using multinomial logistic regression. We found a significant association between body dissatisfaction and involvement in bullying. Adolescents dissatisfied with their bodies because due to feeling overweight were more likely to become passive or reactive victims. Self-reported thinness was found to be significantly associated with bully-victims only in boys.
Conclusion: Adolescent body dissatisfaction is strongly associated with bullying behaviour. Our findings point out the importance of incorporating at schools different types of intervention programmes supporting positive self-perceptions of adolescents and reducing bullying behaviour.