We conducted an age-stratified cross-sectional survey of adults with VI who were recruited from the Norwegian Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted. Data were collected through structural telephone interviews in the period between February and May, 2017. Linear regression models were used to examine factors related to bullying and associations of bullying with self-efficacy and life satisfaction.
A total of 736 individuals were interviewed. The lifetime and 6-mo prevalence of bullying was 41.7% and 8.2%, respectively. The majority of bullied participants reported VI-specific bullying (65.1%). Victimization of bullying was associated with young age, early onset-age of VI, and having other impairments. Participants who reported bullying had lower levels of self-efficacy [Adjusted relative risk (ARR): 0.40, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.19-0.85] and life satisfaction (ARR: 0.68, 95%CI: 0.51-0.91).
Bullying is highly prevalent among individuals with VI. Our findings suggest that interventions to reduce bullying may be beneficial for improving the well-being and life quality of people with VI.
Core tip: People with impairments are at risk of social exclusion. A high rate of bullying of people with visual impairment (VI) demonstrates how deviations from the social norm can lead to sanctions from the environment. The more different, the higher the risk of bullying, illustrated by the fact that people with functional impairments in addition to VI were even more prone to bullying. For those who are victimized, the consequences may be serious in terms of lower self-esteem and lower quality of life. A continuous focus on bullying is necessary to protect people with VI from bullying.