Author(s)Lima,Maria Cristina Pereira
Ramos-Cerqueira,Ana Teresa de Abreu
Reis,Luis Enrique Caton
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AbstractABSTRACT Introduction: The practice of hazing is a phenomenon that began in the Middle Ages and persists in many universities around the world. In Brazil, although the problem is widely recognized, it has been insufficiently studied. Objective: To estimate the prevalence and to identify factors associated with the occurrence of hazing in a public Medical School, located in the interior of the State of São Paulo, Brazil. Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted, including 477 medical students from the first to the sixth year of the course. The self-reporting questionnaire included questions and structured instruments to access: socio-demographic and academic life characteristics, social support, symptoms of depression, harmful alcohol use (using the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test — Audit), common mental disorder (using the Self-Reporting Questionnaire — SRQ) and if the participant had suffered any form of hazing that he/she considered abusive or if the participant had practiced hazing about which he/she felt guilty or regretful afterwards. Bivariate analyses and logistic regression were conducted to identify factors independently associated with each of the outcomes (having suffered abusive hazing or having participated in hazing and feeling regretful afterwards). Results: The response rate was 87.0%. Among the students, 39.8% (95% Cl: 35.4% — 44.2%) reported having suffered abusive hazing, while 7.5% (95% CI: 5.2% — 9.9%) reported having practiced hazing of which they repented. Being subjected to abusive hazing was associated with: male gender, not being adapted to the city, presenting lower scores on the social support scale and psychiatric and/or psychological treatment after admission to university. Having practiced hazing, in turn, was associated with male gender, older age and higher score in the Audit. Conclusion: Hazing was associated with male gender, and with the pursuit of mental health treatment among those who received it and with harmful alcohol use among the perpetrators. It is essential that medical schools discuss and better understand the problem of hazing in order to adopt effective preventive measures.