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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2004 Aug;158(8):730-6.

Cross-national consistency in the relationship between bullying behaviors and psychosocial adjustment.

Author information

  • 1Division of Epidemiology, Statistics, and Prevention Research, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, MD 20892-7510, USA. nanselt@mail.nih.gov

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether the relationship between bullying and psychosocial adjustment is consistent across countries by standard measures and methods.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional self-report surveys were obtained from nationally representative samples of students in 25 countries. Involvement in bullying, as bully, victim, or both bully and victim, was assessed.

SETTING:

Surveys were conducted at public and private schools throughout the participating countries.

PARTICIPANTS:

Participants included all consenting students in sampled classrooms, for a total of 113 200 students at average ages of 11.5, 13.5, and 15.5 years.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Psychosocial adjustment dimensions assessed included health problems, emotional adjustment, school adjustment, relationships with classmates, alcohol use, and weapon carrying.

RESULTS:

Involvement in bullying varied dramatically across countries, ranging from 9% to 54% of youth. However, across all countries, involvement in bullying was associated with poorer psychosocial adjustment (P<.05). In all or nearly all countries, bullies, victims, and bully-victims reported greater health problems and poorer emotional and social adjustment. Victims and bully-victims consistently reported poorer relationships with classmates, whereas bullies and bully-victims reported greater alcohol use and weapon carrying.

CONCLUSIONS:

The association of bullying with poorer psychosocial adjustment is remarkably similar across countries. Bullying is a critical issue for the health of youth internationally.

Comment in

PMID:
15289243
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2556236
Free PMC Article

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