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Pediatrics. 2009 Feb;123(2):569-77. doi: 10.1542/peds.2008-0323.

Being bullied: associated factors in children and adolescents 8 to 18 years old in 11 European countries.

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  • 1Health Services Research Unit, Institut Municipal d'Investigacio Mèdica-Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, Spain.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To analyze the prevalence of bullying victims among children and adolescents aged 8 to 18 years in 11 European countries and to investigate the associated sociodemographic, physical, and psychosocial factors.

METHODS:

Being a bullying victim was measured by using the social acceptance (bullying) scale from the Kidscreen-52, a health-related quality-of-life questionnaire administered to 16 210 children and adolescents aged 8 to 18 and their parents in postal or school-based surveys in 11 European countries. Standardized mean differences (effect size) were computed to measure the percentage of children/adolescents scoring 1 SD below the mean on the Kidscreen bullying scale. Logistic regression models were used to determine which sociodemographic, physical, and psychosocial factors were associated with being bullied.

RESULTS:

The percentage of children being bullied was 20.6% for the entire sample, ranging from 10.5% in Hungary to 29.6% in the United Kingdom. In almost all countries the factors most strongly associated with being bullied were younger age, having probable mental health problems, having a low score on the Kidscreen-52 moods and emotions dimensions, and poor social support. Using the grand mean for all countries as the reference category, there was an above-average likelihood of children or adolescents reporting that they had been victims of bullying in 5 countries (Austria, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom), and a below-average likelihood in 3 countries (France, Greece, Hungary).

CONCLUSIONS:

This study indicated considerable variation between countries in the prevalence of those perceiving themselves to be victims of bullying but also revealed a clear profile of those likely to be bullied. The study also suggests that the Kidscreen bullying scale could be useful in identifying potential bullying victims.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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