International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 54, Supplement 2, pp 216–224 | Cite as

A cross-national profile of bullying and victimization among adolescents in 40 countries

  • Wendy Craig
  • Yossi Harel-Fisch
  • Haya Fogel-Grinvald
  • Suzanne Dostaler
  • Jorn Hetland
  • Bruce Simons-Morton
  • Michal Molcho
  • Margarida Gaspar de Mato
  • Mary Overpeck
  • Pernille Due
  • William Pickett
  • the HBSC Violence & Injuries Prevention Focus Group
  • the HBSC Bullying Writing Group
Original article

Abstract

Objectives:

(1) To compare the prevalence of bullying and victimization among boys and girls and by age in 40 countries. (2) In 6 countries, to compare rates of direct physical, direct verbal, and indirect bullying by gender, age, and country.

Methods:

Cross-sectional self-report surveys including items on bullying and being bullied were obtained from nationally representative samples of 11, 13 and 15 year old school children in 40 countries, N = 202,056. Six countries (N = 29,127 students) included questions about specific types of bullying (e. g., direct physical, direct verbal, indirect).

Results:

Exposure to bullying varied across countries, with estimates ranging from 8.6% to 45.2% among boys, and from 4.8% to 35.8% among girls. Adolescents in Baltic countries reported higher rates of bullying and victimization, whereas northern European countries reported the lowest prevalence. Boys reported higher rates of bullying in all countries. Rates of victimization were higher for girls in 29 of 40 countries. Rates of victimization decreased by age in 30 of 40 (boys) and 25 of 39 (girls) countries.

Conclusion:

There are lessons to be learned from the current research conducted in countries where the prevalence is low that could be adapted for use in countries with higher prevalence.

Keywords:

Bullying Victimization Prevalence rates Country comparison 

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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wendy Craig
    • 1
  • Yossi Harel-Fisch
    • 2
  • Haya Fogel-Grinvald
    • 2
  • Suzanne Dostaler
    • 1
  • Jorn Hetland
    • 3
  • Bruce Simons-Morton
    • 4
  • Michal Molcho
    • 5
  • Margarida Gaspar de Mato
    • 6
  • Mary Overpeck
    • 7
  • Pernille Due
    • 8
  • William Pickett
    • 1
  • the HBSC Violence & Injuries Prevention Focus Group
  • the HBSC Bullying Writing Group
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  2. 2.Bar Ilan UniversityRamat GanIsrael
  3. 3.University of BergenBergenNorway
  4. 4.Prevention Research BranchEunice K Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human DevelopmentBethesdaUnited States
  5. 5.National University of IrelandGalwayIreland
  6. 6.Faculdade de Motricidade HumanaLisbonPortugal
  7. 7.National Center for Child Death ReviewWashingtonUnited States
  8. 8.National Institute of Public HealthUniversity of Southern DenmarkCopenhagenDenmark

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