International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 62, Supplement 1, pp 51–61 | Cite as

Longitudinal associations between bullying and mental health among adolescents in Vietnam

  • Ha Thi Hai LeEmail author
  • Huong Thanh Nguyen
  • Marilyn A. Campbell
  • Michelle L. Gatton
  • Nam T. Tran
  • Michael P. Dunne
Original Article



This study measured bullying roles across an academic year and examined how change in bullying experiences is associated with symptoms of depression, psychological distress, and suicidal ideation among adolescents in Vietnam.


1424 students in middle and high schools completed two self-administered questionnaires, six months apart in 2014–2015.


Students who were victimised often and those who were classified as highly involved as both victims and bullies at one or both survey times showed significantly higher levels of depression, psychological distress, and suicidal ideation than other students. The mental health of adolescents who were involved in bullying as a victim or bully remained at low levels was generally similar to those not involved in any bullying. However, females who had stable but low level in victimisation or bully–victim status had worse mental health than males with stable-low-level exposure.


This is the first longitudinal analysis of bullying among adolescents in Vietnam. Persistent and frequent bullying was strongly linked with poor mental health for males and females. A new observation is that Vietnamese girls appear to be more sensitive to low level but long-term bullying involvement than were boys.


Bullying Cyberbullying Adolescents Longitudinal study Mental health Vietnam 



The authors would like to thank all students who participated in the study, the management board of four schools in Hanoi and HaiDuong, Ms. Dinh Thu Ha, and the data collection team from the Hanoi School of Public Health for their efforts and collaboration.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Human Research Ethics Committees of the Queensland University of Technology (Australia) and the Hanoi School of Public Health (Vietnam) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ha Thi Hai Le
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Huong Thanh Nguyen
    • 1
  • Marilyn A. Campbell
    • 2
  • Michelle L. Gatton
    • 3
  • Nam T. Tran
    • 4
    • 5
  • Michael P. Dunne
    • 3
    • 6
  1. 1.Faculty of Social Sciences and Health EducationHanoi University of Public HealthHanoiVietnam
  2. 2.Faculty of EducationQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.Faculty of HealthQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  4. 4.Faculty of SociologyAcademy of Journalism and CommunicationHanoiVietnam
  5. 5.Institute for Social Science ResearchThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  6. 6.Institute for Community Health ResearchHue University of Medicine and PharmacyHueVietnam

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