Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 56, Issue 6, pp 2212–2221 | Cite as

Is Spiritual Well-Being Among Adolescents Associated with a Lower Level of Bullying Behaviour? The Mediating Effect of Perceived Bullying Behaviour of Peers

  • Katarina DutkovaEmail author
  • Jana Holubcikova
  • Michaela Kravcova
  • Peter Babincak
  • Peter Tavel
  • Andrea Madarasova Geckova
Original Paper


The aim of this study was to explore the association between spiritual well-being and bullying among Slovak adolescents, and whether perceived bullying behaviour of peers mediated this relationship. Data from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study conducted in 2014 in Slovakia were used. Data were obtained from 9250 adolescents with a mean age of 13.48 years. The final sample consisted of 762 adolescents aged 15 years old (52.2% boys). We used logistic regression models and the Sobel test. Adolescents who reported a higher level of spiritual well-being were at lower risk of reporting that some or more schoolmates bully others or that they themselves bully others. These relationships were partially mediated by perceived norms about the bullying behaviour of schoolmates. Spiritual well-being was found to be negatively associated with bullying; in addition, a mediating role of perceived bullying behaviour of peers in this relationship was confirmed.


Spiritual well-being Bullying Bullying behaviour of peers 



This work was partially supported by the Research and Development Support Agency under Contract No. APVV 0032-11 and APVV-15-0012; by the Scientific Grant Agency of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic; by the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Reg. No. 1/0981/15 and 1/0932/16; and it was also partially funded within the framework of the project “Social determinants of health in socially and physically disadvantaged and other groups of population” of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports in the Czech Republic CZ.1.07/2.3.00/20.0063′ and by the GA CR project Spirituality and Health among Adolescents and Adults in the Czech Republic (15-19968S).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

None declared.

Ethical Standards

The study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Medical Faculty at P. J. Safarik University in Kosice. Parents were informed about the study via the school administration and could opt out if they disagreed with their child’s participation. Participation in the study was fully voluntary and anonymous with no explicit incentives provided for participation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katarina Dutkova
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jana Holubcikova
    • 2
  • Michaela Kravcova
    • 3
  • Peter Babincak
    • 3
  • Peter Tavel
    • 1
  • Andrea Madarasova Geckova
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Olomouc University Social Health InstitutePalacky University OlomoucOlomoucCzech Republic
  2. 2.Department of Health Psychology, Faculty of MedicineP. J. Safarik UniversityKosiceSlovakia
  3. 3.Institute of Psychology, Faculty of ArtsUniversity of PresovPresovSlovakia

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