Cross-national Consistency in the Relationship Between Bullying Behaviors and Psychosocial Adjustment

Division of Epidemiology, Statistics, and Prevention Research, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, MD 20892-7510, USA.
Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (Impact Factor: 5.73). 09/2004; 158(8):730-6. DOI: 10.1001/archpedi.158.8.730
Source: PubMed


To determine whether the relationship between bullying and psychosocial adjustment is consistent across countries by standard measures and methods.
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.
Surveys were conducted at public and private schools throughout the participating countries.
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.
Psychosocial adjustment dimensions assessed included health problems, emotional adjustment, school adjustment, relationships with classmates, alcohol use, and weapon carrying.
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.
The association of bullying with poorer psychosocial adjustment is remarkably similar across countries. Bullying is a critical issue for the health of youth internationally.

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Available from: Tonja Nansel, Sep 30, 2015
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    • "Cross-sectional and longitudinal studies showed that bully/victims displayed more psychosocial adjustment problems, eating disorders and externalising symptoms (e.g., conduct problems, aggressiveness, attention deficit, problems in peer relationships and hyperactivity disorders) and school adjustment problems than any other subgroup involved in bullying (Nansel et al. 2004; Kaltiala-Heino et al., 2000; Menesini et al., 2009; Schwartz, 2000; O'Brennan, 2009; Skrzypiec, Slee, "
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    ABSTRACT: This chapter describes the current research on the negative outcomes of traditional and cyberbullying concerning psychological health, physical health, social functioning, and behaviour problems. They explore these problems from the perspective of bullies, victims, bully/victims, and bystanders, and discuss whether the impact of cyberbullying compared to traditional bullying on the outcomes is equal, less, or more severe. Furthermore, they discuss the interrelatedness between (cyber-)bullying and negative (health) outcomes.
    Cyberbullying: From Theory to Interventions, Edited by Trijntje Vollinck, Francine Dehue, Connar McGuckin, 07/2015: chapter 4: pages 54-81; Psychology Press.
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    • "Despite bullying rates differing from country to country, some international similarities exist in bullying outcomes. Nansel et al. (2004) states that an association between bullying involvement and lower psychosocial adjustment appeared in each of the 25 countries they surveyed. Similarly noted in Molcho et al. (2009), most countries have experienced a decrease in bullying over time. "
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    ABSTRACT: Bullying has become a prominent topic within education due to recent media headlines in the United States and abroad. The impact of these occurrences ripples beyond the bully and victim to include administrators, parents, and fellow students. While previous research has concluded bullying behaviors decrease as a child progresses in school, more recent studies found bullying can continue into college. The current project investigated differences between perceptions of bullying in high school and college along with how college students’ experiences with bullying impacted several constructs related to academic success (i.e., basic psychological needs, academic motivation, perceived social support, and perceived stress). Participants (N = 130, 68 male) completed a Perceptions of Bullying Questionnaire, Basic Psychological Needs Scale (BPNS), Academic Motivation Scale, Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, Perceived Stress Scale, and a demographic data form. The results indicate participants who described themselves as either current or past bullying victims had significantly lower academic motivation than respondents who did not. In addition, current victims of bullying scored significantly lower on two of the three constructs in the BPNS: autonomy and competence. These findings suggest students are susceptible to bullying after high school, and the effects can negatively impact college life, academic motivation, and educational outcomes. In addition, past victimization can cause academic difficulties for college students, even after the harassment has ceased.
    Social Psychology of Education 03/2015; 18(1):185-200. DOI:10.1007/s11218-014-9287-1
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    • "Previous studies indicate that bully-victims tend to have characteristics that are partly similar to those of the victims, partly to those of the bullies. For example, in a cross-national study from 25 countries (Nansel et al., 2004), bully-victims and victims had poorer relationships with classmates; bully-victims and bullies were more involved in alcohol use and weapon carrying; and bullyvictims reported more health and school adjustment problems than students in the other groups. Haynie and colleagues (2001) found that self-reported bully-victims in middle school grades 6–8 (around 11–14 years of age) exhibited the most problematic behaviour and depressive symptoms, while they scored the lowest on social competence, self-control and peer acceptance, as compared with bullies, victims and non-involved children. "
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    ABSTRACT: Although knowledge on the psychosocial (mal)adjustment of bully-victims, children who bully others and are victimised by others, has been increasing, the findings have been principally gained utilising a single method to identify bully-victims. The present study examined the psychosocial adjustment of bully-victims (as compared with pure bullies and pure victims) identified by Olweus’ global measures, peer nominations and a profile method based on Olweus’ multiple measures of bullying/victimisation forms. The sample included 17,586 students from grades 3 to 8 (9–15 years old) in Finland. Bully-victims formed the smallest group, whose subjective experience of maladjustment differed from that of the bullies, rather than that of the victims. Both the prevalence and the relative maladjustment of bully-victims varied across identification methods, gender and school level.
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