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

Queens University of Charlotte, New York, United States
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
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    • "Given the low concordance rate between parents and children regarding perceived stigmatization in this and other studies (Fekkes et al., 2005; Holt et al., 2009; Matsunaga, 2009 ), it is likely that even adults in the primary social support system of a child experiencing high levels of perceived social stigmatization may underestimate the extent of the problem. This can affect the long-term well-being of the child given that persistent social rejection and victimization in childhood has been linked to negative long-term psychosocial consequences (Kostanski & Gullone, 2007; Nansel et al., 2004 ). Most burn survivors are not followed long-term in a burn clinic in which there is an awareness of the psychosocial implications of burn scars. "

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    • "Further, a cross-cultural, cross-sectional survey including nationally representative samples from 25 countries indicated that bullies, victims and bully-victims report higher levels of health problems and poorer school adjustment than non-involved youth. Victims and bully-victims reported poorer emotional adjustment and relationships with classmates, whereas bullies and bully-victims reported greater alcohol use (Nansel et al., 2004). The nationally representative sample of Finnish university students also revealed significantly higher levels of substance abuse among those university students who had a history of bullying their schoolmates, as compared to victims and those without a history of being engaged in bullying processes during their schooling (Pörhölä, 2011b). "
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    ABSTRACT: This chapter explores the continuities in bullying from school contexts to university contexts, and discusses the possible reasons why some people remain in the role of bully or victim over time and through various social contexts, whereas others find a way to escape these roles. Two theories – peer community integration theory and positioning theory – are reviewed to examine: the ways in which engagement in bullying processes at school is associated with the development of individuals’ peer relationships and their position within the peer group; the impact of bullying on their perceptions of themselves and others; and how bullying affects the establishment of future peer relationships through which these individuals integrate into social communities in later life. The chapter concludes by discussing the impact that supportive peer relationships have for an individual who has been engaged in bullying. The significance of the social cognitive processes in which individuals make sense of their bullying experiences are emphasized, as they are able to re-determine their peer group position and change their role as bully or victim.
    No preview · Chapter · Jan 2016
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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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