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      Global variation in the prevalence of bullying victimisation amongst adolescents: Role of peer and parental supports


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          Bullying victimisation is a global public health problem that has been predominantly studied in high income countries. This study aimed to estimate the population level prevalence of bullying victimisation and its association with peer and parental supports amongst adolescents across low and middle income to high income countries (LMIC—HICs).


          Data were drawn from the Global School-based Student Health Survey of school children aged 12–17 years, between 2003 and 2015, in 83 LMIC—HICs in the six World Health Organization (WHO) regions. We estimated the weighted prevalence of bullying victimisation at country, region and global level. We used multiple binary logistic regression models to estimate the adjusted association of age, gender, socioeconomic status, and parental support and peer support, and country level variables (GDP and government expenditure on education) with adolescent bullying victimisation.


          Of the 317,869 adolescents studied, 151,036 (48%) were males, and 166,833 (52%) females. The pooled prevalence of bullying victimisation on one or more days in the past 30 days amongst adolescents aged 12–17 years was 30·5% (95% CI: 30·2–31·0%). The highest prevalence was observed in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (45·1%, 44·3–46·0%) and African region (43·5%, 43·0–44·3%), and the lowest in Europe (8·4%, 8·0–9·0%). Bullying victimisation was associated with male gender (OR: 1·21; 1·11–1·32), below average socio-economic status (OR: 1·47, 1·35–1·61), and younger age (OR: 1·11, 1·0–1·24). Higher levels of peer support (0·51, 0·46–0·57), higher levels of parental support (e.g., understanding children's problems (OR: 0·85, 0·77–0·95), and knowing the importance of free time spent with children (OR: 0·77, 0·70–0·85)), were significantly associated with a reduced risk of bullying victimisation.


          Bullying victimisation is prevalent amongst adolescents globally, particularly in the Eastern Mediterranean and African regions. Parental and peer supports are protective factors against bullying victimisation. A reduction in bullying victimisation may be facilitated by family and peer based interventions aimed at increasing social connectedness of adolescents.

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          Consequences of bullying victimization in childhood and adolescence: A systematic review and meta-analysis

          AIM To identify health and psychosocial problems associated with bullying victimization and conduct a meta-analysis summarizing the causal evidence. METHODS A systematic review was conducted using PubMed, EMBASE, ERIC and PsycINFO electronic databases up to 28 February 2015. The study included published longitudinal and cross-sectional articles that examined health and psychosocial consequences of bullying victimization. All meta-analyses were based on quality-effects models. Evidence for causality was assessed using Bradford Hill criteria and the grading system developed by the World Cancer Research Fund. RESULTS Out of 317 articles assessed for eligibility, 165 satisfied the predetermined inclusion criteria for meta-analysis. Statistically significant associations were observed between bullying victimization and a wide range of adverse health and psychosocial problems. The evidence was strongest for causal associations between bullying victimization and mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, poor general health and suicidal ideation and behaviours. Probable causal associations existed between bullying victimization and tobacco and illicit drug use. CONCLUSION Strong evidence exists for a causal relationship between bullying victimization, mental health problems and substance use. Evidence also exists for associations between bullying victimization and other adverse health and psychosocial problems, however, there is insufficient evidence to conclude causality. The strong evidence that bullying victimization is causative of mental illness highlights the need for schools to implement effective interventions to address bullying behaviours.
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            A review of research on bullying and peer victimization in school: An ecological system analysis

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              Adolescence and the next generation

              Adolescent growth and social development shape the early development of offspring from preconception through to the post-partum period through distinct processes in males and females. At a time of great change in the forces shaping adolescence, including the timing of parenthood, investments in today’s adolescents, the largest cohort in human history, will yield great dividends for future generations.

                Author and article information

                17 February 2020
                March 2020
                17 February 2020
                : 20
                : 100276
                [a ]Institute for Social Science Research, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
                [b ]ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
                [c ]QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Herston, Qld, 4006
                [d ]Centre for Clinical Research, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Herston, QLD, Australia
                [e ]Metro North Mental Health, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Herston, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
                [f ]Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, Wacol, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
                [g ]Developmental Medicine Center, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States
                [h ]School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Herston, QLD, Australia
                [i ]Utrecht University, Netherlands
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author: Tuhin Biswas. Institute for Social Science Research, The University of Queensland, 80 Meiers Road, Indooroopilly, Queensland 4068, Australia. t.biswas@ 123456uqconnect.edu.au
                S2589-5370(20)30020-1 100276
                © 2020 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

                This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

                : 10 August 2019
                : 13 January 2020
                : 22 January 2020
                Research paper


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