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Bullying and Symptoms Among School-aged Children: International Comparative Cross-Sectional Study in 28 countries

 This study examined the prevalence of bullying in representative school samples of 11, 13- and 15-year old’s from 28 countries and the associations between levels of bullying and twelve physical and psychological symptoms.

The present paper reports data from the 28 participating countries in the 1997/1998 survey. Each national study included students in the relevant age groups (11, 13- and 15-years old’s) from a random sample of schools.

 Bullying was measured by the item: ‘During this term, how often have you been bullied at school? The responses were re-coded into three levels:

  • never/once or twice,
  • sometimes, and
  • about every week/all the time.

In summary, this school-based study examined the association between bullying and physical and psychological symptoms among adolescents in 28 countries. There is great variation in the prevalence of bullying across countries. Bullying shows consistent, strong and graded association with each of 12 different physical and psychological symptoms in all countries. Effective bullying prevention is needed in many countries and may have important influence on lowering symptom-load among adolescents.


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