The aims of this interview-based study were twofold.
Firstly, are there differences in the prevalence and characteristics of bullying and victimization experienced in English and German primary school children?
Secondly, what is the relationship of school factors to bullying and victimization in England and Germany?
A cross-sectional, cross-national comparison design was used between English and German primary school children according to class and age, respectively. There were 2377 children (Year 2: 1072; Year 4: 1305) in the English sample recruited in Hertfordshire and North London primary schools. The German sample consisted of 1538 children (all at the end of Year 2) from primary schools in Munich and Augsburg and surrounding rural areas.
Regarding reasons why victimization levels are higher in England compared to Germany. Differences in teaching styles and school ethos between the two countries may be important factors to consider apart from possible differences in socially desirable reporting. Thirdly, little is known about the group categorized as ‘bully/victims’ vs. pure bullies and pure victims. Bully/ victims represent a substantial group of young children involved in carrying out bullying. Many bullies also become victims at other times in primary school and this 692 Dieter Wolke et al. group appears to be at particular risk for persistent peer and behavior problems. Finally, cultural differences regarding school-related factors indicate that interventions against bullying need to be adapted according to the local school and cultural setting.