This article aims to explore bullying victimization among French and Irish students with a disability or chronic illness (D/CI), considering individual, social, and family factors. Research investigated this issue in France and Ireland because of the documented differences between these two countries on relevant contextual factors.
Data from 12,048 students aged 11, 13, and 15 years (50.1% were boys) as part of the cross-national study 2006 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children were analyzed. Self-completion questionnaires were administered in classrooms; information on socio-demographic characteristics, bullying involvement, D/CI, school participation, social network, and family were collected.
Overall, the prevalence of bullying victimization was significantly higher in France compared with Ireland. Youngest were more likely to report victimization; however, no gender differences were observed. In both countries, students with D/CI were significantly more likely to report that they have been bullied compared with students without D/CI, and a significant additional risk of being bullied was found when students reported D/CI with restriction in school participation. Regardless of country and D/CI status, being bullied was significantly associated with weaker social support and difficulty of communication with fathers, with even stronger associations found among students with D/CI.
As a conclusion adolescent with D/CI are more likely to be victimized than their peers, with a similar risk in both countries. Besides individual, social and family factors are consistently associated to bullying victimization across countries.