U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Socioeconomic Inequality in Exposure to Bullying During Adolescence: A Comparative, Cross-Sectional, Multilevel Study in 35 Countries

NCJ Number
American Journal of Public Health Volume: 99 Issue: 5 Dated: May 2009 Pages: 907-914
Pemille Due, M.D.; Yossi Harel-Fisch, Ph.D.; Mogens Trab Dansgaard, Mag scient soc,; Bjorn E. Holstein, Mag scient soc.; Jorn Hetland, Ph.D.; Candace Currie, Ph.D.; Saoirse Nic Gabhainn, Ph.D.; Margarida Gaspar de Matos, Ph.D.; John Lynch, Ph.D.
Date Published
May 2009
8 pages
This study examined the socioeconomic levels of families of adolescents exposed to bullying in 35 countries, and it documented the influence on bullying of each country's overall economic development.
The study found that children from socioeconomically disadvantaged families were more likely to be bullied than children from families having higher income levels; however, the overall economic development of a country, as measured by gross national income, was not related to bullying victimization in the schools. On the other hand, countries with large differences in affluence levels among residents experienced a greater prevalence of bullying in schools. The study used an international survey of 162,305 students ages 11, 13, and 15 years from nationally representative samples of 5,998 schools in 35 countries in Europe and North America for the 2001-2002 school year. The survey used standardized measures of exposure to bullying and socioeconomic affluence. In the discussion of study limitations, the authors note that the translation of questions about bullying into more than 20 languages may have resulted in information bias. Also, the concept of bullying may have varied according to cultural setting. In all countries, bullying represents a negative social interaction, and the authors' earlier studies showed similar socioeconomic measures as confounders; it was not possible to extract the estimate of the social differences in exposure to bullying from these studies. 3 tables and 1 figure