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

Victimization in Korean Schools: The Nature, Incidence, and Distinctive Features of Korean Bullying or Wang-Ta

NCJ Number
Journal of School Violence Volume: 7 Issue: 4 Dated: 2008 Pages: 119-139
Hyojin Koo; Keumjoo Kwak; Peter K. Smith
Date Published
21 pages
Findings are presented from a nationally-based survey, using a term, wang-ta, that is well recognized by pupils in Korea and conforms rather closely to the usual definition of bullying behavior.
The findings of this survey give a comprehensive picture of the nature and extent of wang-ta across Korea. There are also both important similarities and important differences when the findings are compared to those from comparable surveys in Western countries. The findings confirm that bullying is a serious problem of South Korean school children and adolescents. An appreciable minority of pupils are involved in giving or receiving wang-ta; with a relatively small number of victims by international comparisons, but a relatively large number of bullies. By middle school, it is hypothesized that the nature of wang-ta, similar to ijime in Japan but perhaps in a stronger form, is based on collectivism in which an individual’s opinion over a peer is not so important but rather that pupils follow the silent decision of a majority. Results indicate that some 5.8 percent of school children and adolescents in Korean schools reported experiencing wang-ta more than once or twice in the last term. Findings and future research should assist in considering the most effective methods of school-based intervention, to reduce wang-ta and its effects on pupils. School bullying in South Korea may take different forms from bullying in Western societies, and there is little data on its nature and extent nationally. Results are reported from a nationwide survey on the Korean form of bullying, wang-ta. By sampling across all major areas of the country, it was intended to provide clear national prevalence rates, plus examine for differences by school type and gender. Data were also obtained on types of wang-ta and on numbers and grade levels of bullies and victims. Tables and references


No download available