Bullying and victimization behaviors in boys and girls at South Korean primary schools

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2006 Jan;45(1):69-77. doi: 10.1097/01.chi.0000186401.05465.2c.


Objective: To investigate the prevalence and correlates of bullying and victimization behaviors in boys and girls at South Korean primary schools.

Method: In a cross-sectional survey, 1,344 fourth-grade primary school children completed a questionnaire on self-reported bullying and victimization behaviors, depression, anxiety, body image, coping strategies, and self-esteem as well as the self-report Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Parents completed a questionnaire on demographic data, the General Health Questionnaire-12, and the Korean version of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire.

Results: The prevalence of bullies, victims, and bullies/victims was 12.0%, 5.3%, and 7.2%, respectively. Boys were significantly more likely to be bullies and bullies/victims. In the multivariate analyses, bullying and victimization behaviors were associated with gender, greater than average height, higher depression, higher trait anxiety, lower self-esteem, and total difficulties of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Differences in the associations were found between boys and girls.

Conclusions: The authors found that bullying is common among South Korean primary school students and that bullying and victimization behaviors are related to various emotional, behavioral, and social problems; some gender-related differences are also evident.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Crime Victims / psychology*
  • Crime Victims / statistics & numerical data*
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Korea / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Schools*
  • Students
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Violence / psychology*
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data*