Getting precise and pragmatic about the assessment of bullying: the development of the California Bullying Victimization Scale

Aggress Behav. 2011 May-Jun;37(3):234-47. doi: 10.1002/ab.20389. Epub 2011 Mar 14.


Accurate assessment of bullying is essential to intervention planning and evaluation. Limitations to many currently available self-report measures of bullying victimization include a lack of psychometric information, use of the emotionally laden term "bullying" in definition-first approaches to self-report surveys, and not assessing all components of the definition of bullying (chronicity, intentionality, and imbalance of power) in behavioral-based self-report methods. To address these limitations, we developed the California Bullying Victimization Scale (CBVS), which is a self-report scale that measures the three-part definition of bullying without the use of the term bully. We examined test-retest reliability and the concurrent and predictive validity of the CBVS across students in Grades 5-12 in four central California schools. Concurrent validity was assessed by comparing the CBVS with a common, definition-based bullying victimization measure. Predictive validity was examined through the co-administration of measures of psychological well-being. Analysis by grade and gender are included. Results support the test-retest reliability of the CBVS over a 2-week period. The CBVS was significantly, positively correlated with another bullying assessment and was related in expected directions to measures of well-being. Implications for differentiating peer victimization and bullying victimization via self-report measures are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bullying / psychology*
  • Child
  • Crime Victims / psychology*
  • Crime Victims / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Report*
  • Students / psychology
  • Students / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires