Cross-national time trends in bullying victimization in 33 countries among children aged 11, 13 and 15 from 2002 to 2010

Eur J Public Health. 2015 Apr;25 Suppl 2:61-4. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckv029.


Background: Bullying among children and adolescents is a public health concern; victimization is associated with psychological and physical health problems. The purpose of this study is to examine temporal trends in bullying victimization among school-aged children in Europe and North America.

Methods: Data were obtained from cross-sectional self-report surveys collected as part of the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study from nationally representative samples of 11-, 13- and 15-year-olds, from 33 countries and regions which participated in the 2001-02, 2005-06 and 2009-10 surveys. Responses from 581 838 children were included in the analyses. Binary logistic regression was used for the data analyses.

Results: The binary logistic regression models showed significant decreasing trends in occasional and chronic victimization between 2001-02 and 2009-10 across both genders in a third of participating countries. One country reported significant increasing trends for both occasional and chronic victimization. Gender differences in trends were evident across many countries.

Conclusion: Overall, while still common in many countries, bullying victimization is decreasing. The differences between countries highlight the need to further investigate measures undertaken in countries demonstrating a downward trend.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Bullying / statistics & numerical data*
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • North America
  • Sex Factors