Bullying victimization: Associated contextual factors in a Greek sample of children and adolescents

Psychiatriki. Jul-Sep 2019;30(3):216-225. doi: 10.22365/jpsych.2019.303.216.

Abstract

School bullying is increasingly recognized as an important factor affecting both individual's wellbeing and social functioning. Several studies provide evidence for the potential role of contextual factors that relate to bullying victimization such as the socioeconomic status of the parents/ family, the quality of family and home environment, the school climate, structure and ethos, and also various community characteristics. The objectives of this school-based, cross-sectional study were to report the prevalence of the perception of being bullied in a sample of Greek children and adolescents from 6 to 17 years of age and to investigate the relations among the subjective impression of bullying victimization and several sociodemographic and socioeconomic factors. We hypothesized that influences external to individual children and adolescents play a decisive role to their perception of being victimized. Bullying victimization was measured through a simple "yes/no" question, which confirmed or rejected respectively the fact that the child or adolescent has been at some time victimized in the school environment. Also, demographic and socioeconomic data about the families of children and adolescents were collected. A total of 1,588 children (51.8% females, mean age ± SD: 12.9±2.8 years) were assessed. The overall prevalence of victimization was 10.4%. Multiple logistic regression analysis on the probability of being victimized identified that living at a main urban center (Odds Ratio[OR]: 2.63, CI: 1.78-3.87, p<0.001), presence of a person with a chronic illness at home (OR: 1.90, CI: 1.12-3.20, p=0.016), poor family economic status (OR: 1.83, CI: 1.05-3.20, p=0.032),and increased number of adults at home (OR: 2.00, CI: 1.00-3.77, p=0,041) had a positive correlation with the prevalence of reported bullying victimization. Moreover, higher parental educational level related to lower probability of victimization (OR: 0.88, CI: 0.78-0.99, p=0.05). These findings demonstrate that several demographic and socioeconomic factors play a potential role in bullying victimization among schoolchildren. Our results also highlight the need to consider the influence of contextual factors in the design of targeting efforts countering and/or preventing bullying victimization.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Bullying / psychology*
  • Child
  • Crime Victims / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Educational Status
  • Family
  • Female
  • Greece / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parents
  • Prevalence
  • Schools
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Class
  • Socioeconomic Factors