A cross-national profile of bullying and victimization among adolescents in 40 countries

Wendy Craig, Yossi Harel-Fisch, Haya Fogel-Grinvald, Suzanne Dostaler, Jorn Hetland, Bruce Simons-Morton, Michal Molcho, Margarida Gaspar de Matos, Mary Overpeck, Pernille Due, William Pickett, Joanna Mazur, Damien Favresse, Alain Leveque, Will Pickett, Katrin Aasvee, Dora Varnai, Yossi Harel, Liat Korn, Anita VillerusaPilar Ramos Valverde, Peter Scheidt, Will Boyce, Bjorn Holstein, Wilma Vollebergh, Oddrun Samdal, Winfried van der Sluijs, Zuzana Katreniakova, Tonja Nansel

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    699 Scopus citations


    Objectives: (1) To compare the prevalence of bullying and victimization among boys and girls and by age in 40 countries. (2) In 6 countries, to compare rates of direct physical, direct verbal, and indirect bullying by gender, age, and country. Methods: Cross-sectional self-report surveys including items on bullying and being bullied were obtained from nationally representative samples of 11, 13 and 15 year old school children in 40 countries, N = 202,056. Six countries (N = 29,127 students) included questions about specific types of bullying (e. g., direct physical, direct verbal, indirect). Results: Exposure to bullying varied across countries, with estimates ranging from 8.6% to 45.2% among boys, and from 4.8% to 35.8% among girls. Adolescents in Baltic countries reported higher rates of bullying and victimization, whereas northern European countries reported the lowest prevalence. Boys reported higher rates of bullying in all countries. Rates of victimization were higher for girls in 29 of 40 countries. Rates of victimization decreased by age in 30 of 40 (boys) and 25 of 39 (girls) countries. Conclusion: There are lessons to be learned from the current research conducted in countries where the prevalence is low that could be adapted for use in countries with higher prevalence.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)S216-S224
    JournalInternational Journal of Public Health
    Issue numberSUPPL. 2
    StatePublished - 2009

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    HBSC is an international study carried out in collaboration with WHO/EURO. The international coordinator of the 2001–2002 and 2005–2006 study was Candace Currie, University of Edinburgh, Scotland; and the data bank manager was Oddrun Samdal, University of Bergen, Norway. A complete list of the participating researchers can be found on the HBSC website (www.HBSC.org). This research was supported in part by the intramural program of the NICHD (Contract # N01-HD-5-3401).


    • Bullying
    • Country comparison
    • Prevalence rates
    • Victimization


    Dive into the research topics of 'A cross-national profile of bullying and victimization among adolescents in 40 countries'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this