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Factors associated with bullying victimization among Korean adolescents

Authors Seo HJ, Jung YE, Kim MD, Bahk WM

Received 26 April 2017

Accepted for publication 22 August 2017

Published 18 September 2017 Volume 2017:13 Pages 2429—2435


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Taro Kishi

Hye-Jin Seo,1 Young-Eun Jung,2 Moon-Doo Kim,2 Won-Myong Bahk3

1Department of Psychiatry, Ansan Shinwoo Hospital, Ansan, 2Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Jeju National University, Jeju, 3Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea

The aims of the present study were to assess the prevalence of bullying victimization among Korean adolescents by sex and age and to investigate the correlates of this phenomenon.
Methods: Of 3,200 eligible subjects, 2,936 (91.8%) adolescents were recruited from four elementary schools (6th grade, age range: 10–12 years), five middle schools (8th grade, age range: 13–14 years), and three high schools (10th grade, age range: 15–17 years) located in the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, Republic of Korea. This study used a self-administered questionnaire to collect data on sociodemographic characteristics and experiences of bullying victimization and employed the Korean form of the Children’s Depression Inventory to evaluate depressive symptoms.
Results: Of the total sample of 2,936 students, 1,689 were boys (57.5%) and 1,247 were girls (42.5%). The prevalence of bullying victimization by age group was as follows: 10–12 years, 9.5%; 13–14 years, 8.3%; and 15–17 years, 6.4%. A significant difference in the prevalence of bullying victimization was observed by sex (boys: 45.0%, girls: 55.0%). Overall, the prevalence decreased with age. After adjusting for age and sex, bullying victimization was significantly associated with lower socioeconomic status (odds ratio [OR] =1.67; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.04–2.67), lower than average academic achievement (OR =1.77; 95% CI 1.25–2.50), more depressive symptoms (OR =1.88; 95% CI 1.38–2.55), and poorer perceived relationship with parents (OR =1.46; 95% CI 1.00–2.14).
Conclusion: Our findings will provide researchers and public health practitioners with data on the prevalence of bullying victimization and help to identify the risk factors for later behavioral and emotional problems.

Keywords: bullying, adolescent, risk factors, Korea, students

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