School bullying is the most common type of school violence. Victimization by or perpetration of school bullying has frequently been associated with a broad spectrum of behavioral, emotional, and social problems.
To investigate the prevalence and demographic characteristics of victims, perpetrators, and victim-perpetrators in a Korean middle school sample.
We evaluated 1756 middle school students in this cross-sectional study. Students provided demographic information and completed the Korean-Peer Nomination Inventory. Descriptive statistics and the Pearson χ2 test were used.
We found that 40% of all children participated in school bullying. By category, the prevalence of victims, perpetrators, and victim-perpetrators was 14%, 17%, and 9%, respectively. The most common subtypes of victimization were exclusion (23%), verbal abuse (22%), physical abuse (16%), and coercion (20%). Boys were more commonly involved in both school bullying and all 4 types of victimization. The prevalence of bullying was greater in students with either high or low socioeconomic status and in nonintact families.
School bullying is highly prevalent in Korean middle school students. Demographic characteristics can help identify students at greater risk for participation in school bullying.