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Prevalence of bullying and victimization among children in early elementary school: do family and school neighbourhood socioeconomic status matter?
BMC Public Health 2012; 12:494BP

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Bullying and victimization are widespread phenomena in childhood and can have a serious impact on well-being. Children from families with a low socioeconomic background have an increased risk of this behaviour, but it is unknown whether socioeconomic status (SES) of school neighbourhoods is also related to bullying behaviour. Furthermore, as previous bullying research mainly focused on older children and adolescents, it remains unclear to what extent bullying and victimization affects the lives of younger children. The aim of this study is to examine the prevalence and socioeconomic disparities in bullying behaviour among young elementary school children.

METHODS

The study was part of a population-based survey in the Netherlands. Teacher reports of bullying behaviour and indicators of SES of families and schools were available for 6379 children aged 5-6 years.

RESULTS

One-third of the children were involved in bullying, most of them as bullies (17%) or bully-victims (13%), and less as pure victims (4%). All indicators of low family SES and poor school neighbourhood SES were associated with an increased risk of being a bully or bully-victim. Parental educational level was the only indicator of SES related with victimization. The influence of school neighbourhood SES on bullying attenuated to statistical non-significance once adjusted for family SES.

CONCLUSIONS

Bullying and victimization are already common problems in early elementary school. Children from socioeconomically disadvantaged families, rather than children visiting schools in disadvantaged neighbourhoods, have a particularly high risk of involvement in bullying. These findings suggest the need of timely bullying preventions and interventions that should have a special focus on children of families with a low socioeconomic background. Future studies are necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of such programs.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry/Psychology, Erasmus MC-University Medical Center, PO-BOX 2060, 3000 CB Rotterdam, the Netherlands. p.w.jansen@erasmusmc.nlNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

22747880

Citation

Jansen, Pauline W., et al. "Prevalence of Bullying and Victimization Among Children in Early Elementary School: Do Family and School Neighbourhood Socioeconomic Status Matter?" BMC Public Health, vol. 12, 2012, p. 494.
Jansen PW, Verlinden M, Dommisse-van Berkel A, et al. Prevalence of bullying and victimization among children in early elementary school: do family and school neighbourhood socioeconomic status matter? BMC Public Health. 2012;12:494.
Jansen, P. W., Verlinden, M., Dommisse-van Berkel, A., Mieloo, C., van der Ende, J., Veenstra, R., ... Tiemeier, H. (2012). Prevalence of bullying and victimization among children in early elementary school: do family and school neighbourhood socioeconomic status matter? BMC Public Health, 12, p. 494. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-494.
Jansen PW, et al. Prevalence of Bullying and Victimization Among Children in Early Elementary School: Do Family and School Neighbourhood Socioeconomic Status Matter. BMC Public Health. 2012 Jul 2;12:494. PubMed PMID: 22747880.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Prevalence of bullying and victimization among children in early elementary school: do family and school neighbourhood socioeconomic status matter? AU - Jansen,Pauline W, AU - Verlinden,Marina, AU - Dommisse-van Berkel,Anke, AU - Mieloo,Cathelijne, AU - van der Ende,Jan, AU - Veenstra,René, AU - Verhulst,Frank C, AU - Jansen,Wilma, AU - Tiemeier,Henning, Y1 - 2012/07/02/ PY - 2011/09/23/received PY - 2012/06/15/accepted PY - 2012/7/4/entrez PY - 2012/7/4/pubmed PY - 2013/4/17/medline SP - 494 EP - 494 JF - BMC public health JO - BMC Public Health VL - 12 N2 - BACKGROUND: Bullying and victimization are widespread phenomena in childhood and can have a serious impact on well-being. Children from families with a low socioeconomic background have an increased risk of this behaviour, but it is unknown whether socioeconomic status (SES) of school neighbourhoods is also related to bullying behaviour. Furthermore, as previous bullying research mainly focused on older children and adolescents, it remains unclear to what extent bullying and victimization affects the lives of younger children. The aim of this study is to examine the prevalence and socioeconomic disparities in bullying behaviour among young elementary school children. METHODS: The study was part of a population-based survey in the Netherlands. Teacher reports of bullying behaviour and indicators of SES of families and schools were available for 6379 children aged 5-6 years. RESULTS: One-third of the children were involved in bullying, most of them as bullies (17%) or bully-victims (13%), and less as pure victims (4%). All indicators of low family SES and poor school neighbourhood SES were associated with an increased risk of being a bully or bully-victim. Parental educational level was the only indicator of SES related with victimization. The influence of school neighbourhood SES on bullying attenuated to statistical non-significance once adjusted for family SES. CONCLUSIONS: Bullying and victimization are already common problems in early elementary school. Children from socioeconomically disadvantaged families, rather than children visiting schools in disadvantaged neighbourhoods, have a particularly high risk of involvement in bullying. These findings suggest the need of timely bullying preventions and interventions that should have a special focus on children of families with a low socioeconomic background. Future studies are necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of such programs. SN - 1471-2458 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/22747880/Prevalence_of_bullying_and_victimization_among_children_in_early_elementary_school:_do_family_and_school_neighbourhood_socioeconomic_status_matter L2 - https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2458-12-494 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -