Temporal Trends in Bullying Victimization Among Adolescents Aged 12–15 Years From 29 Countries: A Global Perspective

Lee Smith, Guillermo F. López Sánchez, Josep Maria Haro, Abdullah Ahmed Alghamdi, Damiano Pizzol, Mark A. Tully, Hans Oh, Poppy Gibson, Helen Keyes, Laurie Butler, Yvonne Barnett, Jae Il Shin, Ai Koyanagi

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2 Citations (Scopus)
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Bullying victimization among adolescents is a major public health concern. However, multicountry studies investigating temporal trends of bullying victimization among adolescents are scarce, especially from a global perspective. Thus, we aimed to examine the temporal trends of bullying victimization among school-going adolescents between 2003 and 2017 in 29 countries from Africa (n = 5), Asia (n = 18), and the Americas (n = 6).

Data on 191,228 students aged 12–15 years [mean (standard deviation) age 13.7 (1.0) years; 48.9% boys] who participated in the Global School-based Student Health Survey were analyzed. Bullying victimization was based on self-report and referred to being bullied at least once in the past 30 days. The prevalence (95% confidence interval) of bullying victimization was calculated for each survey. Crude linear trends in bullying victimization were examined by linear regression models.

The mean prevalence of bullying victimization across all surveys was 39.4%. There was a large variation in the trends of bullying victimization across countries with a significant increasing and decreasing trend being observed in 6 and 13 countries, respectively. Myanmar, Egypt, and the Philippines showed the sharpest increase. The decrease was modest in most countries which showed a decreasing trend. The remaining countries showed stable trends (n = 10) but some countries such as Seychelles showed consistently high prevalence over time (i.e., ≥ 50%).

Decreasing trends of bullying victimization were more common than increasing or stable trends in our study including adolescents from 29 countries. However, a high prevalence of bullying was observed in most countries, and thus, further global efforts to combat bullying victimization are necessary.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)582-590
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number3
Early online date29 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished online - 29 Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This paper uses data from the Global School-Based Student Health Survey (GSHS). GSHS is supported by the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .

Funding Information:
Dr. Guillermo F. López Sánchez is funded by the European Union –Next Generation EU.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine


  • Multi-country
  • Youth
  • Epidemiology
  • Aggression
  • School bullying
  • Prevalence


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