Prevalence and Correlates of Bullying Victimization in Four Low-Resource Countries

Amanda J. Nguyen, Catherine Bradshaw, Lisa Townsend, Judith Bass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bullying is one of the most common forms of aggression experienced by school-aged youth, yet research is sparse in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) where cultural and contextual factors may influence victimization dynamics. We aimed to examine correlates of victimization and the prevalence of specific victimizing behaviors among youth in four LMIC. Data were included from 3,536 youth collected as part of the ongoing Young Lives Study cohorts in Ethiopia, India (Andhra Pradesh), Peru, and Vietnam who reported frequency of past-year exposure to nine bullying behaviors at age 15. We calculated both total victimization scores and subtype victimization scores (physical, verbal, relational, and property) by summing the frequencies of experiencing each behavior and used hurdle modeling to examine, separately by country, associations between three demographic correlates (sex, urban/rural setting, and school enrollment) and both total and subtype victimization scores, adjusting for clustered sampling. Mean past-year victimization scores were 11.1 in Ethiopia, 13.4 in India, 14.9 in Peru, and 12.0 in Vietnam, indicating that the average youth in Ethiopia reported two victimization experiences in the past year, up to nearly six in Peru. With the exception of Peru, direct victimization was higher among boys compared with girls, whereas relational victimization was not associated with sex. Physical bullying was less common than other forms of bullying in Ethiopia, Peru, and Vietnam but had a similar frequency as other forms in India. The different patterns in victimization experiences across the samples suggest that culture and/or context may influence victimization dynamics and highlights the need to better understand patterns and variation of bullying victimization in LMIC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3767-3790
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number19-20
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • adolescence
  • bullying
  • international
  • peer victimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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