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08 November 2019

Prevalence and correlates of bullying victimisation and perpetration in a nationally representative sample of Australian youth

This study estimated the national prevalence of bullying victimisation, perpetration and combined victim-perpetration experiences and examined the mental health outcomes of bullying in a representative population-based sample of Australian young people aged 11-17 years. Bullying is frequently experienced by Australian adolescents, with a 12-month prevalence of bullying victimisation of 13.3%, perpetration 1.6% and victim-perpetration 1.9%. All forms of involvement in bullying were associated with increased risk of psychological distress, emotional and behavioural problems, substance use, self-harm and attempted suicide. Victimisation and victim-perpetration were associated with youth-reported major depressive disorder. There were also significant associations between bullying involvement and parent-reported diagnoses of major depressive disorder, any anxiety disorder and any externalising disorder.