Bullying and victimization of primary school children in England and Germany: Prevalence and school factors
Differences in definitions and methodologies for assessing bullying in primary school children between countries have precluded direct comparisons of prevalence rates and school factors related to bullying. A total of 2377 children in England (6-year-olds/Year 2: 1072; 8-year-olds/Year 4: 1305) and 1538 in Germany (8-year-olds/Year 2) were questioned individually using an identical standard interview. In both countries the types of bullying to victimize others were similar: boys were most often perpetrators, most bullies were also victims (bully/victims), most bullying occurred in playgrounds and the classroom, and SES and ethnicity only showed weak associations with bullying behaviour. Major differences were found in victimization rates with 24% of English pupils becoming victims every week compared with only 8% in Germany. In contrast, fewer boys in England engaged every week in bullying (2.5–4.5%) than German boys (7.5%), while no differences were found between girls. In England, children in smaller classes were more often victimized. Further study of the group of bully/victims, schooling differences in England vs. Germany and implications for prevention of bullying are discussed.