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School Bullying Among Adolescents in the United States: Physical, Verbal, Relational, and Cyber

Wang, J.,
Iannotti, R. J.,
Nansel, T. R.
Year Published: 2009
Journal Article
Journal of Adolescent Health, 45(2009); 368-375; 2009
Intramural Research Program of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

These authors examined four forms of school bullying behaviors among US adolescents and their association with sociodemographic characteristics, parental support, and friends. Data for 7,182 youth in grades 6-10 were obtained from the 2005 Health Behavior in School-Aged Children survey. Participants completed measures of physical, verbal, relational, and cyber forms of bullying. The prevalence of having been involved in bullying others, being bullied, or both at least once in the last 2 months was 20.8 percent for physical, 53.6 percent for verbal, 51.4 percent for relational, and 13.6 percent for electronic bullying. Boys were more involved in physical or verbal bullying, whereas girls were more involved in relational bullying. Boys were more likely to be cyber bullies, whereas girls were more likely to be cyber victims. African-American adolescents were involved in more bullying (physical, verbal, or cyber) but less victimization (verbal or relational). Higher parental support was associated with lessinvolvement across all forms and classifications of bullying. Having more friends was associated with more bullying and less victimization for physical, verbal, and relational forms, but was not associated with cyber bullying.

Address correspondence to: Jing Wang, Ph.D., National Institutes of Health, 6100 Executive Boulevard, Bethesda, MD 20892; E-mail: <>; Website:
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