Age and Gender Differences and the Contribution of School Size and Type in the Prevalence of Bullying

  • Valeria Ivaniushina HSE University (St. Petersburg)
  • Darya Khodorenko HSE University (St. Petersburg)
  • Daniil Alexandrov HSE University (St. Petersburg)
Keywords: bullying, school climate, bullying assessment instruments, prevalence of bullying


This article looks into methodological issues in the assessment of bullying, providing cross-national bullying statistics and discussing the possible causes of essential variation in prevalence rate estimates. Individual- and school-level characteristics of bullying are described based on the results of a large-scale representative survey of school students (201 schools, 18 433 students) in Kaluga Oblast (Russia). Our findings show that 15.3% of all students in grades six through nine become victims of bullying during the school year, which is in line with the data obtained in the Health Behavior in School-Aged Children (HBSC), a WHO cross-national study, carried out on a nationally representative sample in Russia. In the age cohort analyzed, prevalence of bullying is the highest (19.4%) among sixth-graders and the lowest (11.1%) among ninth-graders. Girls and boys are bullied at approximately the same frequency, but boys are exposed more to physical abuse while girls are more likely to be victimized verbally and socially. Prevalence rates of bullying behavior vary dramatically across schools, from 0 to 40% of students in a school being exposed to bullying during the school year, yet the prevalence of bullying is unrelated to schools’ structural characteristics (type, urban/rural, size, socioeconomic status). The relationship between school climate and bullying is discussed in the article, and further avenues of research are outlined.


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How to Cite
Ivaniushina, Valeria, Darya Khodorenko, and Daniil Alexandrov. 2021. “Age and Gender Differences and the Contribution of School Size and Type in the Prevalence of Bullying”. Voprosy Obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no. 4 (December), 220-42.
Education Statistics and Sociology