Background: Peer victimization has been recognized as a common social problem affecting children and adolescents in all parts of the world. This study aims to examine the prevalence of different types of peer victimization and to evaluate the associations between peer victimization and health correlates. Methods: Using a large population sample of 18,341 adolescents aged 15–17 years from 6 cities in China, this study estimated the prevalence of different types of peer victimization, addictive behaviors, and health-related variables with self-administrated questionnaires. A three-phase logistical regression analysis was conducted to investigate the associations between peer victimization and addictive behaviors as well as health-related factors among adolescents. Results: A total of 42.9% of the surveyed Chinese adolescents have been bullied by peers, with boys reporting higher rate on overt victimization (36.9%) and girls on relational forms (33.9%). School environment (34.7%) was the most frequent scene of peer violence, followed by neighborhood, family, and internet. Addictive behaviors except substance abuse were found related to higher possibility of peer victimization (aOR 1.21–1.73, P < 0.001). Peer victimization was significantly associated with more depressive symptoms, post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, and suicide ideation and deliberate self-harm (aOR 1.05–2.27, P < 0.001), and poorer self-esteem and health-related quality of life (aOR 0.95–0.97, P < 0.001). Conclusion: Possible explanations of the associations found in this study are discussed and implications for future services are raised.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health