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Background: Using the Chinese version of the Global School-based Health Survey (GSHS), this article describes the prevalence of being bullied among a nationally representative sample of Chinese students in grades 6-10 and explores the relationships between being bullied and selected indicators of psychosocial adjustment.
Methods: A total of 9015 students in middle schools in Beijing, Hangzhou, Wuhan, and Urumqi completed the Chinese version of the GSHS. Researchers analyzed the results from 2 questions about the frequency and form of being bullied and 11 questions about psychosocial adjustment. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression were used in the analysis.
Results: About 25.7% of middle school students reported being bullied on 1 or more of the past 30 days. Rates of being bullied were similar for males and females, but the forms of being bullied were different. Being bullied was significantly lower in Beijing than in the other 3 cities. There were significant psychosocial differences between students who had been bullied and students who had not been bullied. Students who had been involved in a physical fight, often felt lonely, or had considered suicide in the past 30 days were more likely to report being bullied. Students who thought that other students in their school were often kind and helpful, who felt parents often understood their troubles, or who were taught in school how to handle stress were less likely to report being bullied.
Conclusions: Being bullied is not uncommon in Chinese middle schools. Chinese schools typically place great emphasis on academic achievement, perhaps at the expense of the social climate of the school. Results indicated schools could implement changes to the school climate to reduce the likelihood of students’ being bullied.