Prevalence of bullying victimisation among primary school children in South Africa: a population-based study
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Objectives: Bullying victimisation (BV) among children in South Africa has been identified as a major public health concern. While several studies report on the prevalence rates of BV, there is currently a dearth of research that reports on the prevalence of BV among a national sample of primary school children. This study determines the prevalence rates of BV among a nationally representative sample of school-going children in South Africa across provinces, age, and gender. The sample comprised 7067 children (boys=45.6%; girls=54.4%) between the ages of 10–12-years attending 61 primary schools across the nine provincial regions of South Africa. Results: In terms of ‘being hit’ by other children, percentages range from 22.55% (North West) to 33.34% (Free State). Children in Gauteng (33.59%) and Limpopo (38.54%) had the highest percentage of children being ‘left out’ or excluded. Additionally, across all provinces more than 30% of children reported that they had been ‘called unkind names’. Across gender, boys are more likely to experience all three forms of BV (being hit, left out, and called unkind names). The findings further indicate that 10-year-olds reported being ‘hit’ and ‘left out’, whereas a greater percentage of 12-year-olds reported ‘being called unkind names’ (44.28%).