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Victims of Bullying Among Students With a Disability or Chronic Illness and Their Peers: A Cross-National Study Between Ireland and France

      Abstract

      Purpose

      To explore bullying victimization among French and Irish students with a disability or chronic illness (D/CI), considering individual, social, and family factors. We investigated this issue in France and Ireland because of the documented differences between these two countries on relevant contextual factors.

      Methods

      Data from 12,048 students aged 11, 13, and 15 years (50.1% were boys) as part of the cross-national study 2006 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children were analyzed. Self-completion questionnaires were administered in classrooms; information on socio-demographic characteristics, bullying involvement, D/CI, school participation, social network, and family were collected. Multivariate logistic regressions were performed with individual, social, and family cofactors.

      Results

      Overall, the prevalence of bullying victimization was significantly higher in France compared with Ireland (34.2% [33.1–35.5] and 25.9% [24.5–27.4, respectively]). Youngest were more likely to report victimization; however, no gender differences were observed. In both countries, students with D/CI were significantly more likely to report that they have been bullied compared with students without D/CI, and a significant additional risk of being bullied was found when students reported D/CI with restriction in school participation. Regardless of country and D/CI status, being bullied was significantly associated with weaker social support and difficulty of communication with fathers, with even stronger associations found among students with D/CI.

      Conclusion

      Adolescents with D/CI are more likely to be victimized than their peers, with a similar risk in both countries. Besides individual, social and family factors are consistently associated to bullying victimization across countries. These results will guide future antibullying prevention programs.

      Keywords

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