Background: Although a widespread problem, victimisation research on primary school children is limited, especially in disadvantaged regions. The aim of the current research was to address this absence in the literature with the analysis of the first wave data from a longitudinal study as part of the ‘Healthy Schools’ programme in a disadvantaged urban region.
Method: The current study explored victimisation incidences among 458 seven to twelve year old Irish primary school children, and associations with depression, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and social support.
Results: Victimisation frequency (33.8%) was consistent with recent literature, with scores positively correlating with depression levels. On the stand-alone victimisation question, victims scored lower on all HRQoL subscales compared to non-victims. Further categorisation of victimisation behaviours revealed that frequent-victims scored lower on four of these subscales, compared to non-victims.
Conclusion: Although from an area considered to be disadvantaged, rates of victimisation were consistent with data from more affluent areas. Results stress an importance on specific bullying behaviours when measuring victimisation rates, along with corresponding health consequences. Future research should continue to adopt the behaviour based assessment of victimisation to provide an overall picture of the problem.