A new systematic review published by researchers from the University of Warwick, examines whether socioeconomic status (SES) can be used to identify which schools or children are at greatest risk of bullying. They found that low SES was associated with increased odds of being a victim or a bully-victim (children who are victimised by their peers, but who also bully other children).
A total of 28 studies met the authors’ inclusion criteria, and these all reported an association between roles in school bullying (victim, bully, and bully-victim) and measures of SES. The review found that while victims and bully-victims were more likely to come from low SES backgrounds, SES was a poor predictor of bullying others. Bullying did not appear to be socially patterned, but occurred across all SES strata at fairly similar rates.
In practical terms, the authors note that their data provides little new information in terms of preventing bullying, but suggest that bullying prevention interventions should target all children, not just those from poorer households.
Source: Socioeconomic Status and Bullying: A Meta-Analysis (2014), American Journal of Public Health, 104(6).