Bullied at home and at school: relationship to behaviour problems and unhappiness

Publication type

Book Chapter


Dieter Wolke and Alexandra J. Skew

Publication date

Series Number

CH. 4


This study investigated bullying involvement at home (sibling bullying) and at school in a representative sample of families. Sibling bullying was found to be wide spread and more frequent than bullying exposure by peers in school. Sex differences were small for sibling bullying and contrary to previous evidence, not found for school bullying. Family and sibling type had some but only a small impact on sibling or school bullying. While prevalence of sibling bullying was  high across adolescence, school bullying reduced from 10-15 years of age. Contrary to some previous reports, not only physical but also relational bullying reduced during adolescence in school. Involvement in bullying at home between siblings and victimisation at school was related to increased unhappiness and more behaviour problems. We found a dose-response relationship with children who were both bullied at home and school had the highest odds of behaviour problems (up to 14 times increased) and were the least happy compared to those not victimised in either context.


Young People, Well Being and Social Behaviour