Television Viewing and Forms of Bullying among Adolescents from Eight Countries Academic Article uri icon


  • PURPOSE: Based on theories suggesting that frequent television viewers act and react in hostile, malicious, malevolent, or verbally aggressive ways rather than being physically violent, the present study investigates relationships between television viewing and different forms of bullying. METHODS: Multilevel regression models were estimated based on cross-sectional data from 31,177 adolescents aged 11, 13, and 15 years from Canada, Estonia, Israel, Latvia, Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, and the United States who participated in the 2001-2002 Health Behavior in School-aged Children Survey. RESULTS: Although all different forms of bullying were associated with television viewing in bivariate analyses, only the verbal forms (i.e. "calling mean names" and "spreading rumors") remained significant in multiple regression models. These relationships were observed consistently in all eight participating countries. However, the association between television viewing and physical forms of bullying such as kicking, pushing, or shoving around, varied across countries. In most weekend TV viewing cultures, frequent television viewers were prone to kick or push another student in addition to verbal forms of bullying, which was not the case in weekday viewing cultures. CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate the importance of limiting adolescents' time engaged in unsupervised television watching, and the need to motivate adolescents to engage in joint family activities or organized after-school activities.


  • Kuntsche, Emmanuel
  • Pickett, William
  • Overpeck, Mary
  • Craig, Wendy
  • Boyce, William
  • de Matos, Margarida Gaspar

publication date

  • December 2006