WH&Y authors: Professor Fiona Brooks

Citation: Chester, K.L., Spencer, N.H., Whiting, L. and Brooks, F.M. (2017), Association Between Experiencing Relational Bullying and Adolescent Health‐Related Quality of Life. J School Health, 87: 865-872.



Background: Bullying is a public health concern for the school‐aged population, however, the health outcomes associated with the subtype of relational bullying are less understood. The purpose of this study was to examine the association between relational bullying and health‐related quality of life (HRQL) among young people.

Methods: This study utilized data from 5335 students aged 11‐15 years, collected as part of the 2014 Health Behavior in School‐aged Children (HBSC) study conducted in England. Data were collected through self‐completed surveys. Multilevel analysis modeled the relationship between relational bullying and HRQL. Demographic variables (sex, age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status) and other forms of bullying were controlled for.

Results: Experiencing relational bullying had a significant negative association with HRQL whilst controlling for other forms of bullying. Weekly relational bullying resulted in an estimated 5.352 (95% confidence interval (CI), −4.178, −6.526) decrease in KIDSCREEN‐10 score compared with those not experiencing relational bullying.

Conclusion: Experiencing relational bullying is associated with poorer HRQL. The findings question the perception of relational bullying as being a predominantly female problem. Girls were more likely to report experiencing relational bullying, but the negative association with HRQL was equal for boys and girls.

About The Authors


WH&Y Chief Investigator Professor Fiona Brooks passed away on 13 January 2023, after a short ill...