Bullying Victimization and Life Satisfaction Among Rural Left-Behind Children in China: A Cross-Sectional Study

Yide Yang, Chanjuan Zheng, Ming Xie, Shuqian Yuan, Yuan Zeng, Meiling Zhou, Shuzhen Huang, Yulian Zhu, Xiangli Ye, Zhiyong Zou*, Ying Wang*, Julien Steven Baker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)



This study aimed to evaluate the associations between bullying victimization and life satisfaction in primary school children and also investigate the interactive effects of left-behind status and bullying victimization on life satisfaction. 

Materials and Methods: 

Bullying victimization was measured using the Chinese version of the revised Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire. Life satisfaction was assessed using the Multidimensional Students' Life Satisfaction Scale (MSLSS). Life satisfaction is composed of five domains, namely, family, school, friends, environment, and self-satisfaction. Left-behind status of rural children was defined as one or both their parents migrating to working in cities. The data were analyzed using Mann–Whitney U tests, Chi-square tests, and multivariate linear and logistic regression analyses. 


A total of 810 primary school children were involved, of which 8.5% reported bullying victimization, and 44.3% were left-behind children (LBC). We found that bullying victimization was negatively associated with all domains of life satisfaction (all p < 0.05). With further left-behind status-stratified analysis, we found that negative association between bullying victimization and friend satisfaction was more profound in the LBC group than in the non-LBC group [b(SE)= −0.133 (0.03) vs. −0.061 (0.026) for LBC and non-LBC, respectively, p < 0.05]. When further interaction analysis was conducted, we identified interaction effects between left-behind status and bullying victimization on friend satisfaction (pinteraction = 0.048). Similar interaction effect between bullying victimization and left-behind status on school satisfaction was also found (pinteraction = 0.004). 


Bullying victimization was associated with low life satisfaction (including lower family, friends, school, self, and environment satisfaction). There were significant interactions between left-behind status and bullying victimization on friend satisfaction, as well as school satisfaction. Left-behind status of children may exaggerate the impact of bullying victimization on friends/school satisfaction rating.

Original languageEnglish
Article number671543
JournalFrontiers in Pediatrics
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

User-Defined Keywords

  • bullying victimization
  • interactive effects
  • left behind children
  • life satisfaction
  • primary school


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