Parenting practices, bullying perpetration, and conduct problems among Ukrainian children

Viktor Burlaka, Jun Sung Hong, Robert Thornberg, Oleksii Serdiuk, Vitalii Panok, Heorhii Danylenko, Nadiya Ilchyshyn, Julia Burlaka, Will Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Positive and consistent parenting practices are associated with the positive mental health of children. However, little is understood about the implications of the Russian military invasion on family dynamics in Ukraine. Objective: This research aims to estimate the prevalence of childhood conduct disorder (CD) and bullying perpetration and their association with parenting practices among Ukrainian children living in proximity to the war. Participants and setting: The sample included 2763 Ukrainian children ranging in age from 10 to 17 years (M = 12.6, SD = 1.23), 56.23 % girls. Children attended public secondary schools in Eastern Ukraine, mostly in Kharkiv and Kharkiv oblasts (regions). Methods: Children reported on sociodemographic characteristics, parenting practices, CD, and bullying perpetration using smartphones, computers, or tablets, at home or in school IT classrooms. Data were collected on a secure online platform. Results: Children reported teasing (23.68 %), spreading rumors (24.51 %), helping to harass (17.31 %), threatening to hurt or hit (21.65 %) other students, breaking rules (28.13 %), getting in fights (17.13 %), cheating (43.16 %), and being spanked by parents (30 %). Also, 1.83 % of girls and 3.43 % of boys met a borderline cutoff for CD. Lack of parent involvement was associated with increased CD and bullying risks. Poor parent monitoring, inconsistent discipline, and corporal punishment were associated with increasaed CD but not with bullying. CD mediated the association of poor monitoring, inconsistent discipline, and corporal punishment with bullying. Conclusion: Parental involvement, monitoring, consistent discipline, and avoidance of physical punishments are important practices that can reduce disruptive behavior and aggressive tendencies among Ukrainian children affected by the Russian war.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106508
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

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© 2023


  • Bullying perpetration
  • Conduct disorder
  • Parenting practices
  • Russian invasion


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