Pathways from bullying victimization to alcohol and tobacco use in South Korean adolescents: Findings from a nationally representative sample

Dong Ha Kim, Jun Sung Hong, Hsi Sheng Wei, Jeoung Min Lee, Hyeouk Chris Hahm, Dorothy L. Espelage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Tobacco and alcohol use among South Korean youths who are victims of bullying behavior is not well understood. This study examines the link between bullying victimization and alcohol and tobacco use through the mediating roles of internalizing behavior, school disengagement, and low academic performance in South Korean adolescents (ages 11–13 years). Method: Data are from the Korea Children and Youth Panel Study, a nationally representative sample of South Korean adolescents. Participants in the current analyses included 2,028 students from 78 randomly selected middle schools. Sociodemographic variables, bullying victimization, social withdrawal behavior, depression, school activity, school rules, academic achievement, and alcohol and tobacco use were measured. We used structural equation modeling to examine the relationships among bullying victimization, specified mediators, and alcohol and tobacco use. Results: Bullying victimization was associated with an increased risk of using alcohol and tobacco and was mediated by social withdrawal, depression, school disengagement, and low academic performance. Conclusions: Bullying victimization may be a risk factor for alcohol and tobacco use, particularly among youth who experience internalizing problems and low levels of school engagement. School-based preventive interventions aimed at reducing victimization and substance use should address these social and school factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-411
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of the Society for Social Work and Research
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the Society for Social Work and Research. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Alcohol and tobacco use
  • Bullying victimization
  • Internalizing behaviors
  • South Korea

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