BACKGROUND: To compare the strength of the association between peer victimization at school and subjective health according to the disability or chronic illness (D/CI) status of students across countries. METHODS: This study used data from 55 030 students aged 11, 13 and 15 years from 11 countries participating in the 2005-06 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children survey. Self-completed questionnaires were administered in classrooms. Multivariate models of logistic regression (controlled for confounding factors and countries) were used to investigate differences in the association between peer victimization and poor subjective health according to the D/CI status. RESULTS: Overall, 13.5% of the students reported having been bullied at least two or three times a month. The percentage of victims was significantly higher among those reporting D/CI than among others in all countries studied. Victims of bullying were more likely to report poor self-rated health, low life satisfaction and multiple health complaints. However, there were no differences in the associations between peer victimization and subjective health indicators according to the D/CI status. CONCLUSIONS: In all countries studied, students reporting D/CI were more likely to report being victims of bullying. Victims of bullying reported more negative subjective health outcomes regardless of their D/CI status. Although inclusive education is currently a major topic of educational policies in most countries, additional efforts should be made to improve the quality of the integration of students with D/CI.
European Journal of Public Health, 2013, Vol 23, Issue 3, p. 421-426