This study aimed to investigate the global association of grade repetition with bullying victimization in a large-scale school-based cross-sectional study. We used the latest global data from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2018. PISA 2018 was conducted between March and August 2018 in 80 countries and economies among students aged 15–16 years attending secondary education. The students reported their experiences of repeating a grade at any time point before the survey and of being bullied in the past 12 months. We observed that, globally, both boys and girls who repeat a grade are at increased risk of being bullied compared with promoted peers, but girls may experience higher risks than boys of specific types of bullying associated with repeating a grade. These findings provide evidence for the association of grade repetition with bullying victimization. Sex differences in risk of experiencing some types of bullying suggest that tailored interventions for girls who repeat a grade may be warranted.
PLOS Medicine, 18 (11): e1003846 (2021)
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