The objectives of this study are to assess the association between childhood bullying and preference-based health-related quality of life (QoL) in Australian school children and their parents and estimate quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) associated with bullying chronicity. Children aged 8–10 years completed the child health utilities (CHU-9D), while parents completed the Australian quality of life (AQoL-8D). Children were grouped into four categories of bullying involvement (no bullying, victim, perpetrator, or both perpetrator and victim) based on the Revised Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire. Parental data were compared across two bullying involvement groups (bullying vs. no bullying). QALYs were calculated for children over two years and comparisons made based on the number of assessments where bullying was reported (baseline, 1- and 2-year follow up). Children who were involved in bullying (victims and/or perpetrators) reported statistically significantly lower mean utility scores compared to children who were not involved in bullying. Parents whose child was involved in bullying had significantly lower mean utility scores compared to parents of children not involved with bullying. There appeared to be a dose–response relationship, with higher QALY losses associated with increasing frequency of reported bullying. Bullying among Australian school children was associated with significantly lower preference-based QoL for themselves and their parents. This study also confirmed the significant burden of disease for bullying among children measured by an incremental decrease in QALY with an increasing chronicity of bullying over time.
- preference-based quality of life
- quality-adjusted life years