The relationship between stress and bullying among secondary school students

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Background: In Hong Kong, secondary school students face high levels of stress due to the examination oriented curricula. According to Sun (2006), some secondary school students cannot bear the pressure when facing the examinations, and some of them may exhibit destructive behaviors such as suicide and bullying. Therefore, cases of school bullying break out frequently (Ming Pao, 2003, 2004). Moreover, school alienation contributes to the risk of bullying while support from teachers and peers decreases one’s tendency towards bullying (Natvig et al., 2001). 
Aims: The objective of this study is to investigate the relationship between students’ stress and bullying. Based on an insight into prevention of bullying in school, some applicable strategies to prevent students’ academic and interpersonal stress will be suggested. 
Sample: Altogether 340 Fung Kai No. 1 Secondary School students, 200 boys and 140 girls, participated in the present study. 
Methods: Students completed and returned two questionnaires: the Subjective Stress Scale (Li and Ng, 1992) and the Bullying Checklist (Chui, 2001), in class. 
Results: The results show that girls felt more stressed than boys in the family, and they also exhibited more social bullying than boys did. Both interpersonal and personal stress are factors leading to bullying. 
Conclusion: In the present study, girls felt more stressed than boys in the family. They were eager to be more independent from the family. This arouses conflict between parents and daughter. It was found that Form 3 perceived higher levels of academic and personal stress than Form 1 students. It is understood that they were experiencing identity formation and making decisions on future study in art or science. Provision of a one-week orientation program for Form 1 students before the commencement of the school term is recommended. Finally, workshops for parents were introduced to enhance parent-child relationships and to help them communicate effectively with their children. 
總結:學校可於入學前提供約一星期的中一新生適應課程,讓他們多了解有關中學生的生活,包括學習、人際關係、課堂的適應、遇上困難時如何求助等。建立家長支援中心提供講座及情緒支援,增強家校合作,讓家長、學校、學生三方面作有效的溝通。 Copyright © 2009 Hong Kong Teachers' Association.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-42
JournalNew Horizons in Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2009


Leung, C.-H., & To, H.-K. (2009). The relationship between stress and bullying among secondary school students. New Horizons in Education, 57(1), 33-42.


  • Stress
  • Bullying
  • Prevention
  • Alt. title: 中學生的壓力與欺凌行為的相關研究
  • 壓力
  • 欺凌
  • 預防


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