The nature of bullying in South Korean schools
The aims of this present research are to expand our general understanding of bullying
behaviour and to advance our knowledge about bullying among Korean pupils. With
the purpose of exploring the nature and features of Korean bullying several studies were
carried out, including one nationwide survey.
At the beginning of this research, a sample (N=160) of Korean middle school pupils
was selected in order to define the most appropriate term for bullying. The results
confinned that wang-ta is the most appropriate term for Korean bUllying which can
equivalently used for bullying in English speaking nations. With the tenn selected and
two pilot studies a large-scale study (N=2,926) was carried out. The results showed that
5.80/0 of Korean pupils suffered by being bullied whereas 10.2%) pupils reported that
they bully other peers.
Results from the prevIOUS two studies indicated that there are different stages of
victimisation in Korean schools. To investigate the stages of victimisation, 424 Korean
pupils were selected. The results confinned that there are different levels of
victimisation and each level is named differently according to the level of victimisation.
Moreover, in order to explore different stages of wang-ta, and study features of Korean
bullying, 10 pupils, who quit school mainly due to being bullied, were interviewed. The
participants well described the relationship between those three tenns and their
victimisation and a pattern of victimisation has been found.
Infonnation and knowledge concerning the nature and features of wang-ta can be useful
to correctional practitioners and policy makers as well as important to conduct
comparative studies. Moreover, features of Korean bullying can help practitioners in
order to better help victims in schools.