Methods: This study used 2015 Programme for International Student Assessment(PISA) data, an international cross-sectional survey including self-reported data of students in five Asian regions (NChina=9,631, NHong Kong=5,060, NJapan=5,854, NSouth Korea=5,499, NTaipei=7,590) and the US (NUS=4,658). First, latent profile analysis was conducted six questionnaire items to investigate subgroups of bullying victimization in each region using . Second, multivariate regression models analyzed how membership in latent groups of victimization is associated with school connectedness, and how parents’ interests about their children’s school experience moderate this relationship in each region. The dependent, independent, and moderating variables were school connectedness (average score of 6 items), latent subgroups of victimization, and parental interest (average score of 4 items), respectively. Socio-economic and demographic covariates were also considered.
Results: Four latent profiles were identified for all countries, with the exception of Japan (five profiles). All regions contained “Very Low”, “Low”, and “Medium” risk groups, with an additional one or two “Selective” risk groups. The least victimized group (“Very Low”) represented the largest proportion of the sample for all regions (67.6%-88.13%).
There were differences between the US and Asian regions: The item ‘got hit or pushed around’ was frequent in the US’s “High” group, whereas ‘made fun of me’ and ‘threatened’ were frequent in Asian regions.
The association between latent profiles and school connectedness varied across regions: Compared to the “Very Low” group, school connectedness was lower in the “Medium” group (Taipei), the “Low” group (Japan, US), and “Selective” groups (Taipei, Japan, US). School connectedness did not vary across latent profiles of victimization in South Korea and China.
The moderating role of parental interest in bullying victimization profiles and school connectedness relationship also differed across regions. The moderating effect was found in the “Medium” group in the US, but in the “Selective” groups in Asian regions.
Conclusions and Implications: This study found similarities and differences in latent profiles of bullying victimization and its association with school connectedness across regions. Bullying victimization experience differed between the US and Asian regions. Despite regional and cultural differences, a common finding was that any subgroup of victimization experience may lower the victim’s school connectedness compared to children in the “Very Low” risk group. This implies that victimized adolescents are in need of intervention for promoting school connectedness that considers their regional and cultural background. Parental interest as a protective factor also should be considered in designing cultural-specific interventions.