Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted at three secondary schools in a big city in Vietnam in 2020 using a convenience sample of secondary students from 6th to 9th grades with age from 12 to 15 years old (N=482). The questionnaire of this study was developed to examine bullying situation at secondary schools in Vietnam. The survey questionnaire included demographic information and questions related to the current situation of bullying and responses to the problem. Psychometric tests showed that the questionnaire is a valid and reliable tool with Cronbach's alpha of 0.70. A multiple linear regression analysis was conducted to examine the relationship between physical bullying and support from peers and teachers while controlling for demographic characteristics.
Results: Results of the multiple linear regression analysis showed that female participants had significantly lower physical bullying scores, in reference to male counterparts (B=-.30, SE=.10, β=-.14, p<.05). Similarly, lower scores reflecting physical bullying was associated with older participants (B=-.11, SE=.04, β=-.11, p<.05). With the presence of peer support and teacher support variables, the model was statistically significant, (F (4, 477)=6.922, p<.001), indicating that the more support from close friends (B=-.17, SE=.06, β=-.14, p<.05), and support from teachers (B=-.05, SE=.03, β=-.10, p<.05) the less likely the participants experience physical bullying.
Conclusions and Implications: The findings of this study emphasize the importance of peer and teacher support in lessening physical bullying among secondary school students in Vietnam. Research has shown that school-based bullying prevention programs with active participation of teachers and students are effective for bullying prevention at schools. It is, therefore, recommended that schools may implement such programs and provide teachers with concrete guidance on dealing with bullying behavior when occurred. Importantly, research has indicated that pro-social activities are significantly associated with deceased incidents of bullying. Thus, it is recommended that schools and teachers regularly encourage active participation of students in pro-social activities because such activities will help establish close relationships among students and between teachers and students, which ultimately contributes to reduction in bullying behavior. The combination of peer and teacher support would make a significant contribution to lessening bullying behavior among teenagers in Vietnam.