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Byron Handy
Byron Handy

How to Use the Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire (OBVQ) to Assess Bullying in Schools


How to Use the Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire (OBVQ) to Assess Bullying in Schools




Bullying is a serious problem that affects the mental health and well-being of children and adolescents around the world. According to the Global Burden of Disease study 2017, bullying victimization is associated with anxiety disorders and major depressive disorder in school-aged children and adolescents (Stanaway et al. 2018).


Therefore, it is important to identify and prevent bullying in schools, as well as to evaluate the effectiveness of anti-bullying programs and policies. However, measuring bullying is not an easy task, as it involves different forms, frequencies, locations, and consequences of aggressive behavior.


olweus bully victim questionnaire pdf



One of the most widely used instruments to measure bullying is the Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire (OBVQ), developed by Dan Olweus, a pioneer researcher in the field of bullying prevention. The OBVQ is a self-report measure that assesses both perpetration and victimization related to seven specific forms of bullying: verbal, exclusion, physical, spreading false rumors, personal items stolen/damaged, threats/coercion, and harassment related to race (Olweus 1996).


The OBVQ consists of 40 questions that ask students about their exposure to various types of bullying or harassment in the past couple of months, as well as their attitudes toward bullying and the reactions of their teachers, peers, and parents. The OBVQ can be completed anonymously by students in a classroom setting, and it takes about 15 minutes to complete.


The OBVQ has been validated in different countries and cultures, and it has shown good reliability and validity for assessing bullying among children and adolescents (Green et al. 2013; Smith et al. 2016). The OBVQ can be used to estimate the prevalence of bullying in schools, to identify students who are at risk of being bullied or bullying others, to monitor changes in bullying over time, and to evaluate the impact of anti-bullying interventions.


If you are interested in using the OBVQ in your school or research project, you can download a PDF version of the questionnaire from this link. You can also find more information about the OBVQ and its applications in this article and this study.


The OBVQ is a useful tool for measuring bullying in schools and helping students who are affected by it. By using the OBVQ, you can contribute to creating a safer and more positive school environment for everyone.


How to Administer the OBVQ in Schools




The OBVQ can be administered by teachers or researchers who want to measure bullying in their schools. The questionnaire can be given to students from grades 3 to 12, and it is recommended to use a group administration in a classroom setting. The questionnaire should be completed anonymously by students, and they should be assured that their answers will not be revealed to anyone.


The OBVQ can be administered either on paper or online, depending on the availability of resources and the preference of the users. The online version of the OBVQ has some advantages, such as saving time and paper, facilitating data entry and analysis, and reducing errors and missing values. However, the online version also requires access to computers and internet connection, which may not be available in some schools or regions.


The OBVQ takes about 15 minutes to complete, and it should be administered during a regular school day, preferably in the morning or early afternoon. The students should be instructed to read each question carefully and answer honestly, based on their own experiences in the past couple of months. The students should also be encouraged to ask for clarification if they do not understand any question or term.


How to Interpret and Use the OBVQ Results




The OBVQ results can provide valuable information about the prevalence and types of bullying in schools, as well as the attitudes and perceptions of students toward bullying and school climate. The OBVQ results can also help identify students who are involved in bullying, either as victims, perpetrators, or both (bully-victims).


The OBVQ has two main subscales: victimization and perpetration. Each subscale has seven items that correspond to different forms of bullying: verbal, exclusion, physical, spreading false rumors, personal items stolen/damaged, threats/coercion, and harassment related to race. The students are asked to indicate how often they have been bullied or have bullied others in each form, using a five-point Likert scale ranging from 0 (never) to 4 (several times a week).


The scores for each subscale can be calculated by adding up the responses for each item. The scores can range from 0 to 28 for each subscale. Higher scores indicate higher levels of victimization or perpetration. The scores can also be used to classify students into four groups: non-bully-nonvictim (scores of 0 on both subscales), victim (scores of 1 or more on victimization subscale and 0 on perpetration subscale), bully (scores of 1 or more on perpetration subscale and 0 on victimization subscale), and bully-victim (scores of 1 or more on both subscales).


The OBVQ results can be used for different purposes, such as:


  • Estimating the prevalence and frequency of bullying in schools



  • Comparing bullying rates across schools, regions, or countries



  • Identifying risk factors and protective factors for bullying involvement



  • Evaluating the impact of anti-bullying programs and policies



  • Providing feedback and recommendations to school staff, parents, and students



  • Designing interventions and support for students who are affected by bullying



The OBVQ results should be interpreted with caution and in context, taking into account the characteristics of the sample, the administration method, the response rate, and the validity and reliability of the instrument. The OBVQ results should also be complemented with other sources of information, such as observations, interviews, focus groups, or reports from teachers, parents, or peers. 0efd9a6b88


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