Previous research has shown that socio-economic status (SES) is associated with involvement in bullying, with children from disadvantaged backgrounds more likely to be victims of bullying and, to a lesser extent, also more likely to perpetrate bullying. However, it is not clear why disadvantage increases these risks. This scoping review will examine the research base on mediators and indirect effects linking SES disadvantage to bullying involvement. As bullying is a known risk factor for a wide range of mental and physical health and employment outcomes, this review will also examine bullying as the mediating variable between SES disadvantage and broader life outcomes.
A deeper understanding of the mechanisms that are, and are not, associated with children from low SES disadvantaged backgrounds being at elevated risk of bullying will inform and refine strategic interventions. Helping to dismantle this mechanism will reduce exposure to bullying, which is a major risk factor for poor social, emotional, academic and employment outcomes over the life course.