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NATURE OF SCHOOL BULLYING AND WAYS OF INTERVENTION
Autonomic University of Madrid, Spain
University of Seville, Spain
is perverse when affecting children and adolescents. Perhaps it is even more to
detest when the author of this aggression is another child. Peer bullying is a
particular type of aggression, consisting of a harmful and long lasting
relationship of victimisation, paradoxically
based on a difference of power between peers. Being a kind of relationship often
hidden from adult's eyes, first studies on peer bullying attempted to identify
the characteristics of this kind of asymmetric relationship and its epidemiology
in different populations. New approaches to the phenomenon using various
methodologies and exploring new areas have been tried recently. At this
symposium, issues related to school bullying within the general frame of an
EC-funded Project are approached. Some presentations focus on bullying in the
minds of people at different ages, using various methods: autobiographical
narratives, interpretations of pictorial material containing a bullying story.
Other works look at intervention, as for instance how to solve conflicts by
means of mediation.
S-10-1.-CHILDREN'S AND ADOLESCENTS' REPRESENTATIONS OF PEER BULLYING THROUGH SCAN-BULLYING
Almeida, A., del Barrio*, C.
and Menesini**, E.
Instituto de Estudos da CrianÇa, Universidade do Minho, Braga, Portugal. *Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology, Autonomic University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain.**Department of Psyhology, University of Firenze, Firenze, Italy.
research in the area of peer bullying has primarily made use of questionnaire
surveys. Despite the relevance of this method for assessing the existence and
severity of bullying in different settings, other methods are currently being
developed in order to obtain a wider understanding of the subject’s
representations of bullying relationships. To this purpose, a psychological
instrument called SCAN-Bullying
(Scripted CArtoons Narratives on bullying) is proposed. This instrument consists
of a series of 15 cartoons, illustrating a prototypical story of peer bullying,
that aims to capture the many aspects of the phenomenon in a school setting. In
addition to the scripted-cartoon narrative, we developed an interview with the
aim of addressing the following questions: i) whether children think of the
story as related to bullying; ii) what kind of causes they attribute to
bullying; iii) what kind of emotional experience they attribute to the
characters of the story; iv) whether and in what way they relate to or
sympathise with the characters’ emotional states; v) what type of strategies
they would employ for coping with the distressing situations typically involved
in a bullying relationship. The results of the validation study of SCAN-Bullying
carried out in Braga (Portugal), Madrid (Spain) and
Florence (Italy) are presented. A total of 180 children were interviewed,
with equal numbers of children in the subgroups corresponding to age (9, 11 and
13 years), country and gender. Beyond the advantages of SCAN-Bullying
as methodological resource for exploring the cognition regarding bullying
relationships, the results show the improving narrative ability across the
age-groups. A target-effect in emotions attributed to aggressors and victims,
and a differentiation between these emotions and the interviewee’s experience
of those, are found especially in the eldest group of age. Age and target
effects are also apparent in the causal explanation of bullying. Interaction
effect of causation by aggressor, victim and social context was primarily found
in 13 year olds.
S-10.2.-SCHOOL BULLYING AND WORKPLACE BULLYING: ARE THERE ANY LINKS?
Singer, M., Smith, P.K., Cooper*, C.L.
and Hoel*, H.
Goldsmiths College, University of London, London, UK. *Manchester School of Management, UMIST, UK.
We aimed to examine whether reported roles in school bullying, and victimisation in the workplace, are connected; the influence of victim coping strategies; and sex differences. A questionnaire was given to 5288 adults in various workplace venues. We report on the analysis of two questions on school experiences (participant role; and coping strategies if bullied); and questions on workplace bullying (experiences of being bullied). We found a significant relationship between reported roles in school bullying, and experience of workplace victimisation. The highest risk of workplace victimisation was for those who were both bullies and victims at school (bully/victims), followed by those who were only victims. Reported coping strategies at school (for victims and bully/victims) were most frequently: trying to avoid the bullying (52%), ignoring (40%), fighting back (34%); getting help from a teacher was only reported by 6%. An analysis of relative risk of workplace bullying, given being a victim at school plus using various coping strategies, revealed an increased risk for the strategies ‘tried to make fun of it’, ‘did not really cope’ and also for ‘fighting back’. Regarding sex differences we found that women are at higher risk of getting bullied at work. This is the first study to report an association between school and workplace bullying. Victims at school are more at risk of workplace victimisation, but the especial risk for ‘bully/victims’ supports other indications that this particular category of school pupils should be a focus of concern. The findings also suggest that school pupils who consistently cannot cope with bullying, or fight back, or try to make fun of the bullying, are more at risk for later problems in the workplace.
S-10.3.-THE ORIGINS OF BULLYING AND VICTIMISATION IN THE PEER GROUP: ROLE DIVERSITY AND STABILITY
Monks, C., Smith, P.K. and Swettenham*,
Goldsmiths College, University of London, London U.K. *University College London, U.K.
We aimed to examine the use, reliability and stability of participant roles in bullying in young children. The roles taken in bullying were examined using interviews with children in reception/year 1 classes: 19 children aged 4-5 years, then 104 children aged 4-6 years. The interviews involved the use of a cartoon test depicting 6 participant roles, subsequently refined for use with the larger sample to include 4 roles (Bully, Victim, Defender, Bystander). Reliability for nominations was derived from within-class agreement on roles and stability was examined by test-retest agreement over 1 week and 2 months. For children as young as 4-6 years, Bully and Victim roles are reliably nominated; however, none of the other 4 Participant Roles identified in 12-13 year olds (Salmivalli et al 1996) and 7-10 year olds (Sutton, Smith & Swettenham 1999), are reliable at this age. The role of the Bully is already rather stable; although at this age the term Bullying may be used in an over-inclusive way, covering general aggression. Victim status is not stable over a 2 month period at this age. This in accord with the findings of Kochenderfer and Ladd (1996) who also report that Victim status is not a stable experience for most children between the ages of 4 and 7 years, although Boulton and Smith (1994) report that it is for many children by middle childhood. It is suggested that aggressive children try out a variety of targets when entering a new peer group (e.g. starting school) and then limit their aggression to fewer children on the basis of their reactions (Perry et al 1990). In contrast, Crick, Casas & Ku (1999) report remarkable stability of victimisation in kindergarteners (3-5 years old). We suggest that these findings may reflect the different methodologies employed by these studies. We conclude with a proposal for a developmental model for bully/victim relationships in school peer groups.
S-10.4.-FROM AGGRESSION TO MEDIATION: A SCHOOL BASE INTERVENTION
Fernández, I. and Villaoslada, E.
Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology, Autonomic University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain.
School life has become a public concern for
both, the scientific and the educational community. Violence, in its different
forms, and a wide range of conflicts are present in schools and new approaches
are needed to help solving them. When teachers were asked about the main
problems they found in their daily work, a
vast majority considered disruption as the most common. The second concern was
teacher-student confrontation and bullying came way behind on the teachers’
interest. However, when students are asked the same questions their main concern
becomes bullying, followed up by student teacher confrontation. A large number
of conflicts at school arise from the disruption that takes place during
classes. On the other hand, we know that bullying takes places in the hidden
arena of school life and is closely related to daily interaction among students.
Knowing that interpersonal relationships are at the heart of most conflicts both
for disruption and for bullying incidents, the intervention has to aim towards
creating rightful relationships between students and teachers and in between
students. The mediation at school proposal applies the formal process of
conflict resolution for interpersonal conflicts within the school organization.
The intervention which is nowadays taking place in the community of Madrid
offers an alternative approach to traditional disciplinary measures in order to
solve conflicts at schools. There are seventeen Secondary schools participating
in the institutional programme of the CAM. All of these schools receive training
on conflict resolution strategies, active listening and the mediation process.
School mediators which can be either teachers, students, parents or
administrative staff, become a resource for any member of the community willing
to receive help in an interpersonal conflict.The mediation strategies allow
participation, voice, responsability and non violent solution for the members of
the community and specially for students. At the same time, for the school as a
whole, it incorporates solidarity and tolerance as an active value and an
educational aim to stride for. It allows and demands structural changes in the
school organization which favour
and priorize conflict resolution philosophy over more competing, alienating and
S-10.5.-BULLYING IN SPANISH SECONDARY SCHOOLS*
del Barrio, C., Martín, E., Fernández,
I., Montero, I. and Gutiérrez, H
Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology, Autonomic University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain.
illustration of the alarm climate existing in contemporary societies relating to
peer violence in school settings, the Spanish Ombudsman was requested by the
Spanish Parliament to present a Report on this subject. The Spanish Commission
of UNICEF was consulted and this institution asked for the participation of the
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid research group working in the European Bullying
Project. Data presented refer to the empirical study on the prevalence and
features of bullying and social exclusion carried out on a national scale in 300
secondary schools representing all the Spanish administrative communities. A
sample of 3000 scholars, half girls half boys was administered an ad hoc
questionnaire, and 300 academic counsellors were administered a different one.
Aims were: a) identifying the actual incidence of the phenomenon differentiating
the many types of aggressive behaviours from the subjects' point of view in
their role of victim, aggressor or observer; b) establishing the gender and age
profile of the aggressor and the scenarios in which abuses take place; c) to
know the reactions of victims and observers, and the role of teachers in
detecting and solving the conflict and d) to examine the possible influence of
variables such as grade, gender, type of habitat and school, and autonomous
community. Results point at the existence of a diversity of bullying acts in
every secondary school, taking place in a variety of scenarios depending on the
type of behaviour. The level of bullying is lower than in other European
countries, especially of the most severe types of maltreatment. However, two
particular kinds are intensively mentioned by the Spanish scholars: insulting
and social exclusion. The gender difference found in other studies, is confirmed
in the Spanish case, showing a phenomenon mostly protagonized by boys, with the
exception of the indirect verbal maltreatment, related mostly to girls as
victims as well as aggressors, and social exclusion, equally present among girls
Report on School Violence (1999) Elaborated by
C. del Barrio, E. Martín, I. Fernández, L. Hierro, I. Montero, E. Ochaíta
& H. Gutiérrez, as requested by the Spanish Commission of UNICEF,