London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

The incidence and meaning of peer bullying in a multi-ethnic school

Author(s) Paula Alonqueo and Cristina del Barrio  
Publisher CiCe Publications  
Year 2003  
Editor Europe of Many Cultures, Alastair Ross Ed.  
Language English  
Age group -  
Bullying between peers at school is a form of aggression between students, characterised by an asymmetric victim-aggressor relationship, typically iterative behaviour and with the intention to hurt (Farrington, 1993; Olweus, 1993). There are both short and long-term effects for the victim are observed, such as a decrease in self-esteem, a rise in anxiety, and difficulties in social integration. Abuses are manifested in such forms as social exclusion (ignoring the victim, not letting her/him participate), verbal aggression which can be direct (insulting the victim, calling her/him names) and/or indirect (spreading rumours), direct physical aggression (hitting, pushing) or indirect physical aggression (hiding, breaking and/or stealing the victim's property), making threats (verbally/with arms, blackmail, etc.) or sexual harassment. Typically, help is almost always absent: observers do nothing, or even may reinforce the aggressors; adults ignore or minimise the maltreatment. (del Barrio et al. 2001, 2003a; Olweus, 1993). Bullying is interpreted as the result of an interaction of factors from different contexts related to students (Bronfenbrenner & Morris, 1998), who stress the importance of considering it as a group phenomenon.

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