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Social behavior and peer relationships of victims, bully-victims, and bullies in kindergarten.
J Child Psychol Psychiatry 2006; 47(1):45-57JC

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Although the prevalence of bully/victim problems in school-age children and adolescents has been investigated in many countries, only a few studies have been carried out among younger children. This study examines social behaviors and peer relationships of children involved in bully/victim problems in kindergarten.

METHODS

Three hundred and forty-four five- to seven-year-old children participated. Children were categorized as victims, bully-victims, bullies, and non-involved by means of teacher ratings and peer nominations. Teachers completed questionnaires on children's social behavior patterns. Peer relationships were assessed by means of peer nominations and social cluster mapping.

RESULTS

Compared to non-involved children, victims were more submissive, had fewer leadership skills, were more withdrawn, more isolated, less cooperative, less sociable, and frequently had no playmates. As expected, bullies and bully-victims were generally more aggressive than their peers. In addition, bully-victims were less cooperative, less sociable, and more frequently had no playmates than non-involved children. Bullies were less prosocial, and had more leadership skills than non-involved children. Bullies belonged to larger social clusters and were frequently affiliated with other bullies or bully-victims.

CONCLUSIONS

We were able to establish distinct behavior patterns for bullies, bully-victims, and victims. Some of these social behaviors may be considered as risk factors for being victimized or becoming a bully. Our findings also emphasize the significance of peer relationships in bully/victim problems. On the one hand, victimized children's lack of friends might render them psychologically and socially vulnerable, and thus more prone to becoming easy targets. On the other hand, bullies seemed to be preferred playmates, particularly for other aggressive boys. This affiliation of aggressive children might lead to an increase in bullying behavior. Our understanding of the social and interactional nature of bullying and victimization has practical implications for prevention and intervention against bully/victim problems.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychology, University of Berne, Switzerland. sonja.perren@psychologie.unizh.chNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

16405640

Citation

Perren, Sonja, and Françoise D. Alsaker. "Social Behavior and Peer Relationships of Victims, Bully-victims, and Bullies in Kindergarten." Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines, vol. 47, no. 1, 2006, pp. 45-57.
Perren S, Alsaker FD. Social behavior and peer relationships of victims, bully-victims, and bullies in kindergarten. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2006;47(1):45-57.
Perren, S., & Alsaker, F. D. (2006). Social behavior and peer relationships of victims, bully-victims, and bullies in kindergarten. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines, 47(1), pp. 45-57.
Perren S, Alsaker FD. Social Behavior and Peer Relationships of Victims, Bully-victims, and Bullies in Kindergarten. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2006;47(1):45-57. PubMed PMID: 16405640.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Social behavior and peer relationships of victims, bully-victims, and bullies in kindergarten. AU - Perren,Sonja, AU - Alsaker,Françoise D, PY - 2006/1/13/pubmed PY - 2006/4/20/medline PY - 2006/1/13/entrez SP - 45 EP - 57 JF - Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines JO - J Child Psychol Psychiatry VL - 47 IS - 1 N2 - BACKGROUND: Although the prevalence of bully/victim problems in school-age children and adolescents has been investigated in many countries, only a few studies have been carried out among younger children. This study examines social behaviors and peer relationships of children involved in bully/victim problems in kindergarten. METHODS: Three hundred and forty-four five- to seven-year-old children participated. Children were categorized as victims, bully-victims, bullies, and non-involved by means of teacher ratings and peer nominations. Teachers completed questionnaires on children's social behavior patterns. Peer relationships were assessed by means of peer nominations and social cluster mapping. RESULTS: Compared to non-involved children, victims were more submissive, had fewer leadership skills, were more withdrawn, more isolated, less cooperative, less sociable, and frequently had no playmates. As expected, bullies and bully-victims were generally more aggressive than their peers. In addition, bully-victims were less cooperative, less sociable, and more frequently had no playmates than non-involved children. Bullies were less prosocial, and had more leadership skills than non-involved children. Bullies belonged to larger social clusters and were frequently affiliated with other bullies or bully-victims. CONCLUSIONS: We were able to establish distinct behavior patterns for bullies, bully-victims, and victims. Some of these social behaviors may be considered as risk factors for being victimized or becoming a bully. Our findings also emphasize the significance of peer relationships in bully/victim problems. On the one hand, victimized children's lack of friends might render them psychologically and socially vulnerable, and thus more prone to becoming easy targets. On the other hand, bullies seemed to be preferred playmates, particularly for other aggressive boys. This affiliation of aggressive children might lead to an increase in bullying behavior. Our understanding of the social and interactional nature of bullying and victimization has practical implications for prevention and intervention against bully/victim problems. SN - 0021-9630 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/16405640/Social_behavior_and_peer_relationships_of_victims_bully_victims_and_bullies_in_kindergarten_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7610.2005.01445.x DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -